Hello and welcome to my moth Blog. I now reside in a small village in East Cambridgeshire called Fordham. My Blog's aim is to promote and encourage others to participate in the wonderful hobby that is Moth-trapping.
Moth records are vital for building a picture of our ecosystem around us, as they really are the bottom of the food chain. They are an excellent early indicator of how healthy a habitat is. I openly encourage people to share their findings via social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.
So why do we do it? well for some people it is to get an insight into the world of Moths, for others it is to build a list of species much like 'Twitching' in the Bird world. The reason I do it....you just never know what you might find when you open up that trap! I hope to show what different species inhabit Cambridgeshire and neighbouring counties.
On this Blog you will find up-to-date records and pictures.
I run a trap regularly in my garden and also enjoy doing field trips to various localities over several different counties.
Please also check out the links in the sidebar to the right for other people's Blogs and informative Websites.
Thanks for looking and happy Mothing!


NFY = New Species For The Year
NFG = New Species For The Garden
NEW! = New Species For My Records

Any Species highlighted in RED signifies a totally new species for my records.

If you have any questions or enquiries then please feel free to email me
Contact Email : bensale@rocketmail.com

My Latest Notables and Rarities

Monday 13 November 2023

Two new garden species confirmed from mines

On Sunday I popped out in the garden to check the various small shrubs and trees for mines. I have a nice sized Field Maple bush, a Rose and saplings of Oak, White Poplar, Beech and Hawthorn.

I was very pleased to find several mines on both the Field Maple and Hawthorn (Bearing in mind the Hawthorn is but a twig, with only 40 or so leaves actually on it!). 

I posted the photo over to Leonard Cooper whom is far more knowledgeable on mines than I am, and he instantly confirmed Parornix anglicella on the Hawthorn and Stigmella aceris on the Field Maple, excellent!

 I've retained a bunch of box of the mines in a sealed container to see if they hatch out next spring.

 I also ran the trap last night and there were 10 moths of 7 species, better than nowt.
A rather smart dark-lined Mottled Umber was kept for a photo. 

Moth garden list for 2023 stands at 641 species
12/11/23 - Back Garden - Fordham - East Cambridgeshire - Actinic Trap

Micro Moths
Parornix anglicella 1 [NFG]
Stigmella aceris 1 [NFG]

Parornix anglicella

Parornix anglicella

Stigmella aceris

Stigmella aceris

Monday 6 November 2023

A very quiet November so far

In fact, so quiet that my last decent haul was last Tuesday on the last day of October!

Since then it's been meagre pickings of 4 or 5 moths on the better weather nights. I haven't bothered for a few nights now as the temperature isn't great.

This week isn't looking that inspiring eiter, maybe i'll try tomorrow night on the off chance of a Dcember Moth or Black-spotted Chestnut.

Moth garden list for 2023 stands at 639 species
31/10/23 - Back Garden - Fordham - East Cambridgeshire - Actinic Trap

Macro Moths

Mottled Umber 2 [NFY]
Black Rustic 2
Feathered Thorn 1
Green-brindled Crescent 1
Lesser Yellow Underwing 1
November Moth 2
Micro Moths
Blastobasis lacticolella 1
Udea ferrugalis 1 


Tuesday 31 October 2023

One TALONted moth

Well it's halloween and all that, not that I really truly understand the shenanigans entirely.
The latest species for the year on Saturday night was certainly very fitting for the time of the year, a spooky Sprawler, the only moth in the UK to sport two sharp talons on each front leg.

Interestingly and rather stupidly? The genus name was changed from Brachionycha to Asteroscopus. Brachionycha means Arm Claw and is a fitting genus name!
A bit wet and wild now, not many opportunities for trapping sadly. 

Moth garden list for 2023 stands at 638 species
28/10/23 - Back Garden - Fordham - East Cambridgeshire - Actinic Trap

Macro Moths

Sprawler 1 [NFY]


Saturday 28 October 2023

More great moths from Monday night but a little cold and chilly now

It's been a quiet week here in my garden.
With night-time temperatures dipping to 5 degrees and clear misty and damp nights there's only been around 10 moths per trapping session.
On Monday however, it was fairly mild and calm and there were plenty of moths! 

58 moths of another mind-blowing 27 species, with two new macro moths for the year, a tricky Acleris that turned out to be the plainest forms of schalleriana i've ever seen.
The two new macros were a super Juniper Carpet and finally a male Autumnal Moth that was checked (After recording possibles over the last two years, but all being females and impossible to dissect).

I also found a Cypress Carpet on the wall, great to get both this and Juniper together.

It was a carpet themed night with a further 7 Red-green Carpets of various forms including a dazzling green coloured one.

Large Wainscot are still going, although numbers have tailed off now

Blood-vein was my latest ever record.
Trapping may pick up a bit as the night's get milder but as expected, wetter.

Moth garden list for 2023 stands at 637 species
23/10/23 - Back Garden - Fordham - East Cambridgeshire - Actinic Trap

Macro Moths

Autumnal Moth 1 [NFY]
Juniper Carpet 1 [NFY]
Angle Shades 1
Beaded Chestnut 2
Black Rustic 1
Blair's Shoulder-knot 1
Blood-vein 1
Chestnut 1
Cypress Carpet 1
Double-striped Pug 3
Feathered Thorn 2
Green-brindled Crescent 2
Large Wainscot 4
Lesser Yellow Underwing 1
Merveille du Jour 1
November Moth 6
Red-green Carpet 7
Satellite 1
Willow Beauty 1

Micro Moths

Acleris schalleriana 1
Agonopterix alstromeriana 1
Blastobasis lacticolella 1
Cydalima perspectalis 2
Emmelina monodactyla 3
Epiphyas postvittana 3
Eudonia angustea 1
Udea ferrugalis 8

Acleris schalleriana

Autumnal Moth



Cypress Carpet

Cypress Carpet & Juniper Carpet

Juniper Carpet

Large Wainscot

Red-green Carpet

Red-green Carpet


Thursday 26 October 2023

Another decent migrant for my inland garden

A cracking Scarce Bordered Straw was a welcome year tick here in my east Cambs garden on Friday night.
A tatty Dark Sword-grass and 2 Udea ferrugalis made up the rest of the migrants.
There were less moths about than of recent nights, so a list wasn't written down.
A second new for year species was a single November Moth, checked today. Since then I have recorded many November Moth on each subsequent night, they don't seem to mind the cooler nights i've found, I guess they are very aptly named! 

A second Chestnut of the season was also welcome, and a late Pyralis farinalis.

Moth garden list for 2023 stands at 635 species
21/10/23 - Back Garden - Fordham - East Cambridgeshire - Actinic Trap

Macro Moths

Scarce Bordered Straw 1 [NFY]
November Moth 1 [NFY]
Chestnut 1
Dark Sword-grass 1

Micro Moths

Pyralis farinalis 1


Dark Sword-grass

November Moth

Pyralis farinalis

Scarce Bordered Straw


Sunday 22 October 2023

35 species in October is rather insane!

Wow, just wow.
Never have I ever had such a good catch in October here in my garden, and late October as well.
On Thursday night I logged a heady 35 species from my single actinic trap. I worked my trap up until midnight and then rose at 6.30am to go through the trap.
It certainly was a successful migrant night as well, finally coming good, with 9 Udea ferrugalis, 2 Plutella xylostella, 1 Silver Y, 1 Delicate and best of all, two cracking Vestals, one was a bit tatty but the other was a right showstopper.

A good variety of other less common moths were present also, Buttoned Snout made it's first appearance since May, Pine Carpet was rather late and not seen since August.
Four Dark Chestnut showed the variability in this species.

There was also two species of Caloptilia present, Caloptilia elongella was a welcome new for year moth, and a beauty of a purple-sheened chocolate coloured rufipennella was nice to photograph although it would not sit still for long!
Stenoptilia bipunctidactyla was the best moth of the night, a new species for the garden. I have retained the moth just incase it turns out to be zophodactylus.

Moth garden list for 2023 stands at 633 species

19/10/23 - Back Garden - Fordham - East Cambridgeshire - Actinic Trap

Macro Moths

Vestal 2 [NFY]
Angle Shades 1
Barred Sallow 1
Beaded Chestnut 3
Blair's Shoulder-knot 1
Brindled Green 1
Buttoned Snout 1
Chestnut 1
Clancy's Rustic 1
Dark Chestnut 3
Delicate 1
Double-striped Pug 1
Feathered Thorn 1
Green-brindled Crescent 3
Large Wainscot 3
Large Yellow Underwing 2
Lesser Yellow Underwing 1
L-album Wainscot 1
Merveille du Jour 1
Pine Carpet 1
Red-green Carpet 2
Satellite 1
Setaceous Hebrew Character 2
Silver Y 1

Micro Moths

Caloptilia elongella 1 [NFY]
Stenoptilia bipunctidactyla 1 [NFG]
Agonopterix alstromeriana 2
Blastobasis lacticolella 4
Caloptilia rufipennella 1
Cydalima perspectalis 3
Emmelina monodactyla 1
Epiphyas postvittana 5
Musotima nitidalis 1
Plutella xylostella 2
Udea ferrugalis 9

Beaded Chestnut

Buttoned Snout

Caloptilia elongella

Caloptilia rufipennella

Dark Chestnut

Dark Chestnut


Endotricha flammealis

Green-brindled Crescent

Plutella xylostella

Stenoptilia bipunctidactyla

Udea ferrugalis


Tuesday 17 October 2023

Best species count on one night in my garden for the month of October

Last night, looked rather unremarkable weather-wise but there was a nice bit of activity around the trap before an early night.
Getting up this morning, it was pleasantly surprising not to be bombarded by wasps flying aimlessly around the trap and to also have enough time in the twilight to go through the trap without everything flying off.
Prior to last nights excitement, I did record a new for year Yellow-line Quaker on Friday night, the 627th species for the garden this year, such a mint example as well.

Back to last night and there were certainly a few things to be cheerful about, 3 new for year species was great, a slightly misformed Red-line Quaker, a beauty of a Caloptilia rufipennella and a new for garden Dusky-lemon Sallow, a little worse for wear but very pleasing.
That completes the Cirrhia genus trio, with Sallow, Pale-lemon Sallow and now Dusky-lemon Sallow recorded in the garden.
A great 18 species was not expected, I did swap two of my tubes to two brand new ones, though that might have been a coincidence.

Moth garden list for 2023 stands at 630 species

13/10/23 - Back Garden - Fordham - East Cambridgeshire - Actinic Trap

Macro Moths

Yellow-line Quaker 1 [NFY]

16/10/23 - Back Garden - Fordham - East Cambridgeshire - Actinic Trap

Macro Moths

Dusky-lemon Sallow 1 [NFG]
Red-line Quaker 1 [NFY]
Angle Shades 3
Beaded Chestnut 2
Deep-brown Dart 1
Green-brindled Crescent 1
Large Wainscot 3
Lesser Yellow Underwing 3
Mallow 1
Red-green Carpet 2
Setaceous Hebrew Character 1
Shuttle-shaped Dart 1
Turnip Moth 1
Vine's Rustic 1
White-point 1

Micro Moths

Caloptilia rufipennella 1 [NFY]
Agonopterix alstromeriana 1
Blastobasis lacticolella 1
Yellow-line Quaker

Caloptilia rufipennella

Dusky-lemon Sallow

Red-line Quaker

Vine's Rustic


Friday 13 October 2023

Wild weather woes

Well it's been rather changeable and still quite mild, but all that is about to change as we are looking at getting our first frosts this weekend of this side of christmas.
I haven't bothered running my trap recently as it's been too wet and windy and little has been showing in these parts. 
Here are a few highlights from the start of the week.
Best moths were a smart new for year Musotima nitidalis on the 8th, at least 8 Merveille du Jour over 3 nights and a seldom seen here, Oak Nycteoline.
Other goodies included my latest ever Bucculatrix bechsteinella and a smart Dark Chestnut (sadly, like the Oak Nycteoline, not a new addition to the 2023 list).

Tuesday and Wednesday next week might be worth a shout, we'll see.

Moth garden list for 2023 stands at 626 species

07/10/23 - Back Garden - Fordham - East Cambridgeshire - Actinic Trap

Micro Moths

Monopis weaverella 1
Ypsolopha sequella 1

08/10/23 - Back Garden - Fordham - East Cambridgeshire - Actinic Trap
Macro Moths
Merveille du Jour 1 [NFY] 

Micro Moths
Musotima nitidalis 1 [NFY]

09/10/23 - Back Garden - Fordham - East Cambridgeshire - Actinic Trap
Macro Moths
Green-brindled Crescent 1 [NFY]
Dark Chestnut 1
Merveille du Jour 3
Oak Nycteoline 1 

Micro Moths
Bucculatrix bechsteinella 1

Musotima nitidalis

Monopis weaverella

Bucculatrix bechsteinella

Dark Chestnut

Green-brindled Crescent

Merveille du Jour

Oak Nycteoline

Thursday 12 October 2023

Chippenham Fen - Field Trip - 30/09/23

The last trip out for the year was at Chippenham Fen on the last day of September, a warm and humid day of 20 degrees during the Saturday, in fact it didn't drop much below that as the night went on, with lows of a heady 17 degrees, unprecedented for nearly October.

I set up 3 traps in anticipation for a good night, but moths were rather slow to the lights and it took a few hours to start seeing the numbers I would have expected given the perfect conditions.

In fact, I found 1/3rd of my species list nectaring on a nearby large ivy bush.

By 11pm the wind had really picked up and scuppered the catch a bit, but then... what was that bright white Box-moth, surely not..YES! my first British record of Palpita vitrealis, what a stunningly delicate little moth. Slghtly smaller than the similiar Cydalima but so much more beautiful, result!

A small Large Wainscot also got the heart racing for something more unusual. Blair's Wainscot was suggested by others, but the hindwings were duly checked and nope, just a runt Large.

Some other quality moths were recorded including Acrolepia autumnitella, Brick (Which seems scarcer nowadays), Brown-spot Pinion (The form rufa-pallida), the first Merveille du Jour of the year, both forms of the Sallow and a mint Vapourer Moth which is always a treat to see.

And that was it, 2023's last field trip. I wonder what the trips out next year will yield. With a few new sites on the radar to try out, it could be an exciting year.

30/09/23 - Chippenham Fen - East Cambridgeshire - 3 traps, 125w MV Robinson Trap, 250w Clear Mercury Robinson Trap and 62w Actinic Trap

Macro Moths

Barred Sallow
Beaded Chestnut
Black Rustic
Brimstone Moth
Brindled Green
Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing
Brown-spot Pinion
Centre-barred Sallow
Clifden nonpareil
Common Marbled Carpet
Copper Underwing
Dark Chestnut
Dark Sword-grass
Deep-brown Dart
Dingy Footman
Frosted Orange
Garden Carpet
Green-brindled Crescent
Grey-pine Carpet
Large Yellow Underwing
Large Wainscot 40+
Lesser Yellow Underwing
Lunar Underwing
Lunar Yellow Underwing
Merveille du Jour
Pink-barred Sallow
Red-green Carpet
Red-line Quaker
Setaceous Hebrew Character
Silver Y
Small Wainscot
Spruce Carpet
Square-spot Rustic
Straw Dot
Turnip Moth
Vapourer Moth
Webb's Wainscot

Micro Moths

Acleris sparsana
Acrolepia autumnitella
Agonopterix arenella
Carcina quercana
Cydalima perspectalis
Emmelina monodactyla
Epinotia nisella
Epiphyas postvittana
Palpita vitrealis
Phyllonorycter messaniella
Scrobipalpa ocellatella

Acrolepia autumnitella

Beaded Chestnut


Brindled Green

Brown-spot Pinion f.rufa-pallida


Merveille du Jour

Palpita vitrealis

Phyllonorycter messaniella

Pink-barred Sallow

Red-line Quaker

Sallow f.flavescens

Small Wainscot variation

Vapourer Moth