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

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Field Trip - Hexton Chalk Pit - 25/05/17

Thursday night saw me trapping at Hexton Chalk Pit for the first time this year after doing a few daytime forays for moths and finding a few bits and pieces, it was time to go all out and spread 5 traps over the reserve.

I was joined by Trevor for a bit and Tony popped by to see how things were going.

The day had been very warm and sunny and mid-twenties by 4pm, there was however no cloud cover but with a warm breeze it was hardly going to get cold and in fact it was still 14 degrees at 2am when I left the reserve.

The traps out of the breeze did fair better and by midnight, the exposed trap on the chalk hill did take a pounding and most of the moths ended up about 3 metres from the trap having been blown there.

Numbers were pretty good and the species kept coming in, heck if I had stayed until dawn I probably could have added another 15 species I reckon but I had work the next day and getting to bed at 2.30am was late enough!

Some cracking species were netted before the lights were turned on, Bucculatrix bechsteinella (only my second ever), Elachista biatomella (new to me and a rare moth in the County only having one previous record), a shiney green moth which is either Eulamprotes unicolorella or Scythris fallacella (The latter would be a great record) and Lobesia littoralis (another new moth to me).

I joked to Trevor that we may as well pack up now after the successful half an hour of sweeping!

Other good moths that later came to the lights were Wood Carpet, Netted Pug, Anania fuscalis, Alder Moth, Marbled Coronet and Satyr Pug.

The best moth for me if correct would be Syncopacma sangiella, Graeme will look at it and if it is it will be a County first record.

It was also very pleasing to see that Anania fuscalis is still hanging on there after re-discovering it 181 years later in 2015.

Still reeling from seeing so many moths and I hope to be back in a few weeks.
Catch Report - 25/05/17 - Hexton Chalk Pit - North-west Herts - 5 traps in total - 2x 125w MV Robinson Trap 1x 160w MBT Robinson Trap 1x 40w Actinic + 15w LED Trap 1x 80w Actinic Trap
97 species

Macro Moths

2x Alder Moth

10x Brimstone Moth

1x Broken-barred Carpet

5x Brown Rustic

2x Burnished Brass

3x Clouded Border

3x Clouded Silver

15x Common Carpet

4x Common Marbled Carpet

5x Common Pug

40+ Common Swift

2x Fern

1x Figure of Eighty

1x Flame

15x Flame Shoulder

4x Freyer's Pug

30+ Grass Rivulet

20+ Green Carpet

1x Green Pug

1x Green Silver-lines

5x Grey Pug

12x Ingrailed Clay

5x Large Nutmeg

5x Latticed Heath

10x Light Brocade

20x Light Emerald

1x Lime-speck Pug

1x Marbled Coronet

10x Marbled Minor

3x Marbled White-spot

1x Middle-barred Minor

18x Mottled Pug

1x Mottled Rustic

3x Netted Pug

1x Nutmeg

5x Orange Footman

2x Pale Oak Beauty

1x Pale Prominent

15x Pale Tussock

1x Pebble Hook-tip

3x Peppered Moth

2x Pug id (to be gen det)

5x Purple Bar

1x Red-green Carpet

2x Red Twin-spot Carpet

5x Rustic Shoulder-knot

5x Satyr Pug

2x Scorched Wing

5x Setaceous Hebrew Character

50+ Shaded Pug

3x Shears

2x Shuttle-shaped Dart

3x Silver-ground Carpet

1x Small Phoenix

1x Small Purple-barred

8x Small Square-spot

5x Small Waved Umber

5x Straw Dot

1x Tawny Marbled Minor

1x Treble-bar

30+ Treble Lines

4x Waved Umber

5x White Ermine

1x White Pinion-spotted

2x White-spotted Pug

1x Willow Beauty

5x Wood Carpet

2x Yellow-barred Brindle
Micro Moths

1x Agapeta hamana
1x Agonopterix arenella
2x Anania fuscalis
1x Bucculatrix bechsteinella
1x Caloptilia robustella/alchimiella
200+ Cochylimorpha straminea
1x Cochylis hybridella
2x Crambus lathoniellus 
10x Elachista argentella
1x Elachista biatomella [NEW!]
1x Epinotia subocellana
2x Endrosis sarcitrella
2x Eudonia pallida 
2x Eulamprotes unicolorella or Scythris fallacella (to be gen det)
2x Eupoecilia angustana 
1x Lobesia littoralis [NEW!]
1x Mompha epilobiella
1x Monopis weaverella 
1x Nematopogon swammerdamella
3x Notocelia cynosbatella
5x Notocelia trimaculana 
15x Scoparia ambigualis 
30+ Scoparia pyralella
1x Syncopacma sangiella pos [NEW!] (to be gen det)
2x Syndemis musculana
1x Tinea semifulvella
1x Tortrix id

Eulamprotes unicolorella or Scythris fallacella

Anania fuscalis

Bucculatrix bechsteinella

Elachista biatomella

Lobesia littoralis

Marbled Coronet

Netted Pug

Shaded Pug

Satyr Pug

Tort to be gen det

Wood Carpet

Pos Syncopacma sangiella to be gen det

Saturday, 27 May 2017

A huge catch headed by a new for County!

Well I thought Tuesday night was good for moth numbers...the next night on Wednesday blew that one out of the water completely! With no less than 44 species recorded and 16 new for the year species and one new for me and the garden.

The weather was warm again and up to 26 degrees in the daytime and not dropping below 16 degrees here in North Herts despite another clear night.

Something special that caught my eye was sitting on the top egg tray underneath the collar of the trap. It was a Pammene and I instantly said to myself 'flipping ell that's trauniana' having recently seen someone else catch one on social media. The moth was whisked over to Graeme for a second opinion and dissection just to be sure, it is indeed Pammene trauniana and new to the County of Hertfordshire!
Two rare Pammene's in just over a week (after last Tuesday's Pammene ignorata) is incredible and i'll be happy with this being my best moth of 2017 for the garden.

We do have a few small Field Maple trees about 400 metres from our house of which this moth feeds upon. 

Other bits of interest were a great big fat female Pale Tussock, the first time i've recorded a female in my garden trap and uncommon species for my garden such as Scorched Wing and
Teleiodes luculella.

Catch Report - 24/05/17 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

1x Brown Rustic [NFY] 
2x Common Wainscot [NFY]
1x Green Pug [NFY]
1x Ingrailed Clay [NFY] 
1x Peppered Moth [NFY]
1x Willow Beauty [NFY]
1x Scorched Wing [NFY]
1x Snout [NFY]
1x Tawny Marbled Minor [NFY] 
1x Bright-line Brown-eye
5x Common Marbled Carpet
3x Common Pug
1`x Common Swift
4x Flame Shoulder 
1x Garden Carpet
1x Green Carpet
6x Heart & Dart
3x Large Nutmeg
1x Light Emerald
1x Maiden's Blush
3x Mottled Pug
2x Orange Footman 
1x Pale Mottled Willow
2x Pale Tussock
5x Rustic Shoulder-knot
1x Setaceous Hebrew Character
6x Shuttle-shaped Dart
1x Vine's Rustic
1x Waved Umber

Micro Moths

1x Pammene trauniana [NEW!]
1x Cydia pomonella [NFY]
1x Eudonia pallida [NFY] 
1x Evergestis forficalis [NFY] 
1x Pyrausta aurata [NFY]
1x Scoparia ambigualis [NFY]
1x Stigmella sp (prob aurella) [NFY]
1x Teleiodes luculella [NFY]
3x Celypha lacunana
15x Epiphyas postvittana
2x Eulia ministrana
1x Nematopogon swammerdamella 
1x Notocelia cynosbatella
1x Plutella xylostella
1x Syndemis musculana

Green Pug

Pammene trauniana

Pale Tussock

Ingrailed Clay

Eudonia pallida

Teleiodes luculella

Cydia pomonella

Brown Rustic

Pyrausta aurata

Things just get better and better

After Monday night's successful field trip, it was back to the trusty old garden and it wasn't a bad catch at all.
Almost all of the night's recently have been clear but warm (up to 25 degrees daytime)  with no moon and with little wind, it hasn't hampered things too much at all in fact my catches are slightly above average to what I normally expect this time of year.

There was a mini explosion of Epiphyas posvittana the Australian adventive that has well and truly taken over this Country, and there's a new(ish) kid on the block that could go the same way soon. 2 year first Tachystola acroxantha, a regular Aussie in my garden now.

Syndemis musculana also reappeared after a year's absence. 

Another 9 new for year's was most welcome!

Catch Report - 23/05/17 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

1x Large Nutmeg [NFY]
2x Marbled Minor [NFY]
1x Small Waved Umber [NFY]
1x Yellow-barred Brindle [NFY] 
1x Brimstone Moth
3x Common Marbled Carpet
1x Flame Shoulder
2x Garden Carpet 
1x Heart & Dart
1x Mottled Pug
1x Orange Footman
1x Pale Tussock
4x Rustic Shoulder-knot
3x Shuttle-shaped Dart

Micro Moths

1x Blastobasis lacticolella [NFY]
1x Endrosis sarcitrella [NFY]
1x Eulia ministrana [NFY]
1x Syndemis musculana [NFY]
2x Tachystola acroxantha [NFY]
1x Alucita hexadactyla
1x Caloptilia robustella/alchimiella
14x Epiphyas postvittana
1x Notocelia cynosbatella

Eulia ministrana

Large Nutmeg

Marbled Minor