Friday 10 August 2012

Moths and more Moths 10 August 2012

It was such a nice night that I could not resist giving it another go despite my Robinson moth trap having an apparent irresistible attraction for low flying helicopters. Believe it or not they were back last night at exactly the same time. Maybe I should call up Brize and tell them when I have put the kettle on. This time I put the trap in a new location beside the mellow cotswold stone walls of our house. Next morning bright and early I was up and found myself confronted with a mega haul of moths that had been attracted into the trap plus many others nearby, superbly camouflaged against the walls of the house. Many of the moths I had never seen before. Nothing particularly unusual apart from the Black Arches which is said to be 'local' and to my mind is a very attractive moth. And don't you just love the names? There is something really quaint and old fashioned, almost Victorian about their names redolent of eccentric vicars and 'spinsters of this parish' very much in sharp contrast to the scientific and to my mind almost soul-less approach today. I wonder if I will ever encounter a  Green Silver-Spangled Shark or perhaps in homage to my Scots upbringing I should go in search of a Rannoch Sprawler? Although come to think of it that would also be a good pseudonym for a few of the opposite sex I met up with in the Highlands on a Friday night, in my youth! 

                                   Here is a selection of the best moths from last night.

                                                              Dark Arches

                                                         Nut Tree Tussock

                                                              Black Arches

                                                          Swallow Prominent

                                                               Flame Shoulder

                                                            Sallow Kitten

                                                             Purple Thorn

                                                            Brimstone Moth 
                       not so well camouflaged against the wall but this was the exception

I must have caught over 50 moths last night. By far the most numerous was Lesser Broad bordered Yellow Underwing.  Being a novice it takes an age to identify many of the moths courtesy of the Field Guide to the Moths of Great Britain and Ireland superbly illustrated by Richard Lewington but I am slowly getting there. Micro moths seem to be for the hardcore. I don't think I will be going there!

Species caught last night were: Large Yellow Underwing; Lesser Broad bordered Yellow Underwing; Dark Arches; Black Arches; Purple Thorn; Common Wainscot; Poplar Hawk Moth; Swallow Prominent; Nut Tree Tussock; Large Twin Spot Carpet; Sallow Kitten; Marbled Beauty; Mottled Rustic; Brimstone Moth; Willow Beauty; Flame Shoulder; Iron Prominent; Dusky Sallow; Autumnal Rustic; Riband Wave and last but by no means least V Pug. No - that really is its name!


  1. If you do finally catch up with a Rannoch Sprawler an introduction would be appreciated.