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

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Big clear bulb best all round

A cracking night's mothing was had in the garden last Tuesday with 12 new for year species added to the year list and all macros as well.
Once again the clear bulb smashing the normal bulb out of the park.
Also, a running trend with my garden is that most new for year species turn up as singletons, this is relected quite strongly in this post .

Micro moths seems to be struggling in my garden this year.

I'll keep this post brief as i'm running out of time once more!

Garden species count for 2018 now upto 93.

Here is last Tuesday's new for year species.

Catch Report - 15/05/18 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 250w Clear MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

Bright-line Brown-eye 1
Common Swift 1
Coxcomb Prominent 1
Eyed Hawk-moth 1
Heart & Dart 1
Knot Grass 1
Maiden's Blush 1
Pebble Prominent 1
Peppered Moth 1
Poplar Hawk-moth 1
Spectacle 1
White-spotted Pug 1

Bright-line Brown-eye

Common Swift

Coxcomb Prominent

Eyed Hawk-moth

Heart & Dart

Knot Grass

White-spotted Pug

Poplar Hawk-moth & Eyed Hawk-moth

Maiden's Blush - Seen better days!

Peppered Moth


Things are looking up!

A day later and with warmer temperatures during the day and a few degrees warmer overnight made all the difference with 5 new ones for the year in the trap and one found by daytime the next day.

It's exciting that things are finally getting more varied and peak mothing season can't be far away now!
It was a shame that both of the Geometrids were quite worn. 

The pretty Incurvaria was a female without the combed antennae, I commonly see the males so it was nice to get the other sex and in the trap.
From memory i've never had one in the trap before.

And despite having Ash in the vicinity and even a small tree in the garden, Prays fraxinella f.ruficeps was only the second record for the garden.

Garden species count for 2018 now upto 81.

Here is last Saturday's new for year species.

Catch Report - 12/05/18 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

Common Pug 1
Garden Carpet 1
Small Waved Umber 1

Micro Moths

Adela reamurella 1 (Daytime)
Incurvaria masculella [NFG]
Prays fraxinella f.ruficeps

Common Pug

Garden Carpet

Small Waved Umber

Adela reamurella

Incurvaria masculella

Prays fraxinella f.ruficeps

Just the one new for year last Friday

Last Friday the catch was pretty poor underneath clear skies and the catch more resembled a March catch with mostly Orthosias.

Garden species count for 2018 now upto 75.

Here is last Friday's new for year species.

Catch Report - 11/05/18 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 250w Clear MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

Orange Footman 1

Orange Footman

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Adela reaumurella

Adela reaumurella, present on the same bush nearly every afternoon after work this week, mostly Females like this one. Stevenage, North Herts.

Adela reamurella

What a beauty!

Pancalia leuwenhoekella, the highlight of my mothing year so far and such a stunning little micro! Found on a walk through Chalk Grassland, not many records for Herts. Hexton Chalk Pit - 14/05/18

Pancalia leuwenhoekella

Sunday, 13 May 2018

09/05/18 - Back Garden Mothing

8 new for year species was very pleasing indeed on Wednesday night after a fairly warm day with late cloud towards the evening, the temperature held up nicely.
It was great to see arguably one of the most striking of moths, the Herald. A moth that over-winters in caves, barns and outbuildings.
Four Oak-tree Pugs were like buses and unfortunately the first Red Twin-spot Carpet of the year was found dead in the trap which is unusual.
A Parornix species will be checked at a later date.

Here is last Wednesday's new for year species.

Catch Report - 09/05/18 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 250w Clear MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

Herald 1
Muslin Moth 1
Oak-tree Pug 4
Red Twin-spot Carpet 1
Rustic Shoulder-knot 1
Yellow-barred Brindle 1

Micro Moths

Parornix sp 1 [TBC]
Syndemis musculana 1


Muslin Moth

Parornix sp

Red Twin-spot Carpet

Rustic Shoulder-knot

Syndemis musculana

Yellow-barred Brindle

Oak-tree Pug

08/05/18 - Back Garden Mothing

A better catch on Tuesday night with over 40 moths of the usual suspects and still hanging onto Orthosias here which seem to go on forever!
Three new for year species was pleasing though, Toadflax Brocade is a regular here with both broods usually turning up.
Iron Prominent isn't so common, with some years missing this species all together.

Here is last Tuesday's new for year species.

Catch Report - 08/05/18 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 250w Clear MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

Chinese Character 1
Iron Prominent 1
Toadflax Brocade 1

Toadflax Brocade

Chinese Character

Iron Prominent

07/05/18 - Back Garden Mothing

With warm weather still with us into the bank holiday, it was a scorcher with highs of 27 degrees here in North Herts.
Unfortunately clear skies meant that the temperature dropped quite a bit and the catch was meagre.
Two new for year species were found

Here is last Monday's new for year species.

Catch Report - 07/05/18 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 250w Clear MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

Brimstone Moth 2
Chocolate-tip 1


Brimstone Moth

Friday, 11 May 2018

06/05/18 - Back Garden Mothing

Last Sunday and after a really warm night, the catch wasn't great with once again...a clear night and even a full moon rising late at 4am as I went through the scraps in the trap.

Two moths were new for year though which is always pleasing, and one of my faves, the stick of wood mimic that is Pale Prominent.

Here is last Sunday's new for year species.

Catch Report - 06/05/18 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 250w Clear MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

Pale Prominent

Micro Moths

Elachista canapennella

Pale Prominent

Elachista canapennella

Daytime lure action take two

During last Saturday day-time I popped the EMP Lure out for the Emperor Moth and was rewarded with another two Emperor Moths, that makes 4 this year so far.

Lure was put out at 2:30pm and the moths arrived at 3:00pm and 3:15pm

There was also a Ruby Tiger that seemed very keen on the scent and flew straight past it into the hedge, probably chance but interesting all the same. 

This wouldn't be the first time that the lure has attracted other species, including Butterflies on occasions that were probably getting mixed signals! 

Here is a link to a quick video of the first Emperor attracted


Catch Report - 05/05/18 - Back Garden - Stevenage - Daytime

Macro Moths

Emperor Moth 2
Ruby Tiger 1

Ruby Tiger

05/05/18 - Back Garden Mothing

Last Saturday it was a little cooler at night but with a daytime high of 22c I was hopeful of at least nothing good, indeed my annual one specimen of Pine Beauty was sitting on one of the egg trays in the trap.

Here is last Saturday's new for year species.

Catch Report - 05/05/18 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 250w Clear MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

Pine Beauty
Shuttle-shaped Dart

Pine Beauty - it certainly is!

Shuttle-shaped Dart

Thursday, 10 May 2018

03/05/18 - Back Garden Mothing

From now on I will only be listing new for year species that come to my trap.

Time constraints are having an impact and I won't be able to keep up come summer.

I'm just about fitting in going through the trap and taking photographs and I am over a week behind already.

Here is last Thursday's new for year species.

Catch Report - 03/05/18 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 250w Clear MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

Angle Shades
Flame Shoulder
Waved Umber

Micro Moths

Aphomia sociella
Esperia sulphurella

Angle Shades

Aphomia sociella

Esperia sulphurella

Flame Shoulder

Waved Umber

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Beech, Birch and Rowan offspring

Here are some end results of three tenanted mines that I had collected back in October of last year from Hertford Heath and Balls Wood, just on the outskirts of the County capital Hertford.

All three I have recorded before as leaf mines which were probably un-tenanted and/or never hatched.
But only one have I ever photographed as an adult, so it was nice to add Parornix betulae and Phyllonorycter maestingella to my library of pictures.

Dates on the photos.

Parornix betulae emerged from Birch leaf - 02-04-18

Phyllonorycter maestingella emerged from Beech leaf - 29-04-18

Phyllonorycter sorbi emerged from Rowan leaf - 27-04-18

May I bring you my new trap! Testing and some moths

The start of May usually heralds a glimmer of hope that the moth season is fast approaching and it won't be long before traps will be full of moths again.
I'd been toying with the idea into getting a new bulb for my trap, initially a clear 125w Mercury Vapor.
This wasn't possible as the only ones I could find were from overseas and it is now an offence to import any Mercury Vapor bulbs into Europe as of 2008.
So basically us moth'ers have been living off European stock for as long as ten years already, and a lot of bulbs being sold on the likes ebay are used.
I got in touch with Paul Batty who came up trumps with a new clear bulb, but it was to be the 250w variety, which is extremely bright and literally unobtainable nowadays.
Paul secured a small stock of these bulbs and I look forward to trying it out from now on.

10 moths of 6 species was good for a cool and clear night...was it the bulb with better UV output that did it? Or was it just luck on a cool night where I would normally blank! Who knows.

Brindled Beauty was only the third garden record, what a lovely moth it is.

Catch Report - 01/05/18 - Back Garden - Stevenage - 1x 250w Clear MV Robinson Trap

Macro Moths

Brindled Beauty 1 [NFY]
Common Quaker 1
Lunar Marbled Brown 3
Nut-tree Tussock 3

Micro Moths

Dyseriocrania subpurpurella 1
Epermenia chaerophyllella 1

W&D larger Robinson Trap with new collar and 250w GES MV Bulb fitted

Adjusting the height of the rainguard to accommodate the large bulb

Polishing the finnel

Nut-tree Tussock

Brindled Beauty

Epermenia chaerophyllella