My Blog's aim is to promote and encourage others to participate in the wonderful hobby that is Moth-trapping.
So why do we do it? well for some people it is to get an insight into the world of Moths, for others it is to build a list of species much like 'Twitching' in the Bird world.
The reason I do it....you never know what you might find when you open up that trap!
I hope to show what different species inhabit our Country by getting people aware of what is out there.
On this Blog you will find up-to-date records and pictures.
I run a trap regularly in my garden in Hertfordshire and enjoy doing field trips to various localities within Hertfordshire and Essex

Please also check out the links in the sidebar to the right for other people's Blogs and informative Websites.

Thanks for looking & happy Mothing!


NFY = New Species For The Year
NFG = New Species For The Garden
NEW! = New Species For My Records

Any Species highlighted in RED signifies a totally new species for my records.

If you have any questions or enquiries then please feel free to email me
Contact Email : bensale@rocketmail.com

Monday, 19 February 2018

Warm still but wet conditions

Finally had something to write down.
Runing the 125w MV Robinson Trap with hanging 40w Actinic behind the trap last night here in Stevenage, North Herts.

Drizzly rain this Am but still 7.7c at 7am.

12 moths of 7 species 

Macro Moths

March Moth 4 [NFY]
Oak Beauty 1 [NFY]
Satellite 1 [NFY]
Pale Brindled Beauty 2
Chestnut 1

Micro Moths

Agonopterix heracliana sp 2 [NFY]
Acleris notana/ferrugana 1 [NFY]

Pale Brindled Beauty

Agonopterix heracliana sp

Oak Beauty, Satellite, March Moth and Acleris notana/ferrugana

Sunday, 28 January 2018

A 3rd garden record of Ypsolopha ustella

Last night the trap went out again, opting for the 125w MV and 40w Actinic combo which i've got hanging from a projector screen just behind the Robinson Trap (See pic below).
The light looks really good against it and hopefully will act as a magnet to moths flying by and also protect the light from shining in our eyes too much in the kitchen!

A relatively mild night last night with lows of 9c, in fact it was much like the other day where the temperature rose as the evening progressed.

Today looks set to be possibly the warmest day of the year so far at 13 degrees.

To the moths... and there were only two.
A Pale Brindled Beauty found this morning on a fence panel 2 metres from the trap (which didn't like the white screen) and a rather nice form that i've never seen before of Ypsolopha ustella, which was potted up at around 10pm (and was sitting on the lit screen!)

It is a good one for my garden despite it being a common moth, making it just 3 records in 5 and a half years.


Macro Moths

1x Pale Brindled Beauty

Micro Moths

1x Ypsolopha ustella [NFY]

Ypsolopha ustella


Saturday, 27 January 2018

Tuesday night one lonely Chestnut

The last try with my trap it was quite windy but very mild with lows  of just 12 degrees and I thought I was in for a bumper night...I was wrong!
With just one moth by the morning and 50% worse than previous night which was half the temperature! but far less windy.
At least the Chestnut was a different example from the previous night!

So here she is, a big fat female that i've only just got round to photographing.


Macro Moths

1x Chestnut


Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Recent stirrings

Yesterday we had a slightly milder day of around 8 degrees by 6pm, in fact by 10pm it was warmer than lunchtime.
And so the trap was setup in vain hope of attracting some moths.

By 7pm I had my first moth, a pristine Pale Brindled Beauty. The second moth in was a Chestnut that hit me on the back as I was taking some rubbish out at 10pm and that was it until 7am this morning when I switched the trap off.
Not too bad for my garden in hindsight but not setting the moth world alight just yet!

I will try again tonight as it supposed to be warmer but unfortunately windier.


Macro Moths

1x Chestnut [NFY]
1x Pale Brindled Beauty [NFY]

Pale Brindled Beauty


Friday, 19 January 2018

Tortricodes alternella flying in the sunshine?!?

Today I was walking in Shephalbury Park today in Stevenage with a client when something flying caught my eye, thinking it was just a fly I very nearly carried on but something told me to look again and so I pooped my glasses on and followed it where it settled on a garage wall.
This is the first time I have encountered this species flying in the daytime. 
Also to add that it wasn't particularly warm at 6 degrees, but out of the wind and in the sunshie it must have thought it was Spring!
Below is a cropped phone picture of the said moth.

This record beats my all-time earliest record by 4 days with one taken to light in the garden during a very mild spell on the 23rd of January in 2016.

Tortricodes alternella

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Scrobipalpa atriplicella

Whilst I have time to catch-up with moth records (As it's far to cold to stir anything to my garden moth trap currently), i've been going through some dissections that have been trickling to me from about July time from Graeme Smith whom kindly has been helping myself and a lot of others put names to small brown moths!
Still sorting photos to dissection photos etc but the first species that is worth a mention is the 4th County record of Scrobipalpa atriplicella, which I took to light on 22nd of May 2017
from Ashwell Quarry in the far North-West of the County of Hertfordshire.

This Moth was last seen in 1999 and the other 2 records are from 1900 and 1970!

Intially the Scrobipalpa species looked a dead-ringer for Scrobipalpa suaedella (see photo comparison below). I like to always take a punt and a guess at an identification before we get to the real truth and alas I was wrong this time!
Scrobipalpa suaedella of course would have been new to the County list! You sort of have to set your hopes high don't you.

Sunday, 14 January 2018

First Moth of 2018

Is......a Winter Moth. A really diddy Male which came to my 40w Actinic placed over the Robinson Trap on Friday night (12/01/18).

The weather for the coming week looks a little cold for me to bother trying again, i'll wait until it gets a bit milder.

Winter Moth

Notable Moth Recorded During 2017

I hope everyone is having a good new year so far.
So far i've seen just the one moth to my garden trap this year (more on that in the next post).

Firstly, here is a list of the best moths I recorded from the garden, County and further afield in 2017 with some incredible records and several new for County, 2nds and 3rds.

1)      Phaneta pauperana - Ashwell Quarry - 09/04/17 (3rd Herts County Record and new to my records)
2)      Depressaria radiella - Ashwell Quarry - 09/04/17 (Fairly frequent in Hertfordshire but new to my records)
3)      Emperor Moth - Stevenage Garden - 29/04/17 (Common in Hertfordshire but new to my records)
4)      Spuleria flavicaput - Barley - 12/05/17 ( Herts Scarce and new to my records)
5)      Mompha jurassicella - Stevenage Garden - 22/04/17 (4th Herts County Record and new to my records)
6)      Plodia interpunctella - Hoddesdon - 10/05/17 ( Fairly frequent in Hertfordshire but new to my records)
7)      Phyllonorycter emberizaepenella - Stevenage Garden - 13/05/17 (2nd Herts County Record and new to my records)
8)      Pammene ignorata - Scales Park - 16/05/17 (2nd Herts County Record and new to my records)
9)      Epinotia tetraquetrana - Scales Park - 16/05/17 (Herts Scarce and new to my records)
10)   Blood-vein f.nigra - Ashwell Quarry - 22/05/17 (Rare form of the common Herts moth)
11)   Pammene trauniana - Stevenage Garden - 24/05/17 (New to Herts and new to my records)
12)   Syncopacma sangiella - Hexton Chalk Pit - 25/05/17 (New to Herts and new to my records)
13)   Elachista biatomella - Hexton Chalk Pit - 25/05/17 (2nd Herts County Record and new to my records)
14)   Argyresthia glabratella - Stevenage Garden - 28/05/17 (3rd Herts County Record and new to my records)
15)   Telechrysis tripuncta - Fern Cottage - 01/06/17 ( Local in Gloucestershire and new to my records)
16)   Acompsia cinerella - Hexton Chalk Pit - 10/06/17 (Herts Scarce and new to my records)
17)   Ethmia dodecea - Hexton Chalk Pit - 10/06/17 (2nd Herts County Record and new to my records)
18)   Diplodoma laichartingella - Stevenage Garden - 12/06/17 (Herts Scarce and new to my records)
19)   Grapholita pallifrontana - Old Warden - 12/06/17 (Frequent at known sites in Beds and new to my records)
20)   Scythris limbella - Stevenage Garden - 18/06/17 (2nd Herts County Record and new to my records)
21)   Carpatolechia notatella - Home Wood - 19/06/17 (2nd Beds County Record and new to my records)
22)   Nemapogon ruricolella - Home Wood - 19/06/17 (4th Beds County Record and new to my records)
23)   Bucculatrix cidarella - Home Wood - 19/06/17 (Beds Scarce and new to my records)
24)   Spatalistis bifasciana - Home Wood - 19/06/17 (2nd Beds County Record but not new to my records)
25)   Gelechia sororculella - Home Wood - 19/06/17 (Beds Scarce and new to my records)
26)   Agonopterix conterminella - Scales Park - 16/05/17 (3rd Herts County Record and new to my records)
27)   Triple-spotted Pug - Scales Park - 16/05/17 (Herts Scarce, only site that supports it and new to my records)
28)   Adoxophyes orana - Stevenage Garden - 19/07/17 (New to Herts and new to my records)
29)   Annulet - Hexton Chalk Pit - 25/07/17 (2nd Herts County Record and new to my records)
30)   Teleiodes sequax - Hexton Chalk Pit - 25/07/17 (Herts Scarce and new to my records)
31)   Oak Processionary - Stevenage Garden - 27/07/17 (2nd Herts County Record and new to my records)
32)   Jersey Tiger - Stevenage Garden - 28/08/17 (Spreading and a good record for North Herts and new to my records)
33)   Hedge Rustic - Hexton Chalk Pit - 29/08/17 (Herts Scarce and new to my records)
34)   Mompha sturnipennella - Hexton Chalk Pit - 29/08/17 (4th Herts County Record and new to my records)
35)   Euspilapteryx auroguttella - Ashwell Quarry - 04/09/17 (Herts Local and new to my records)
36)   Parectopa ononidis - Ashwell Quarry - 04/09/17 (Herts Scarce and new to my records)
37)   Cypress Pug - Stevenage Garden - 24/09/17 (Herts Local and new to my garden)
38)   Scarce Bordered Straw - Stevenage Garden - 28/09/17 (Uncommon immigrant and new to my garden)
39)   Vestal - Stevenage Garden - 20/10/17 (3rd Garden record of this uncommon immigrant) 
40)   Cydalima perspectalis - Stevenage Garden - 23/10/17 (Herts vagrant spreading and new to my garden)

 Happy Mothing!

Sunday, 31 December 2017

The last post of the year

3 very different Mottled Umber to 40w Actinic last night here in North Herts, I've now had 7 moths in 8 trapping efforts with 4 blanks over the last 3 weeks...its been pretty poor to say the least. Still no Winter moths this side of the year but usually pick them up in January.

With two bouts of snow recently and a mixture of freezing cold temperatures then warm and windy nights it really has been pretty awful but pretty normal for this time of year.

These are my latest totals

19th - 1x Mottled Umber and 1x Epiphyas postvittana

20th - 1x Mottled Umber and 1x Acleris schalleriana

30th - 3x Mottled Umber

December has been very poor for grden moths this year!

Happy New Year all!!

Mottled Umber's


Sunday, 19 November 2017

Last time out on Wednesday

Trapping efforts are becoming fewer and farther between now as the weather becomes increasingly cold and damp, it really isn't worth running any traps if the temperature is set to dip below 5 degrees. Coupled with lots of clear skies recently and a few sharp frosts it signals nearly the end of the trapping season now with just Winter Moth expected.

On Wednesday it was a mild day of around 13 degrees and it didn't really drop from this until probably the early hours of the morning where it was still in double figures. Consequently moths did ventture out and 3 new species for the year were added to the list bringing the total upto 467 for the year and amazingly 44 more than the best year previous in 2014.

Lovely to see a large Female Sprawler, a greasy Dark Chestnut and 3 Red-green Carpet at once is unheard of for my garden.

Late species included a translucent Double-striped Pug and a Blastobasis lacticolella.

Catch Report - 15/11/17 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

1x Dark Chestnut [NFY]
3x Red-green Carpet [NFY]
1x Sprawler [NFY]
1x Double-striped Pug
1x Yellow-line Quaker

Micro Moths

1x Blastobasis lacticolella
1x Emmelina monodactyla

Blastobasis lacticolella

Dark Chestnut

Double-striped Pug