Saturday, July 14, 2007

Moth trapping

Last night we had our inaugural moth-trapping session in the garden. Expert mothologists [I just made that word up] Mark 'Wardy' Ward and John 'John Day' Day came round with a moth trap and, after a fine meal at the pub, we set it up and waited to see what would come in.

There was a lot of this - standing around, trying not to get blinded by the mercury vapour bulb

The moth trap is just a box with a bright lightbulb in it. Moths are attracted to the light, of course, and then take shelter in the empty eggboxes which you put inside. Either that, or they bomb around in a kamikaze fashion.

It started drizzling, so we had to pack up the trap (the bulb might have exploded). We IDd most of the moths there and then, and let them go, but kept a few back for photography in the morning. The pretty/interesting ones spent the night in pots in the fridge before release.

Lime Hawk-moth. Not the prettiest picture, but you get an idea of scale

Poplar Hawk-moth. Not as pretty as the Lime, but a mighty impressive beast

Other moths were smaller but it's not all about size...

Scarce Silver-lines. Described as 'local', this got John and Mark excited...

Swallow-tailed Moth

Peppered Moth (camouflaged to blend in with lichen)

Peach Blossom

Small Magpie

The Drinker

Darren accidentally snorted a small insect

Here's an alphabetical list of what we caught:
  • Brimstone
  • Buff Arches
  • Burnished Brass
  • Clouded Border
  • Clouded Silver
  • Common Carpet
  • Common Footman
  • Common Rustic
  • Common Wainscot
  • Dot Moth
  • Double Square-spot
  • Drinker, The
  • Flame Shoulder
  • grass moth sp.
  • Large Yellow Underwing
  • Lime Hawkmoth
  • Mother of Pearl
  • Pale Prominent
  • Peach Blossom
  • Poplar Grey
  • Poplar Hawkmoth
  • Pyrausta sp.
  • Riband Wave
  • Scarce Silver-lines
  • Small Magpie
  • Snout, The
  • Swallow-tailed Moth
  • Uncertain, The
  • Wax Moth
  • Yellow Shell
Visit UK Moths for more information about all the species

photos taken with Nikon Coolpix 995

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