Sunday, 28 May 2017

New house moth trapping

We decided to put the moth trap out for the first time since we moved, so we could see what was lurking out there in our new garden. I was slightly worried about upsetting our new neighbours (as it lights the garden up like an airport runway!), so we put it at the end of the garden, behind the shed, in a corner surrounded by fence. It would probably be better in the middle of the lawn, but I'm not sure how the neighbours would react to that. Anyway, there's a big field behind the fence, so it could be quite a good place for it.

Friday was roasting hot and the night time temperature was 'steamy', so we set the trap up and went to bed. In the morning, we checked the trap and immediately noticed some great moths sat on the fence around it. Perhaps its location was a good choice after all. Lots of moths are attracted to the light, but won't actually go into the trap, so they were hanging around on the fence.

Swallow prominent

peppered moth

Puss moth

Pale tussock
There were some lovely hairy legs amongst the moths we caught!

The hairy face and legs of a puss moth
Our totals for Friday night were 1 puss moth, 4 pale tussocks, 1 swallow prominent, 1 peppered moth, 1 clouded-bordered brindle, 1 common marbled carpet, 8 heart and darts, 14 common swifts plus one dark form common swift, 1 flame shoulder, 14 treble lines, 1 shuttle-shaped dart and 1 setaceous Hebrew character.

Saturday was cooler and very breezy, but we put the trap out again. It turned out to be a better night for the moths and the highlight was a poplar hawkmoth.  It's always great to catch a hawkmoth ... they're the moth trapping stars. The poplar hawkmoth holds it's wings at a very unusual angle, has a big, fuzzy face and turns its body up. They're very cool moths!

The fence was a good place to look again, as we found 3 pale tussocks (plus another 4 in the trap), 2 buff tips (that look just like a broken twig) and 2 sycamores. All beautifully camouflaged, in their own ways.
Pale tussock, with very hairy legs

Buff tip, pretending to be a twig

The trap had even more moths than the night before, including a pretty white ermine.

White ermine
Our totals for Saturday night were 1 poplar hawkmoth, 2 buff tips, 2 sycamores, 7 pale tussocks, 2 buff ermines, 1 peppered moth, 1 green carpet, 15 heart and darts, 21 common swifts plus one dark form common swift, 1 flame shoulder, 9 treble lines, 1 shuttle-shaped dart, 1 common wainscot, 1 marbled minor, 1 white ermine and 1 magpie moth.

It's going to rain tonight, so we won't put the trap out, but we will definitely put it out again soon for 30 Days Wild.


  1. Gorgeous collection of moths! They're so beautiful <3

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