Monday, 22 June 2015

Moths are on the up

With Saturday night being around 14 degrees and cloudy all night I thought it would be rude not to put my two new home made MV traps out to see what moths I could catch and of course ensure the traps worked!
I woke up at around 4.30 and an almighty rainstorm had just moved through the broads, the roads were absolutely drenched and I feared for the MV bulbs (even with rainguards!). I was happy to see that both lights were still in good working order so I set up the table, made a coffee and went about the identification process.

The trap in the fen was bursting with life with around 58 species in it. a lot of routine expected moths for the time of the year, but there were a few highlights;
-A whopping 11 elephant hawkmoths in 1 trap
-Rosy footmn
-Silky wainscot
-Alder Kitten
-White pinion spotted
-puss moth
-2 figure of 80
-2 Alder moth
-Cream bordered green pea
-2 Flame wainscot
-Beautiful golden Y
-Reedbed pyralid trio- schoenobius gigantella, donacaulia murcronella and chilo fragmitella
-Phiaris micana (a scarce moth in Norfolk, 2 were seen at Claxton last week too) this is a new species for me.

The woodland trap, which I was expecting to be jam packed as it is often the case that the woodland far exceeds the fen trap, was very quiet for a change. There were many less moths and only around 30 species. Some of these were new for the day though, this trap did have slightly more micros in it, which are always more of an identification challenge for me.
The list got to 73 species by the end of the mornings micro identifications, which is not bad, given that it has been a slow year so far, but still down a bit on what I would be expecting for the time of year and the trap location, very nice to see a decent selection though.
This Saturday coming is the reserve moth morning so hopefully it will be a repeat performance or better. If the weather is mild on Friday night I may put a trap in the meadows to give a third habitat trap (book up at Strumpshaw office if you wish to attend the session 8am start on Saturday)
Phiaris micana

Silky wainscot

Alder Kitten

White pinion spotted

Alder Moth

Beautiful golden Y

Beautiful golden Y

Donacaulia mucronella

Schoenobius gigantella

Chilo phragmitella

Donacaulia mucronella

Reedbed pyralid trio

attractive coleophora sp

Lathronympha stringana


  1. Well done Ben, a fantastic catch of wetland moths. Your traps look very good for homemade!

  2. Thanks Ben, was a decent catch considering the slow start to the season. The trap is certainly an improvement on the previous work trap, a very old skinner. I must admit I think I've caught the bug again, just want some more warmer nights.