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My homebuild moth traps, and what i have been catching in them so far (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
Hi ladies and gentlemen, I am a Norwegian (sorry for my poor english) birder that got interested in moths this summer, and in August I started to build and use two moth traps (and are continously working on making them even better), and I am also working on a "full size" Robinson type trap to use next season. My traps are made of things I already had in the garage, apart from funnels- and some of the light bulbs that I use.

I have been using common energy saving bulbs, and UV black-light energy saving bulbs, and this have been working quite good so far. Maybe i will upgrade to a MV system later.

I have added a few photos of my traps, maybe it can be helpful for others thinking about building a trap too. I found some ideas to use in my building from here in this forum, and it is the least i can do to give some of my ideas and results back to You people. Any comments and ideas to further improvements are welcome!

Here is a (not complete) list of species i have been catching in my traps here at my homeplace; a small farm in the countryside in the middle part of southern Norway, 720 m over sea level. Since 21/8-07 (but the last week have been terrible for mothing with many nights with full moon and temperatures below zero). As far as i have been able to ID:

Oligia strigilis- Marbeled minor
Amphipoea crinanensis- Crinan Ear
Xanthia icteritia- Sallow
Xanthia togata- Pink-barred sallow
Crypsedra gemmea- Cameo
Eurois occulta- Great brocade
Crocallis elinguaria- Scalloped oak
Noctua pronuba- Large yellow underwing
Anaplectoides prasina- Green arches
Tholera cespitis- Hedge rustic
Cerapteryx graminis- Antler moth
Syngrapha interrogationis- Scarce silver Y
Autographa pulchrina- Beautiful golden Y
Enargia paleacea- Angle-striped sallow
Xestia sexstrigata- Six-striped rustic
Amphipoea crinanensis- Crinan ear
Autographa gamma- Silver Y
Standfussiana lucernea- Northern rustic
Mythimna conigera- Brown-line bright-eye
Hypena proboscidalis- Snout
Hada plebeja- Shears
Antitype chi- Grey chi
Euxoa nigricans- Garden dart
Epione vespertaria- Dark bordered beauty
Lithomoia solidaginis- Golden-rod brindle
Xestia baja- Dotted clay
Oligia latruncula- Tawny marbled minor
Amphipoea oculea- Ear moth
Amphipyra tragopoginis- Mouse moth
Plemyria rubiginata- Blue-bordered carpet
Xestia rhomboidea- Square-spotted clay
Aporophyla lueneburgensis- Northern deep-brown dart
Epirrita sp- Autumnal moth
Dasypolia templi- Brindled ochre

Svein B


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I'm impressed, Svein. Your traps look good, though possibly rather vulnerable if it starts to rain? Presumably you use a circuit breaker in case of problems?
I'm not good on the scientific names but I'll try and translate some of them when I have time ;)
Thanks a lot, and You are definitely right- I need to do something about the traps to make them rainproof. I have been waiting a bit with this because I have plans to rebuild the top of my smallest trap, and make it a "mini-Robinson", and figure out a neat rain shield for them both. Today my clear acryl for a top cone arrived (another part i had to buy for this traps), and now i have finished my big Robinson type trap, and also the "mini-Robinson" is ready for a go. Now I just have to find a good way to make a rain shield for them.

I added the translation in my species list, i should have done that in the start.

I add some photos of my new trap, and the upgraded "mini-Robinson" too.

Svein B


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Thanks again. My kind neighbour gave me those nice egg-boxes, and I also think they are really nice (but now i need more of them....) :t:

This night i gave my new traps a first attempt, and with all three traps out it gave quite a good catch- in (for this time of the year) good conditions. About 200 moths in total.

Some new species (for me) turned up too:

Enargia paleacea- Angle-striped sallow
Eupsilia transversa- Satellite
Hydraecia micacea- Rosy rustic
Xestia ashworthii- Ashworth`s rustic ?? (photo nr 1)
Agrochola circellaris- Brick
Chloroclysta siterata- Red-green carpet
Euxoa recussa- (this one has been the definitely most common catch in my traps since I started, but I havent been able to ID it until now- see photo nr 2).

And since i am concentrating my work around noctuidaes as a "soft start" for me, there are lots of geometridaes, "micros" and other things that doesnt come into my list- yet.

I am not 100% on that Ashworth`s rustic, any comments on my photo is welcome.

Thanks again.


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Certainly looks like Ashworths Rustic. Nice traps by the way. You cant beat making your own traps .... I have made 4 of my 5 traps - great fun.
Hi, and thanks Paul for quick reply. One thing that makes me a bit confused is that the Ashworth`s Rustic is said to have a wingspan of 35-40mm. This one I got here has a wingspan of 30-32 mm.

And You are definitely right about building the traps, that is a great part of this hobby. I guess one of my traps (the large Robinson type) is going to get a 125w MV bulb system to use next season. But I am excited about that these low cost and easy to use energy saving bulbs works as good as they do. But they might not work so well in bright midsummer nights i guess?
I have now ID-ed that one I suspected to be a Ashworths rustic, it seems to be a Agrochola litura; Brown-spot pinion.
So my new adds to my list of catches is:

Agrochola litura- Brown-spot pinion
Apamea lateritia- Scarce brindle
Agrochola helvola- Flounced Chestnut
Brachylomia viminalis- Minor Shoulder-knot

My homebuild Robinson type trap has also got some improvements: A combined rain shield/ bulb holder, and vanes to hold this up. I also added a bulbholder for bigger lamps, and a 160W Mercury blended tungsten bulb. A few photos of this rebuild added.

The traps are going to get a go again tonight I guess


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Hi Brian, I am going to try this trap with its new rain shield for the first time tonight, so I dont know if the shield is going to shade the light. I dont think it will, the photo is taken in an angle that makes it lying a bit about how well the bulb is showing. I guess it should work well, but I know this better after using the trap for some nights. I will add my thoughts about this later when the trap has been used for some time.
After one night with this trap out, together with my other two traps wich I have used before- it does not seem like the shield is shading the light in a way that affects the catching too much. But this will take several night with traps in use to say for sure.

Anyway, this new trap with new light gave me two new species to my list too:
Poecilocampa populi- December moth
Apamea monoglypha- Dark arches

The three traps together had about 150 macros.

I add a photo of the wery handsome looking december moth, a nice guy to meet!;)


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Well done, Svein,
Your moth timing in Norway is different from here. I wouldn't expect to get December moth till November - and I haven't seen a dark arches for about a month!
Thanks a lot Ken!
I think this December moth is a early one, even here in Norway. I guess there is some differences in the timing of when different moths appear from UK to Norway, and also from the southern and lower parts of Norway- to here where I live too. I live at 720 meters over sea level, and in a bit rough climate/ landscape ( I had the first night with temperatures below zero 1/9, with minus 3 celsius). Anyway, I am a totally newbie to this- and I dont know about others with this hobby anywhere in my area either- so I dont have a clue what is "normal" here. That makes it even a bit more fun I think. ;)
Hi Svein. Do you think that rainshield might shade the light too much?

Hi again Brian, Your suggestion about the rain shield shading the light made me do a little rebuilding on the shield, and now the bulb is lowered with about 2 inches. That gives better visibility of the light, and also brings the bulb closer to the funnel- both things hopefully as a improvement to this trap.

Thanks again for good advices.


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The last two nights have been quite good for mothing, and two traps out gave about 200 moths each night. Mostly carpets, and not so many new species-
Here are the new ones that I have been able to ID:

Agriopis aurantiaria- Scarce umber
Operophtera brumata- Winter moth
Operophtera fagata- Northern winter moth
Chloroclysta miata- Autumn green carpet
Chloroclysta citerata- Dark marbled carpet
Hydriomena ruberata- Ruddy highflyer


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I guess the trap is good enough, and the cost is not too high either. For this trap the cost is about 60 GBP. And the definitely highest cost is the 1,5 mm acryl sheet for the clear cone. I bought one sheet at 1m x1,25 m, wich was enough for 3 traps, and the cost was 56 GBP.

Included in the total cost for one trap is
Bucket Ø 55cm.- 9,24 GBP
Large top funnel Ø 25cm- 9 GBP
Small funnel for drainage Ø15 cm- 2,31 GBP
Clear cone acryl 1,5 mm- (56/3) 18,7 GBP
Bulb 160W MBTF- 13.86 GBP
Bulb holder- 6,84 GBP

The rest (vanes, screws, nails, rain shield, 5m lead, mains plug) is made of things i already had in my garage, or found at the local garbage place. I made two identical of these traps for myself, and a smaller one of the same type for use with other sort of bulbs, and for use in the field- I will try to figure out a 12V system for this smaller trap too.
A clear night with temperatures just over zero did not give the big numbers in my traps tonight. But one new addition to my list, as far as i can see it is a
Lithophane consocia- Softly`s Shoulder-knot

Or are there any othere suggestions?


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Hi, and thanks a lot Brian. And thanks for reminding me about the "L" in "Softly`s". I added it now. It is far too many names to get used to, and when using both scientific , norwegian and english names- it can easily get to much for a newbie. Here in the southern part of Norway this is a quite common species in autumn and early spring. But for me its a new one.
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