Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Deep-brown Dart.......29/09

A decent variety, with 37 of 14 species recorded. This Deep-brown Dart is only a 3rd record for the garden.
  • SS Dart 9
  • Lunar U 6
  • LYU 4
  • Black Rustic 4
  • Willow Beauty 4
  • Mallow 2
  • SHebrewC
  • Pale M Willow
  • Deep-b Dart
  • Less. YU
  • Barred Sallow
  • Blair's S-k
  • Rustic/Uncertain
  • Beaded Chestnut

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Trappings for 28/09

In the trap last night was the 3rd record of a Rosy Rustic, the highlight among 21 moths of 11 species. The whole count was-
  • Lunar U 7
  • Willow Beauty 2
  • LYU 2
  • Less. YU 2
  • Black Rustic
  • Rosy Rustic
  • Beaded Chestnut
  • Barred Sallow- 3rd Record
  • Garden Carpet
  • Common M Carpet
  • Light Emerald

Trappings for 27/09

  • Blair's Shoulder-knot 2
  • Willow Beauty 2
  • LYU 4
  • Lunar U 9
  • SS Dart 2
  • Mallow- see photo HERE
  • Less. YU
  • Black Rustic
  • Common Marbled Carpet

Pale Tussock

Not yet a moth, but this is a new species for the garden. Found by Louie underneath the trampoline!

Monday, September 28, 2009

The end of the Vapour trail?.............

This is the sinister end of our much loved Vapourer female. She didn't have a chance as a Garden Orb Spider made a nocturnal raid.

The spider continues to wrap the helpless moth and carries her up to the upper most branches of the Rosemary bush, leaving the eggs unattended. Will they survive? Only time will tell............

In the morning all that is left is the shrivelled remains of the moth and a
larger spider!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Vapour trail update..........

First the male Vapourer, flying by day finds the female in her ready made nursery......

........After mating the female remains and begins to lay eggs. This is all taking place in a Rosemary bush on the patio just a few metres from the moth trap!

To be continued.........

You're Barred!.....25/09/2009

This superb Barred Sallow was the highlight of the night's trappings. It is only the second record to date, see another photo HERE. The full count is as follows-
  • Lunar Underwing 9
  • Willow Beauty 3
  • Square spot Rustic 2
  • Garden Carpet 2
  • LYU 2
  • Common Marbled Carpet
  • SS Dart
  • Light Emerald
  • Beaded Chestnut
  • Barred Sallow
  • Less. YU
  • Silver Y

Friday, September 25, 2009

A decent haul...............24/09/2009

An interesting evening. Quantity was down but quality up, with 2 more new for the trap. The Large Wainscot (above) is usually an inhabitant or reed beds or marshes. I think I owe this new one to Broom GPs just 1/2 mile away. Centre right is the Beaded Chestnut, found in the trap among many very similar Lunar Underwing. Although not new, it is the 1st photo I have managed to get. Bottom right is the rare immigrant Dark Sword-grass found for the 1st time under the egg boxes- very unexpected, another great find! I have now been trapping for just under 3 months and have recorded over 80 species of macro moth. Not bad for a village back garden! Also-

  • Shuttle shaped Dart
  • Pale Mottled Willow
  • Willow Beauty
  • Black Rustic

Vapour trail

This female Vapourer came walking along the patio today. They are flightless and spend most of their time tending to eggs. This one appeared to be a bit lost!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Common Marbled Carpet- 23/09/2009

Pictured are 2 of the distinct forms. These are regular visitors to the trap and are often found resting on top rather than in it. I have now recorded 6 Carpet species in and around the trap. Other moths included-

  • Beaded Chestnut- new for the garden, but gone before photo!!
  • Blair's Shoulder-knot
  • Black Rustic
  • Flounced Rustic
  • Square spot Rustic
  • Lunar Underwing
  • Pale Mottled Willow
  • Willow Beauty

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Common Wainscot- 22/09/2009

This was 1 of 2 found in the trap. Also a smattering of other goodies. The highlight being 3 Blair's Shoulder-knot, click HERE for a photo.

Though the count was generally down due to blustery conditions.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Pale Pinion- 21/09/2009

This Lithophane hepaticatha was found hiding next to the trap. It is described as 'Scarce' in Bedfordshire VC30 and is a 1st for the Garden.
Other moths trapped-
  • Deep-brown Dart
  • Willow Beauty
  • Pale Mottled Willow
  • Common Wainscot
  • Lunar Underwing
  • Large Yellow Underwing
  • Lesser Yellow Underwing
  • Flounced Rustic
  • Black Rustic
  • Shuttle Shaped Dart
  • Garden Carpet

Monday, September 21, 2009


This is a pale phase Sallow. The highlight of the night's trapping. 41 of 15 species including-
  • Lunar U 17
  • Willow Beauty 5
  • LYU 4
  • Black Rustic 2
  • SS Dart 2
  • Garden Carpet 2
  • Gold Fringe
  • Brimstone
  • Sallow
  • Flounced Rustic
  • Pale Mottled Willow
  • Turnip Moth
  • SHebrewC
  • Rustic sp.
  • Deep-brown Dart

The Lunar Module

This is the extremely variable Lunar Underwing in 4 different phases. The one to the top right is the 1st ultra pale caught in the trap on 20th Sept.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

National Moth Night 2- 19/09/2009

The best night of late, with 63 moths of 18 species. This Spruce Carpet was on top of the trap along with another darker form specimen.
  • Lunar U- 14 with all 3 phases represented
  • LYU- 8
  • Pale mottled Willow- 4
  • Black Rustic- 4
  • Lesser YU- 3
  • Garden Carpet- 3
  • S S Dart- 3
  • Spruce Carpet- 2
  • Willow Beauty- 2
  • SHebrewC- 2
  • Flounced Rustic- 1
  • Light Emerald- 1
  • Centre-barred Sallow- 1
  • Least Carpet- 1
  • BBYU- 1
  • Rosy Rustic- 1
  • Brimstone- 1
  • Mallow- 1

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Orange Swift

This is a male and seems to be an early evening flyer. They turn up in the trap infrequently but are fairly common.

National Moth Night- 18/09/2009

A really good night, barely any wind and fairly warm. 43 moths of 13 species-
  • Lunar Underwing 13
  • Large Yellow Underwing 7
  • Willow Beauty 5 (see photo above)
  • Shuttle Shaped Dart 4
  • Setaceous Hebrew Character 3
  • Lesser Yellow Underwing 2
  • Common Wainscot 2
  • Black Rustic 2
  • Flounced Rustic 1
  • Rustic 1
  • Mallow 1
  • Light Emerald 1
  • Least Carpet 1

Friday, September 18, 2009


A bigger variety on a still night. 26 of 16 species recorded. All new for the trap were; Broard-bordered Yellow Underwing, Deep-brown Dart (top left) and Spruce Carpet (top Right).
  • BBYU 2
  • LYU 5
  • Lunar U 4
  • Lesser YU 2
  • SHebrewC 2
  • Common Wainscot 1
  • Sallow 1
  • Black Rustic 1
  • Common Marbled Carpet 1
  • Spruce Carpet 1
  • Deep-brown Dart 1
  • SS Dart 1
  • Orange Swift 1
  • Willow Beauty 1
  • Pale Mottled Willow 1
  • Vapourer- flying during the day but gone before a photo!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Trap results for 16/09/2009

A slightly better evening with 26 moths of 13 species. Including 2 new ones, Least Carpet (top) and Mallow (centre right). Also pictures are Silver Y and Sallow (bottom right).

SS Dart 3
SS Rustic 3
Willow Beauty 2
SH Character 2
Rustic Sp. 2
Common Wainscot 1
Silver Y 1
Sallow 1
Mallow 1
Lunar U 1
Lesser YU 1

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Results for 15/09/2009

With a very windy night, the count was fairly low. But we still managed 2 new ones for the trap.
Black Rustic (right) and a Blair's Shoulder-knot.
  • Large Yellow Underwing 6
  • Lesser Yellow Underwing 1
  • Lunar Underwing 4
  • Shuttle shaped Dart 2
  • Silver Y 1
  • Flounced Rustic 1
  • Square spot Rustic 1
  • Setaceous Hebrew Character 1
  • Willow Beauty 1
  • Pale Mottled Willow
  • + a few unidentified Micro Moths- It's a steep learning curve!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

End of the line

This is a very tatty looking Blood-vein. Most of the crimson to the rear edges of the wings has been worn away.

Little Brown Jobs

Left: Dark Arches- This was photographed uder the porch.

Right: Heart & Dart- Another one for the trap and the only record so far.

Nut-tree Tussock

Great name and totally inappropriate-
There's no nut trees within miles of my trap!

The Trap!

And this is it! A very modest invention made out of an old drawer. Under the hinged lid is an area full of egg boxes. The lid is simply lifted and the two perspex sheets can be retracted. I use a 350mm, 15 watt 'black light' which is just an actinic 350BL fluorescent tube run from an extension lead. I am currently working on other designs including different MV options and a 'travel' version.

2 phases of the Moon

The Lunar Underwing is a September specialty with 4 in the trap in one go on the 6th!These shots show 2 of the 3 different phases very clearly.

One Sallow doesn't make a Summer................

..............But 2 do!

Top: Orange Sallow
Bottom: Centre-barred Sallow

Poplar Hawk Moth

The largest moth to date. One of 2 found perched near the trap..........probably too big to fit in it!

All the small things........

Top: Garden Carpet, a very common visitor
Middle: Gold Fringe, actually a micro moth
Bottom: Yellow-barred Brindle, I's green!
So called because when they 1st hatch, they are actually yellow.

The Vapourer

You wouldn't find anything weirder in a Sci-fi film. I have yet to see a Vapourer moth, but have had the caterpillars on several occasions.