Thursday 11 August 2022

Five New Moths!

I haven't been mothing as frequently as usual this summer, but some nights have just been too perfect to miss out on.  I've even had two traps out on a couple of nights...

My super reliable Robinson in Mum and Dad's back garden

My less reliable wooden Skinner trap, which is a bit of faff to set up. And that is why it only comes out on the very best looking nights.

And although this is probably the least mothing I have done in any year since starting out, I have trapped five new species of macro moths for the garden.  Not an easy feat after 13 years of trapping here!

During the night of 18th/19th July, 439 macro moths in the traps included these firsts...

Double Lobed - usually found in marshy habitat

Cream-bordered Green Pea - another marsh-loving moth 

False Mocha - a rapidly declining species which is now rare in Devon

And last night gave two more garden firsts...

Cosmopolitan - an immigrant that arrives in varying numbers year to year

A glimpse of the Cosmopolitan's gleaming white underwing

Tree-lichen Beauty - formally a rarity but now breeds in the UK. A cracking little moth!

The species mix really has changed now we move into mid August. Hawkmoth numbers are dropping right off, and had my first Setaceous Hebrew Characters last night among good numbers of Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwings and record numbers of Jersey Tigers (26!).  

The mothing season moves fast - which really adds to the excitement of this hobby!