We were recently lucky enough to have a moth trap set up on site as part of a local survey.

The trap was installed in the evening with the light left on overnight. Now this isn’t a subject that we are even faintly familiar with and so were expecting to see maybe 10 – 12 different types of dull-looking moths. HOW WRONG COULD WE HAVE BEEN !!

First shock was the sheer number of moths in and on the egg box sections inside the trap. There was a huge number and on closer inspection the range of colours and patterns was incredible. The range of sizes was also surprising as they ranged from micro up to some extremely impressive sizes.

Now to anyone into moths the interest may be in species and sizes completely different to the ones that got our attention but for all that came to the reveal the Elephant and Poplar Hawk moths were the stars of the show.

In total there were 36 different types of moth identified with at least as many in the micro class and so left unidentified. With us wanting to get them identified and released as quickly as possible we couldn’t spend too much time looking a them all so we kept it to the bigger ones that had the most impact. Those identified were:

The Drinker Buff Arches * Oak Hook Tip
Small Emerald Brimstone Moth Chinese Character
Scalloped Oak Clouded Border Lunar Thorn
Light Emerald Elephant Hawk Moth Poplar Hawk Moth
Buff Tip Pale Prominent Yellow Tail *
Black Arches Rosy Footman * Common Footman *
Buff Footman Ruby Tiger Buff Ermine
Heart & Dart * Large Yellow Underwing * Double Squarespot *
The Dot Striped Wainscott Southern Wainscott
Common Wainscott Grey Dagger Dark Arches
Double Lobed Setaceous Hebrew Character * Small Phoenix
The Sycamore The Spectacle Mother of Pearl

* more than 10 present

moths for post



Thanks go to Tim Hooker for setting this up and for taking the time to explain the features and habitats of the moths to everyone there and for going through a very time consuming identification process. We hope to be able to do this again later in the season to see if there are any different types present.