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 here in Hertfordshire and enjoy doing field trips to various localities within Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire.

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

Herts Recent Notables and Rarities Reported

Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Caloptilia honoratella new to Herts.

Confirmed by dissection last night by Graeme Smith.

1st record for Herts to my 20w wemlite sat on top of a small Heath trap base that was donated to me many years ago.

It just shows you that anything really is possible with moth trapping.

I believe this is the 5th UK record now


Pammene suspectana new to Herts

Since getting started with Pheremone traps on the 7th of May, i've had 4 different lures hanging in the garden and in the adjacent alleyway, these are for 'pomonella' 'funebrana' 'vitrealis' and 'molesta'

I check them 3 times a day at present, although i've found nothing in them during the heat of the day, the last hour of sun has been the most productive (I say productive, i've only managed a handful of species so far).

On the 15th of May at 6:30pm, a small dark Tortrix was racing around inside of the 'funebrana' lure trap. Potted up and photographed, I held onto the moth with the possibility of it being Pammene suspectana (With thanks to Tim Green for highlighting this potential species to me), it was more likely to be albuginana, still a rare moth for me and my last record being 8 years ago, either would be new for the garden.

Then the next day, I checked again at pretty much time the following day, and a slightly smaller specimen was sitting inside the ame trap, the moth looked exactly the same species.

Wind on nearly two weeks and Graeme Smith has got back to me with the dissection results, and unbelievably they are both the Ash feeder Pammene suspectana! And a 1st and 2nd County record and moth species no.736 for he garden.

To say i'm gobsmacked is an understatement.

It just shows you the power of these pheremone lures. With not much Ash around here, I was convinced they would be the Oak feeding Pammene albuginana, of which we have plenty of the foodplant.

With thanks to Tim Green for pointing me in the right direction with lures and for Graeme for the excellent dissection.

Monday, 25 May 2020

Coleophora conspicuella

Several Coleophora conspicuella cases found today in a new tetrad for Herts (Just North of Ware).
This is a vulnerable moth and is a prdb species (pre red data book species).
It seems to be doing very well in Herts in recent years.

This Moth I added to the County list in 2018, with an adult example from my garden in July, then a week later, another turned up at Ashwell Quarry.
I then found it in the Spring of 2019 at a small grassy site on the edge of an A Road, and it is still doing very well there this year. Today, I ventured about a mile south of that site, and found it on Common Knapweed there. I took one home and it has spun a very fine silk hammock, I hope it hatches safely!
So, if you know a site with Common Knapweed, go and have a look now! See if you can find them on the leaves, they are huge at around 8cm long, the name conspicuella says it all really.

Field Trip - Bramfield ParkWoods - 21/05/20

Well, where do I start...
The day had been a heady 26 degrees and with increasing cloud cover through the afternoon, things were looking spot on for a session at the local woods.
I was all kitted up and ready to go with 5 traps.

We decided to record on the other side of the wood, Bramfield Park Woods, is a little smaller but far more vegetated and with more of a wilderness feel to it, less mature trees, but a plethora of unusual plants and shrubs.
The grassy rides here are most interesting, and support an array of damp woodland specialist moths, particularly Elachista's.

We starting setting up at around 8.30pm and it took at least half an hour to position our lights. Mine were in the central section of the woods, and Trevor's were a little further along in the grassy rides.

Lights on! at around 9pm as some of the traps were under the trees and the light was already fading, the moths were literally there as soon as I turned back to the traps from plugging them in! 
Mainly 100's of Coleophora species, 2 maybe 3 different species, and then all hell broke loose for a good half an hour, and then it went quiet again at around 10pm (this quite often happens). 
By 11pm we were swimming in moths once again, and potting up anything we didn't initially recognise.
Highlights were Netted Pug, 5 species of Hawk-moth (Pine, Eyed, Poplar, Lime & Small Elephant) at least 100 Pale Tussock (i've never seen so many before) and some really nice micros including,
Carpatolechia proximella, Choristoneura hebenstritella, Cydia conicolana, Lampronia fuscatella, Phylloporia bistrigella and a further 4 for dissection below.

4 micros are pending from the trip, I hope my tentative id's are correct :  Coleophora albicosta (Common), Elachista gleichenella (2nd County record, last seen in 1890!), Elachista utonella (New to Herts) and Carpatolechia notatella (4th County record, last seen in 1978). 

Below is the list that we managed on the trip.

Catch Report - Bramfield Park Woods - Central Herts - 8 traps - 3x 125w MV Trap, 2x 250w Clear MV Robinson Trap, 1x 160w MBT Trap, 1x LED Battery trap & 40w U-Tube + 15w Actinic tube & 15w Synergetic tube Trap

87 Macro species & 78 Micro species - 165 species in total

Macro Moths

Alder Moth
Angle Shades
Barred Hook-tip
Brimstone Moth
Brindled White-spot
Broken-barred Carpet
Brown Silver-line
Brown Rustic
Buttoned Snout
Clay Triple lines
Clouded-bordered Brindle
Common Carpet
Common Marbled Carpet
Common Pug
Common Swift
Common Wainscot
Common Wave
Common White Wave
Coxcomb Prominent
Cream Wave
Dwarf Pug
Eyed Hawk-moth
Flame Shoulder
Foxglove Pug
Garden Carpet
Green Carpet
Grey-pine Carpet
Heart & Dart
Iron Prominent
Large Nutmeg
Large Yellow Underwing
Least Black Arches
Lesser Swallow Prominent
Light Brocade
Light Emerald
Lime Hawk-moth
Lobster Moth
Maidens Blush
Marbled Minor
Marbled White Spot
Middle-barred Minor
Mottled Pug
Netted Pug
Nut-tree Tussock
Oak Hook-tip
Ochreous Pug
Orange Footman
Pale Oak Beauty
Pale Prominent
Pale Tussock
Peach Blossom
Peacock Moth
Pebble Hook-tip
Pebble Prominent
Pine Beauty
Pine Hawk-moth
Poplar Lutestring
Poplar Hawk-moth
Red-green Carpet
Red Twin spot Carpet
Rustic Shoulder knot
Scalloped Hazel
Scalloped Hook-tip
Scorched Carpet
Scorched Wing
Setaceous Hebrew Character
Shuttle-shaped Dart
Silver Y
Silver-ground Carpet
Small Elephant Hawk-moth
Small Phoenix
Small White Wave
Spruce Carpet
Straw Dot
Swallow Prominent
Tawny Marbled Minor

Treble Lines
Turnip Moth
White Ermine

Micro Moths

Adela reamurella
Alucita hexadactyla
Ancylis mitterbacheriana
Aphomia sociella
Agonopterix alstromeriana
Argyresthia brockeella
Argyresthia goedartella
Argyresthia spinosella
Argyresthia trifasciella
Bucculatrix ulmella
Bucculatrix thoracella
Capua vulgana
Caloptila alchimiella/robustella
Carpatolechia proximella
Cataclysta lemnata
Celypha lacunana
Choristoneura hebenstritella
Cochylis atricapitana
Cochylis nana
Cochylis molliculana
Cochylimorpha straminea

Coleophora albicosta sp TBC
Coleophora trifolii
Crambus lathoniellus
Cydia conicolana
Cydia fagiglandana
Elachista gleichenella TBC
Elachista utonella TBC
Elophila nymphaeata
Emmetia marginea
Endothenia gent/marg
Ephestia sp
Epinotia bilunana
Epinotia demarniana
Epinotia nanana
Epinotia rubiginosana
Epinotia subocellana
Epinotia tedella
Epinotia tetraquetrana
Esperia sulphurella
Eucosma cana
Eucosma hohenwartiana
Eulia ministrana
Grapholita funebrana
Glyphipterix forsterella
Homoeosoma sinuella
Incurvaria masculella
Incurvaria oehlmanniella
Lampronia fuscatella
Lathronympha strigana
Monopis weaverella
Nephopterix angustella
Notocelia cynosbatella
Notocelia trimaculana
Notocelia uddmanniana
Orthotaenia undulana
Pammene argyrana
Phyllonorycter harrisella
Phyllonorycter trifasciella
Phyllonorycter quercifoliella
Phylloporia bistrigella
Parornix sp
Phtheochroa rugosana
Plutella xylostella
Prays fraxinella
Pseudoswammerdamia combinella
Ptycholoma lecheana
Pyrausta aurata
Rhyacionia pinivorana
Scoparia ambigualis
Strophedra weirana
Swammerdamia caesiella
Syndemis musculana
Teleiodes luculella
Tinea trinotella
Tischeria eklebladella
Udea olivalis
Zeiraphera isertana

Buttoned Snout

Carpatolechia proximella

Carpatolechia pos notatella?

Coleophora trifolii

Cydia conicolana

Elachista gleichenella?

Elachista sp

Elachista utonella?

Epinotia nanana

Nephopterix angustella

Netted Pug


Sunday, 24 May 2020

Windy and not very good mothing weather

Cool and breezy here last night in North Herts, and far from the recent muggy nights we have experienced.
Just 30 moths of mostly common species graced the trap, I used the Actinic instead for a change.

2 more species were added to the year list though, Silver Y & Celypha striana.

Garden species count for 2020 now upto 172.

30 moths of 13 species to 40w U-tube Actinic & 15w Actinic + 15w Synergetic Trap min 9c at 5:00am 

Catch Report - 23/05/20 - Back Garden - Stevenage - North Herts   

Macro Moths

Silver Y 1 [NFY]
Freyer's Pug 1
Common Wainscot 2
Treble Lines 1
Heart & Dart 10
Large Nutmeg 4
Rustic Shoulder-knot 1
Shuttle-shaped Dart 4
Vine's Rustic 2

Micro Moths

Celypha striana 1 [NFY]
Argyresthia trifasciata 1
Epiphyas postvittana 1

Udea olivalis 1

Celypha striana

Silver Y

I couldn't believe my eyes...

Last minute, and before I left home for Thursday's field trip I thought I might as well rummage a trap together as it was going to be a warm night (and with all of my 5 traps out with me) I managed to find an old Heath trap with an inverted lampshade and a few egg trays, and popped a 20w Wemlite over the top of it.
When I returned from my trip out, completely frazzled and ready for bed, I thought I would just have a peek at what the little light had attracted, the usual fare to start with, a few nice new for year species and then a Teleiopsis diffinis (A species I had already potted up on our trip out earlier) a new garden moth!
A mint Shoulder-striped Wainscot was also spotted as it flew in, unbelievably this is another garden first, 8 years its taken me to add this semmingly common? moth to my garden list.

and then I turned round and spotted a Caloptilia, and then I looked again and couldn't quite believe my eyes... I potted it up and rushed inside to get my hand lens.

Under the hand lens and in more natural light it appeared to be Caloptilia honoratella, and after a bit of research could be a 4th for Britain (pending dissection hopefully on Monday) and new to Herts.

There are other possibilities of course, hemidactylella & falconipennella, both of them would be new for garden if that was the case.
We shall see!

Garden species count for 2020 now upto 170, with 1 species pending

35 moths of 18 species to 20w Wemlite Battered Heath Trap min 17c at 4:00am 

Catch Report - 21/05/20 - Back Garden - Stevenage - North Herts   

Macro Moths

Freyer's Pug 2 [NFY]
Light Emerald 2 [NFY]
Oak Hook-tip 1 [NFY]
Shoulder-striped Wainscot 1 [NFG]
Common Marbled Carpet 1
Common Wainscot 4
Treble Lines 2
Heart & Dart 6
Large Nutmeg 2
Rustic Shoulder-knot 4
Shuttle-shaped Dart 2
Vine's Rustic 1

Micro Moths

Caloptilia sp 1 [TBC]

Crambus lathoniellus 1 [NFY]
Phtheochroa rugosana 1 [NFY]
Teleiopsis diffinis 1 [NFG]
Argyresthia trifasciata 1
Epiphyas postvittana 2

Caloptilia sp - TBC

Crambus lathoniellus

Freyer's Pug

Light Emerald

Oak Hook-tip

Phtheochroa rugosana

Shoulder-striped Wainscot

Teleiopsis diffinis

Ectoedemia subbimaculella new for garden

I always collect a few leaves that are generally blown into the garden in late Autumn, particularly the Oak Leaves that we get drop in profusion from several large trees at the bottom of our garden.

Because of the green islands that are highly visible on the brown leaf, it makes spotting leaves that have larvae present, last year I identified one that was tenanted, and after over 6 months, it has finally emerged today.
This is Ectoedemia subbimaculella and new for the garden, a right mare to get photographs of mind!

This is a fairly common moth found as a mine in Herts, but I reckon there aren't many photos of the adults.

This is moth species no.735 for the garden.

Saturday, 23 May 2020

An explosion of new moths

Quite literally... the trap was heaving this morning in my garden trap, not oodles of moths but certainly more than enough interest to go reaching for the pots.
It's been hard to photograph the moths, as it's been so warm and humid. Some will literally start running around the pots seconds after getting them out of the fridge, so pot shots will have to do with some species.
It was nice to get a few pine feeding species, quite often these turn up on muggy nights and last night was very warm indeed, no lower than 14 degrees.

Macro highlights were my annual Miller and a 2nd garden record of the Seraphim, and what a belting form it was.
The micros really were out in force with 12 new for year species!

I've got one un-identified moth that i'm sure isn't a Caloptilia species, it resembles Batrachedra pinicolella, but will need dissecting to confirm as it's worn unfortunately. The legs and antennae just don't look right for Caloptilia...we shall see!

Garden species count for 2020 now upto 145.

85 moths of 38 species to 250w MV Robinson Trap min 14c at 5:00am 

Catch Report - 20/05/20 - Back Garden - Stevenage - North Herts   

Macro Moths

Common Swift 1 [NFY]
Dwarf Pug 1 [NFY]
Miller 1 [NFY]
Silver-ground Carpet 2 [NFY]
Willow Beauty 3 [NFY]
Yellow Shell 1 [NFY]
Common Marbled Carpet 1
Common Wainscot 2
Treble Lines 2
Brimstone Moth 5
Buff-tip 1
Common Pug 2
Garden Carpet 1
Heart & Dart 11
Large Nutmeg 3
Least Black Arches 1
Pale Mottled Willow 1
Pale Tussock 3
Rustic Shoulder-knot 3
Seraphim 1
Shuttle-shaped Dart 12
Spruce Carpet 1
Vine's Rustic 2

Micro Moths

Anania hortulata 1 [NFY]

Bucculatrix nigricomella 1 [NFY]
Caloptilia alchimiella/robustella 1 [NFY]
Cedestis subfasciella 1 [NFY]
Celypha lacunana 1 [NFY]
Epinotia bilunana 1 [NFY]

Gracillaria syringella 1 [NFY]
Hofmannophila pseudospretella 1 [NFY]
Mompha epilobiella 1 [NFY]
Prays fraxinella 1 [NFY]
Ptycholoma lecheana 1 [NFY]
Rhyacionia pinivorana 2 [NFY]
Argyresthia trifasciata 3
Epiphyas postvittana 7
Tachystola acroxantha 1

Cedestis subfasciella

Anania hortulata

Epinotia bilunana

Gracillaria syringella


Rhyacionia pinivorana


Yellow Shell

Friday, 22 May 2020

Field Trip - Bramfield Woods - 19/05/20

On Tuesday night we returned to Bramfield Wood after 8 weeks of lockdown and tight restrictions, we are now officially allowed to go out and record wildlife solely or with other people in pairs, respecting social distancing etc.
The day had been hot at around 26 degrees and with the odd patch of cloud, by the evening the clouds had dissipated and we were left with a clear sky (but no moon thankfully), it was also calm and warm and was still 16 degrees at midnight, only dropping to 13c by dawn.
The breeze did increase at around 2am when we left the site.

The moths were incredible for so early on in the year, with a huge diversity and numbers of certain species was very surprising, the highest numbers were Orange Footman (100+) and Ancylis mitterbacheriana (50+).

We setup 8 traps plus a battery powerered led one, which was switched off early.

By midnight it was hard to keep up, and the decision to drop several traps to ease the unloading of them at packing up time was made.
Both 250w Clear traps again did the best out of all of the traps, but there were different species at the Blended bulbs and the actinic I ran.

Highlights for me were 3 Phylloporia bistrigella, a completely new moth for me (7th,8th & 9th County records), Glyphipterix fuscoviridella & Phyllonorycter lautella.

Best moth of the night went to Ancylis upupana found in Trevor's trap, a second for the County of Herts and not seen here since 1927!! Incredible.
This is a really rare moth even in neighbouring Counties (1 record in Beds & 2 in Essex).

There is still one Elachista and two tigmella species pending dissections.

Below is the list that we managed on the trip.

Catch Report - Bramfield Woods - Central Herts - 8 traps - 3x 125w MV Trap, 2x 250w Clear MV Robinson Trap, 2x 160w MBT Trap & 40w U-Tube + 15w Actinic tube & 15w Synergetic tube Trap

69 Macro species & 62 Micro species - 131 species in total

Macro Moths

Alder Moth 6
Angle Shades 2
Barred Hook-tip 1
Brimstone Moth 2
Broken-barred Carpet 5
Brown Rustic 1
Brown Silver Line 30+
Buff Ermine 2
Buff-tip 5
Chocolate-tip 1
Clay Triple lines 10
Clouded-bordered Brindle 3
Common Carpet 2
Common Marbled Carpet 5
Common Pug 1
Common Swift 15
Common Wainscot 3
Common White Wave 5
Coxcomb Prominent 5
Cream Wave 4
Dwarf Pug 30+
Flame Shoulder 10

Foxglove Pug 1
Green Carpet 10
Green Silver-lines 12
Grey-pine Carpet 5
Heart & Dart 10
Iron Prominent 5
Large Nutmeg 8
Least Black Arches 5
Lesser Swallow Prominent 2
Light Emerald 10
Lime Hawk-moth 5
Maiden's Blush 8
Marbled Minor 5
Nut-tree Tussock 5
Oak Hook-tip 8
Oak-tree Pug 1
Ochreous Pug 10
Orange Footman 100+
Pale Oak Beauty 3
Pale Prominent 4
Pale Tussock 20
Peacock Moth 1
Pebble Hook-tip 3
Pebble Prominent 2
Pine Beauty 2
Pine Hawk-moth 2
Poplar Hawk-moth 4
Poplar Lutestring 10
Red-green Carpet 1
Red Twin-spot Carpet 1
Rustic Shoulder-knot 3
Scalloped Hazel 2
Scorched Carpet 1
Scorched Wing 5
Seraphim 15
Shuttle-shaped Dart 3
Silver-ground Carpet 1
Small Waved Umber 1
Small White Wave 20
Speckled Yellow 1
Spruce Carpet 20
Swallow Prominent 2
Tawny-barred Angle 8
Treble Lines 5
White Ermine 5
Yellow-barred Brindle 1

Micro Moths

Acleris logiana 1
Aethes smeathmanniana 1
Agapeta hamana 1
Alabonia geoferella 1
Alucita hexadactyla 1
Ancylis mitterbacheriana 50+
Ancylis upupana 1
Aphomia sociella 2
Argyresthia conjugella 5
Bucculatrix ulmella 5
Bucculatrix nigricomella 1
Caloptilia alchimiella 10
Cameraria ohridella 2
Capua vulgana 6
Celypha lacunana 5
Coleophora sp white 100+
Coleophora trifolii 1
Crambus lathoniellus 5
Cydia fagiglandana 20
Dichrorampha sequana 1
Elachista argentella 1
Emmetia marginea 10
Endrosis sarcitrella 2
Epinotia bilunana 1
Epinotia demarniana 2
Epinotia rubiginosana 12
Epinotia subocellana 1
Epinotia tetraquetrana 10
Esperia sulphurella 1
Eulia ministrana 3
Glyphipterix fuscoviridella 1
Glyphipterix forsterella 5
Glyphipterix simpliciella 2
Incurvaria masculella 1
Incurvaria oehlmanniella 2
Lobesia reliquana 15
Micropterix aruncella 1
Micropterix calthella 2
Mompha subbistrigella 1
Monopis weaverella 15
Notocelia cynosbatella 5
Nemapogon cloacella 1
Nematopogon schwarziellus 1
Pammene albuginana 1
Parornix sp 5
Phyllonorycter lautella 1
Phyllonorycter messaniella 5
Phyllonorycter tenerella 2
Phyllonorycter trifasciella 1
Phyllonorycter quercifoliella 1
Phylloporia bistrigella 3 [NEW]
Plutella porrectella 1
Ptycholoma lecheana 2
Rhyacionia pinivorana 20+
Scoparia ambigualis 2
Strophedra nitidana 5
Strophedra weirana 1
Swammerdamia caesiella 1
Syndemis musculana 20
Teleiodes luculella 3
Tinea trinotella 1
Tischeria ekebladella 10

250w Clear Tubular MV Robinson Trap

Actinic on the grassy ride

Alder Moth

Ancylis mitterbacheriana

Ancylis upupana - Trevor Brownsell

Epinotia bilunana

Lobesia reliquana

Phyllonorycter lautella

Phylloporia bistrigella

Rhyacionia pinivorana