Welcome

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!

KEY

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

Saturday, 21 April 2018

The Emperor Strike Back...second year running.

One of two Emperor Moths attracted to the EMP lure yesterday afternoon (20/04/18) in my back garden here in Stevenage, North Herts

The lure was put out at 4pm

At 4:35pm the first Male Emperor Moth arrived to lure in my garden in Stevenage and then another followed at 5:15pm.

It still works despite being in my rucksack since last May and totally forgetting to put it in the freezer after using it.

Emperor Moth

Friday, 20 April 2018

Tuesday night moths

Well the weather during the daytime has been just glorious with temperatures hitting the low 20's early on in the week and as a result clear skies were the order of the day (or night) and thus come the morning it was a little cool and misty early Wednesday.
The catch wasn't bad at all with 4 new for year species noted and some nice micro moths to pot up and inspect. 
The fourth Oak Nycteoline of the year was also a form i've never seen before which was nice. 

A very grey Mompha epilobiella was also noted, lacking the usual yellowy straw colouration, the markings under a hand lens still corresponded for this species.

Common Quaker saw a massive rise to 25 examples.

Catch Report - 17/04/18 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

Streamer 1 [NFY]
Brindled Pug 3
Chestnut 1
Clouded Drab 3
Common Quaker 25
Double-striped Pug 5

Early Grey 3
Early Thorn 1
Hebrew Character 10
Small Quaker 4


Micro Moths


Caloptilia semifascia 1 [NFY]
Dyseriocrania subpurpurella 2 [NFY]
Mompha epilobiella 1 [NFY]
Emmelina monodactyla 1

Caloptilia semifascia

Dyseriocrania subpurpurella

Mompha epilobiella - an unusual colouration

Streamer
 

A new species of Macro Moth for the garden!

On Monday night temperatures were starting to slowly improve and so the trap has been out most nights but i've had little time to write about it with my newborn taking up most (if not all) of my time!
I was therefore pleased to find two examples of Frosted Green on my projector screen that is positioned behind my trap.
I still am missing the 'commoner' Yellow Horned. But I don't have much Birch around here and what there is on the opposite side of my nearest wood a 1/4 of a mile away.
Frosted Green is associated with Oaks and luckily I have serveral along the bridleway that runs along the bottom of my garden.
But why I haven't recorded it in the previous 5 Springs of trapping here is a mystery? My theory is from what other's have been posting, it's having a bumper year and I got lucky in attracting not one but two to my trap.

The rest of the catch was made up of the usual Springtime species and included a Brindled Pug as new for year.


Catch Report - 16/04/18 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

Frosted Green 2 [NFG]
Brindled Pug 1 [NFY
Chestnut 1
Common Quaker 12
Double-striped Pug 3

Early Grey 1
Small Quaker 3


Micro Moths

Emmelina monodactyla 3

Frosted Green

 

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Cool and quiet

6 degrees this morning in Stevenage and clear skies with a cool breeze once again.
125w MV Robinson Trap

The catch was pretty bad saved by one new for year, an Early Thorn and also a lovely patterned Clouded Drab, a form I don't see very often with it's scorched pattern.

There is also a Mompha to check that doesn't look quite right for subbistrigella and feel it may be possibly sturnipennella, gen det will prove that.


Catch Report - 15/04/18 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

Early Thorn 1 [NFY]
Clouded Drab 2
Common Quaker 3
Double-striped Pug 3
Small Quaker 1


Micro Moths

There were no micros!

Mompha sp to check

Clouded Drab

Early Thorn






Thursday, 5 April 2018

Still struggling

It's not really happening here yet in my back garden in Stevenage.
I don't think I've ever ran the trap as less as I am lately due to awful weather

I was pleased to record 3 Twin-spotted Quaker's which is a rare moth here in my garden with only 3 previous records over 5 Springs.

Things will hopefully pick up soon.

Below are my three most recent efforts as we move into April.

Catch Report - 22/03/18 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

Chestnut 1
Satellite 1
Small Quaker 2

Micro Moths

None Recorded!

Catch Report - 26/03/18 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

Chestnut 1
Clouded Drab 1
Common Quaker 2
Hebrew Character 3
Oak Beauty 1
Small Quaker 2

Micro Moths

None Recorded!

Catch Report - 02/04/18 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

Early Grey 1 [NFY]
Twin-spotted Quaker 3 [NFY]
Clouded Drab 1
Common Quaker 3
Hebrew Character 1
Small Quaker 1

Micro Moths

Amblyptilia acanthadactyla 1

Clouded Drab

Oak Beauty


Twin-spotted Quaker



Saturday, 17 March 2018

Mid-week mothing

I ran the trap on back to back nights Wednesday and Thursday as both nights as it was a great miimum of around 7 or 8 degrees with fairly settled albeit a bit wet conditions.

The moths did respond with a handful of species turning up to keep the interest going, but statistically this is the worst spring for me on record since 2006.

New for year were Clouded Drab and Small Quaker.

A really pale Common Quaker was also noted and photographed. 

The weather has once again dipped to minus degrees with snow imminent from the continent.


Catch Report - 14/03/18 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

Small Quaker 2 [NFY]
Common Quaker 4
Hebrew Character 1

Micro Moths

Agonopterix heracliana 1


Catch Report - 15/03/18 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths


Clouded Drab 1 [NFY] 
Chestnut 1
March Moth1

Oak Beauty 1
Satellite 2

Small Quaker 1

Micro Moths

Agonopterix heracliana 2
Amblyptilia acanthadactyla 1


Amblyptilia acanthadactyla

Clouded Drab

Common Quaker

Hebrew Character

Small Quaker



Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Recent Moth Mutterings

Some photos of the moths trapped from the end of last week and into the weekend. VC20, North Herts

Catch Report - 09/03/18 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 40w Actinic and 26w Wemms Actinic Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

Oak Nycteoline 1 [NFY]

Micro Moths

Agonopterix heracliana 1


Catch Report - 10/03/18 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap


Macro Moths


Common Quaker 6 [NFY]
Double-striped Pug 1 [NFY]
Chestnut 4
March Moth 6
Satellite 1


Micro Moths

Amblyptilia acanthadactyla 1 [NFY]
Agonopterix heracliana 1


Catch Report - 11/03/18 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths


Hebrew Character 1 [NFY]
Common Quaker 4
March Moth 2
Oak Beauty 1
Satellite 1


Micro Moths

None Recorded!

Chestnut

Common Quaker

Double-striped Pug

Oak Nycteoline
 

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Marching towards Spring...slowly

4 moths here last night in Stevenage (05/03/18). 3 March Moths and 1 Chestnut.
Fairly chilly this morning at 4c, but that felt positively warm comapred to the recent blizzard conditions and freezing temperatures of last week.


Chestnut

March Moth



Saturday, 24 February 2018

Monday night

Dotted Border from Monday night here in Stevenage, North Herts. Not a particularly common moth here this being the 20th garden record in 6 years. Trap covered over now until we get some milder weather.

Just 3 other moths were recorded, with singles of March Moth, Satellite and Oak Beauty.

Trap is currently wrapped up awaiting a blizzard!

Dotted Border

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.

27/01/18

Macro Moths

1x Pale Brindled Beauty

Micro Moths

1x Ypsolopha ustella [NFY]


Ypsolopha ustella

Set-up

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.

23/01/18

Macro Moths

1x Chestnut

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.

22/01/18

Macro Moths

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

Pale Brindled Beauty

Chestnut






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!