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 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!

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

Herts Recent Notables and Rarities Reported

Sunday, 17 March 2019

Brindled Pug, Moth no.31 for the year

Yesterday afternoon I found not one, but two Brinded Pugs that I had missed from Friday night's catch.
Both were tucked right under slats on our fence panel.

One was very tatty, but at least the other one was smart enough for a photo.

15/03/19

Brindled Pug 2 [NFY]

Brindled Pug

Saturday, 16 March 2019

Latest from the garden trap

Nice and fresh moths still emerging it seems, a rather large Small Quaker, as big as some Common Quaker's and in bleary eyes my thoughts were of Blossom Underwing...not to repeat last year's record yet sadly. And a smart Clouded Drab, still waiting for Lead-coloured here this year.

New for year Diurnea fagella on Thursday night (14th March), was nice to get.. Moth species no.30 for the garden in 2019.

There were 24 Common Quaker's here last night, roughly half of my highest ever count two weeks ago during that mild and calm spell, but still a really high count for my garden in one night. The variation continues to astound me.

The unsettled but mild weather is set to stay for a while, towards the end of next week we could be in for slightly warmer and more settled conditions.

Here are my recent lists from last week.

Garden species count for 2019 now upto 30.


Catch Report - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

11/03/19

Macro Moths

Engrailed 1 [NFY]
Chestnut 1 
Common Quaker 11
Hebrew Character 3
March Moth 3
Small Quaker 7

Micro Moths

None Recorded!

Catch Report - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

14/03/19

Macro Moths

Chestnut 3
Clouded Drab 2
Common Quaker 19
Hebrew Character 6
Small Quaker 4

Micro Moths

Diurnea fagella 1 [NFY]

Catch Report - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

15/03/19

Macro Moths

Chestnut 1
Clouded Drab 4
Common Quaker 24
Early Grey 3
Hebrew Character 8
Oak Beauty 4
Small Quaker 6
Twin-spotted Quaker 1

Micro Moths

Emmelina monodactyla 1

Clouded Drab

Common Quaker

Diurnea fagella

Small Quaker
 

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Storm Gareth halts mothing temporarily.

Monday night, 11th March. Engrailed makes it the 29th species to be recorded this year here in Stevenage, North Herts using the 125w MV Robinson Trap.
Tricky photographing said specimen during storm Gareth with huge gusts and intermittent bright sunshine every 30 seconds!


The usual suspects made up the rest of the catch.

Engrailed

Saturday, 9 March 2019

First new for garden of 2019 and what a cracker

On Wednesday night, it was extremey breezy here in North Herts, a fairly warm one mind, and there were very few moths turning up a few hours after dark.
Before bed I did a final check around the trap area, and saw a moth high up that I instantly knew was either Frosted Green or Yellow Horned.
As I came nearer to it using a kitchen chair and a pot I was very pleased that it was Yellow Horned, a species which i've waited for, for 7 years now.
There is hardly any Birch this side of the nearest woodland, and I suspect it was blown in like a lot of my moths are.
I was lucky last year to add not one, but two Frosted Green to my garden list last year on the 16th of April....there's still time to hopefully see another one.

The Yellow Horned is the 353rd Macro Moth for the garden and the 691st Moth overall to grace the garden list since 2012.
I also picked out a nicely marked Common Quaker, these have been super variable this year.

Here are my recent lists from last week.

Garden species count for 2019 now upto 28.


Catch Report - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

05/03/19

Macro Moths

Common Quaker 28
Hebrew Character 1
Satellite 1
Small Quaker 8

Micro Moths

None Recorded!

Catch Report - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

06/03/19

Macro Moths

Yellow Horned 1 [NFG] 
Clouded Drab 2
Common Quaker 20
Hebrew Character 3
Small Quaker 5

Micro Moths

None Recorded!

Catch Report - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

08/03/19

Macro Moths

Common Quaker 4
Hebrew Character 4
Small Quaker 6

Micro Moths

None Recorded!

Common Quaker

Yellow Horned

Yellow Horned

Monday, 4 March 2019

Cydia pactolana - New to Herts!


03/05/18 - Cydia pactolana - New to Herts - Braughing Friars Farmland, beaten from a Coniferous tree during the daytime.

Thanks to Colin for dissecting the specimen today (A Male)
Got round to it eventually, after being found amongst many glass vials.

I knew something didn't quite look right about this moth for strobilella and i'm glad I questioned it and kept the specimen! Colin will set it out and add it to his new Tortricidae drawers no doubt.

It is a very rare moth, with an extremely broad timescale of being found.
It has been recorded in 2 of the 5 surrounding Counties of Hertfordshire (Bedfordshire in 1986) and (Buckinghamshire in 2010).
 
Cydia pactolana

Old post

Cydia pactolana distribution map

Colin Plant checking the dissected moth
 
 
 
 

Saturday, 2 March 2019

The March of the Orthosia at the end of February

As we creep quietly into March, it seems much further through the year than it should be. The warm weather has given us false pretense and we could still see temperatures plummet once more...who knows!
It was this time last year, a week after our Son was born, that the 'Beast from the East' struck. 
I wonder whether March will be 'In like a Lion and out like a Lamb', as this time of year should not be warm for the sake of Wildlife.

Temperatures have hit record levels here, just shy of 20c on Wednesday, but cooling down quite considerably past midnight and most mornings being between 3c and 6c.
The trap has been heaving by my garden standards, with the highest amount of Common Quaker's ever recorded here (44 on Wednesday).

I have pleasingly also added 3 species to the year list and also found a Female Diurnea fagella where I work, a first for me.
Small Brindled Beauty being the highlight, 2 examples on back to back nights was superb. They are only my 2nd and 3rd garden records!

Garden species count for 2019 now upto 27.


Catch Report - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

27/02/19

Macro Moths

Small Brindled Beauty 1 [NFY]
Chestnut 2
Clouded Drab 4
Common Quaker 44
Dotted Border 2
Hebrew Character 3
March Moth 7
Small Quaker 14


Micro Moths

None Recorded!


28/02/19 - Daytime - Ware

Diurnea fagella - Female 1 [New for me]


Catch Report - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

28/02/19

Macro Moths


Early Grey 1 [NFY]
Pine Beauty 1 [NFY]
Chestnut 3 Common Quaker 15
Hebrew Character 6 Satellite 1
Small Brindled Beauty 1
Small Quaker 9


Micro Moths

Emmelina monodactyla


Catch Report - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

01/03/19

Macro Moths


Chestnut 1 Common Quaker 18
Hebrew Character 5
Small Quaker 5
Twin-spotted Quaker 1

Micro Moths

Tortricodes alternella


Common Quaker

Common Quaker

Diurnea fagella - Female

Early Grey

Pine Beauty

Small Brindled Beauties

Twin-spotted Quaker

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Warmest February on record!

What a scorcher it has been, with highs of 19c recently, things have gone a bit unseasonably mad haven't they.
The consequence for all this warm weather? Well we shall have to see how this year pans out.

Cold nights have been the flavour of the month, with no nights above 7c by the morning, in fact most have been between -2c and 4c, not ideal for moths but this hasn't deterred a good selection of species to take flight and find my trap, numbers are also up somewhat on average.

3 recent catches have yielded only 2 new species for the year, and a further two daytime finds.

Garden species count for 2019 now upto 24.


Catch Report - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

24/02/19

Macro Moths

Clouded Drab 1 [NFY]
Common Quaker 3
Dotted Border 3
March Moth 4
Small Quaker 1


Micro Moths

Agonopterix heracliana 2


Catch Report - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

25/02/19

Macro Moths


Clouded Drab 3 
Common Quaker 5
Dotted Border 1
March Moth 2
Small Quaker 4


Micro Moths

None Recorded!

Daytime 

Psyche casta 1 [NFY] (Larvae)
Stigmella aurella 4 [NFY] (Mine) 


Catch Report - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 40w Actinic Robinson Trap

26/02/19


Macro Moths


Twin-spotted Quaker 1 [NFY]
Chestnut 2
Common Quaker 14
Hebrew Character 1
Satellite 1 
Small Quaker 4


Micro Moths

None Recorded!


Clouded Drab

Small Quaker

Twin-spotted Quaker

Sunday, 24 February 2019

New for year moth and New form of a common moth!

23 moths was a huge improvement last night, after just 5 moths on Friday night, i'm not entirely sure where they came from, as at 10pm I had just a few March Moths before retiring to bed, it was also extremely nippy out and down to 4c this am.

Come the morning it was a pleasure to actually have a list to write!

Of note were good numbers of Common Quaker and March Moth and two moths that really stood out from the rest.

Dotted Border form f.fuscata, a first for me and a shame it had a bit of flight wear, still an unusual looking moth which could be another species almost!

Grey Shoulder-knot I was joking about really wanting to see on facebook yesterday night, and lo and behold one was sitting tucked under a fence panel.

Garden species count for 2019 now upto 20.


Catch Report - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

23/02/19

Macro Moths

Grey Shoulder-knot 1 [NFY]
Chestnut 2
Common Quaker 5
Dotted Border 2 (inc one form f.fuscata)  
Hebrew Character 1
March Moth 9
Small Quaker 1


Micro Moths

Agonopterix heracliana 2

Dotted Border f.fuscata

Grey Shoulder-knot

Hebrew Character

Small Quaker
 



Just Quaker's!

A quick post from Friday night as I was busy helping out with my Son's 1st Birthday celebrations!!
There wasn't much to write about to be honest, no moths at the trap until I went to bed at 10:30pm.

By the morning 5 Quaker's were found, all in the trap (As is quite common behaviour for fast flying Noctuids). Of note was a year first Small Quaker.

Garden species count for 2019 now upto 19.


Catch Report - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

22/02/19

Macro Moths

Small Quaker 1 [NFY]
Common Quaker 4

Micro Moths

None Recorded!


Small Quaker

Common Quaker

Friday, 22 February 2019

Catch Report 21/02/19 - A record breaking catch for February

Last night, I set my trap up after a warm and sunny day with highs of 16c, this is pretty unprecedented for February and looks to be a prolonged warm spell lasting well into next week.

Like i've said before, the consequences of a warm sunny day, are clear cold nights. And that really has been the case here with lows of 5c this morning, I wasn't expecting much at all.

To count 21 moths in and around the trap was unbelievable for here.

There were two new for year species, Hebrew Character and Amblyptilia acanthadactyla, both expected here in good numbers.

It was nice to get another specimen each of Satellite and Oak Beauty, both differnt from the previous night.

Garden species count for 2019 now upto 18.

Catch Report - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

21/02/19

Macro Moths

Hebrew Character 1 [NFY]
Chestnut 1
Dotted Border 6
March Moth 4
Oak Beauty 1
Pale Brindled Beauty 1
Satellite 1

Micro Moths

Amblyptilia acanthadactyla 1 [NFY]
Agonopterix heracliana 1
Emmelina monodactyla 1
Tortricodes alternella 1  

Satellite

Amblyptilia acanthadactyla

Emmelina monodactyla

Hebrew Character

Oak Beauty

Pale Brindled Beauty

Thursday, 21 February 2019

Recent February moths in my garden.

Here are my recent garden reports here in my suburban back garden in the North-east corner of Stevenage.

It's been up and down and with clear skies and a very bright moon, moths haven't been that keen to venture out, but as I type things are warming up considerably...well at least in the daytkme with highs reaching 16 or maybe even 17 degrees at some point over the next few days.
As a consequence for all this sunny weather, the night time temperatures are falling away rapidly after sunset and down to 5 or 6c at best!

Nice to get some variation of Common Quaker's, and a lovely Oak Beauty was a bonus this morning. 

Of note...dates, Common Quaker on the 17th, earliest record by 5 days, and Oak Beauty my second earliest behind last year's 18th of Feb date.

Also 3 Diplodoma laichartingella, there must be a small colony here of this uncommon moth in Herts. Previous to these 3 weeks this week, i've only seen the larvae and adult once each.

Garden species count for 2019 now upto 16.


Catch Report - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

12/02/19


Macro Moths 
March Moth 2

Micro Moths
Diplodoma laichartingella larvae 1 [NFY]

Catch Report - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 40w Actinic Robinson Trap

13/02/19


Macro Moths 
None Recorded!

Micro Moths
Agonopterix heracliana 1 [NFY]

Catch Report - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

15/02/19


Macro Moths 
Dotted Border 1
March Moth 1

Micro Moths
None Recorded!

Catch Report - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

16/02/19


Macro Moths

Chestnut 1
Dotted Border 1
March Moth 1

Micro Moths
Agonopterix heracliana 3
Diplodoma laichartingella larvae 2

Catch Report - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 40w Actinic Robinson Trap

17/02/19


Macro Moths

Common Quaker 1 [NFY]
Micro Moths

None Recorded!


Catch Report - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 40w Actinic Robinson Trap

19/02/19


Macro Moths

March Moth 1  
Micro Moths

None Recorded!

Catch Report - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

20/02/19


Macro Moths 
Satellite 1 [NFY]
Oak Beauty 1 [NFY]
Common Quaker 3
Dotted Border 1
March Moth 1

Micro Moths
Agonopterix heracliana 1

Common Quaker

Common Quaker

Common Quaker

Diplodoma laichartingella

Dotted Border

March Moth

Satellite

Oak Beauty

A quick opportunity

On Sunday 17th of February, I packed my 40w Actinic hanging tube with me to my parents, in anticipation of picking up a few moths before we had to leave.

I ran it from around 5:30pm until 6:45pm and managed 9 moths to my 40w Actinic hanging from a conservatory door on my parents farm, all Agonopterix heracliana sp! 

Best surprise however was a single Plutella xylostella to the front porch light and my earliest record by over two months (Previous 30/04/12, on the Farm again). 

Agonopterix heracliana sp

40w Actinic hanging and over-looking the wood

40w Actinic

Plutella xylostella (Earliest ever)

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Basil's Park - 19/02/19 - Daytime wander

Enjoyed an hour walking along the paths through this new wood to me.
As far as my County Recorder is aware, there aren't any records of Lepidoptera here, it's a pretty vast woodland and i've yet to see it in the Summer with all the trees in leaf.
There are however plenty of Scots Pine and swathes of Holly, of which I tapped some of the bushes, dislodging just two moths, both Tortricodes alternella, Moth species number 1!

I also found an Engrailed, my earliest ever Spring record and sitting precariously low down on a Hornbeam tree.

An empty pupal case of Black Arches was also noted.

Best of all, I counted no less than 7 Taleporia tubulosa (Thanks to the help of guys on the Moths UK Flying Tonight Admin Group).
It seems to be quite rare in the County, or at least just under-recorded. They were all found on Hornbeam and every single one was vacated.

I look forward to trapping here when the nights start drawing out and when it gets a bit warmer.