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ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

April Moths (1 Viewer)

Rather to my own surprise I just discovered I've been moth trapping in my back garden since 2010, so this is my fourteenth year. The first really positive interest I took in moths was twitching a Death's Head Hawk-moth at Portland Obs (mind you that was only from Winspit where I'd been twitching my first Monarch butterfly) - it turned out they had a Convolvulus as well, which was nice. And they got them both out for us so we could photograph them (not digital then, sorry!)

I stuck to macros apart from the really big obvious micros like Mother of Pearl for years. I couldn't tell you exactly how many I've had in the garden because I haven't maintained a garden list - that's the problem with secondary hobbies, you don't hit them from the off with the same level of fanaticism as the main event, birding. One day I'll work it out. My total list is currently 389 macros and 72 micros. It's not that long since the micros pushed the total over 400 so to be approaching 400 macros now is nice.

Best garden moth is Striped Hawk-moth though it wasn't a tick because Mick Scott had shown me two on Scilly during James Andrewes's stag weekend. Mick has also shown me a couple of Death's Heads over the years and my only local Eyed Hawk-moth back when he lived in Fleet. Other good garden catches include two Dark Crimson and one Light Crimson Underwings: favourites include Merveille du Jour and various hawk-moths. Marion occasionally takes a bit of interest and has a knack of noticing Hummingbird Hawk-moths at our Red Valerian and Buddleia - her record was one evening when she casually mentioned there were eleven on the Buddleia!

For several years I've had ambitions to trap in every month and failed early, but this year I'm still on course to this point. I use a LepiLED in a plywood self-assemble box powered by a powerbank that will do a short summer night but currently requires a change just before bedtime if it's not to run out early doors. I put a selection of eggboxes in the same pattern each night and I wonder whether others do the same or just chuck them in in a heap?

I enjoy seeing everybody's records on here and comparing what they think are regulars to what I usually get - the variation between my trap and James's is quite wide, for instance!



Cheers John, always interesting to get that context.

I've had a look beyond garden moths, and my UK list currently stands at 420 (345 macros, 75 micros).

Next off reservation jaunt will be coastal Suffolk at the end of May. Watch this space.
Like you, micros are not often recorded by me, principally because I’m bias somewhat towards macros and do not possess reference for the former.
I have 3 traps… the back of the house “white wall” upon which there is a 400w halogen.
(moths get either beneath, or above the light on the wall)
“The pot” a (home made…UV clamped bulb to a parasol stem overlooking the urn.

Plus “inside” the parasol, which often attracts the moths that don’t like the UV over the urn, instead preferring to fly up into the folds of the parasol.

Not particularly interested in the numbers…just “the quality” of the visitors!
For e.g since 2004- a single Puss Moth, single Eyed-Hawk, single Crimson Speckled, Twin Gold Spot, Vestal, Sallow Kitten and never had a Grey Pine Carpet or an Emperor Moth (much to my chagrin).


Moth trapping just lends itself so well to spreadsheets that I think I'd find it almost impossible not to keep track of numbers!

Ah, Emperor Moth. Don't know if they come to light, only one I ever saw was on a family holiday to Pembrokeshire one spring back in the eighties.
I'd be interested to see photos of people's set ups if convenient as I often feel my set up isn't producing optimal numbers so might see some obvious differences v others.
And, John, I always put in the egg boxes in same way each time.
Moth trapping just lends itself so well to spreadsheets that I think I'd find it almost impossible not to keep track of numbers!

Ah, Emperor Moth. Don't know if they come to light, only one I ever saw was on a family holiday to Pembrokeshire one spring back in the eighties.

I’m afraid my spreadsheets are of the bed making kind only….🤣

I’ve only ever seen Emperor Moths once, that was whilst holidaying in Perthshire some 50 years ago.
I was climbing a hillside (early afternoon) going up to a disused railway line when I perchanced upon circa a dozen “butterflies” that I didn’t recognise!
They were absolutely stunning!
It was only when I got home a week later, that I was able to ID them as male Emp.moths after relating to a moth/fly “man” at work.
I understand females sometimes come to light early evening, thus there must have been at least one to attract the male ensemble, all those years ago.
An Emperor moth was what got me into mothing. Back in 2006 I went to a public trapping event at Insh Marshes RSPB reserve and found the whole process quite interesting. Most of the moths were fairly ordinary brownish spring moths, plain until you look more closely. There were several traps run and when the final eggbox in the final trap was turned over, there was a female Emperor Moth and I was hooked. I've not trapped one in the garden but I found a female lying on a nearby pavement a couple of years ago, so I'm hopeful. I've also seen a few whilst out locally so I know they're definitely nearby.
I started trapping midway through 2017 in a back garden on the northern outskirts of Leeds, West Yorkshire. I use a mains powered Heath trap with 20W actinic bulb. I fill it with 16 egg boxes (6-egg capacity) loaded in the same positions each night, but move the trap around the garden. I suspect I'd catch more with a MV bulb but I don't think the neighbours would be impressed. An Acleris cristana a couple of weeks back was my 500th species (I don't keep separate lists of micros and macros but the ratio I would guess at 40:60). I've managed a handful of new vice-county record and 50+ new 10k square records. I get quite jealous of some of the species that seem to be quite common for those of you based further south but which are almost mythical 'oop north'.
I also 'kick the bushes' on my local birding site and have added several species to the moth list there (which stands at just over 700, mostly caught in two traps using MV bulbs in a nearby garden).
I'm a newcomer compared to most of you - only starting trapping last September. Still using the Paul Batty LED Heath Trap (5W bulb mostly) running of a 12v rechargeable battery. Not having tried MV or Actinic I can't really compare but seem to get as many moths and as good a range as a moth'er who runs a mains actinic trap 5 mins walk from me. Egg boxes get chucked in randomly and are often partially torn up from attempts to persuade recalcitrant moths to vacate. No idea whether a more methodical arrangement would be better... Only run the trap with a rain shield so far - maybe trying without is an idea in safer weather.

I'm not really a lister (although to record on innaturalist so could look up species) - off my head though I think I'm about 150 species so far. Live in North-East Kent on town fringes with rear garden backing on to hedgerow then fields and saltmarsh.
Double check your crocodile clips are secure before heading indoors. Either I must have knocked the leads loose as I went indoors last night or the battery bag was knocked by nocturnal wildlife. No light and empty trap this morning...
A delightful trap this morning (no micros for a start!) with some of my favourite moths pristine and ready for photography.

Two each of Oak-tree Pug (actually I didn't photograph those, too keen to get on to the main events) and two Brindled Beauties were overshadowed by NFY Chestnut, Angle Shades, Great Prominent and Nut-tree Tussock. Singles of Early Grey and Small Quaker rounded matters up apart from one Geometrid currently sitting with its wings up in the fridge awaiting identification.

A nice way to start the day.

Just a small selection from the traps at my local nature reserve in Maple Cross , Herts .Least Black Arches, Muslin Moth , Swallow Prominent , Esperia sulphurella and Nut-tree Tussock . Also 5 Lunar Marbled Brown , 7 Brindled Beauties and a few micros that flew .


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A good night for me:

20 Brimstone, 4 Early Grey,3 Hebrew Character, 3 Double Striped Pug, 2 Common Quaker, 2 LBAM, 2 Brindled Pug, 2 Muslin Moth, 1 Rudy Streak, 1 Streamer, 1 Waved Umber, 1 Yellow-barred Brindle, 1 Powdered Quaker and a Dewick's Plusia - several firsts for meIMG_20240414_102823_MP.jpgIMG_20240414_101805_MP~2.jpgIMG_20240414_095902_MP.jpgIMG_20240414_095044_MP.jpgIMG_20240414_094239_MP.jpg


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