Welcome

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!

KEY

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 15 July 2024

A welcome variety of moths

A much better night was had last Wednesday night, with lows of 16 degrees, it was still 19 degrees at midnight when I turned in for the night.

A few more welcome species were added to the year list.

It was nice to finally get a Lesser Swallow Prominent, I didn't get any of the first broods, but the sister 'Swallow Prominent' has been prevalent since early April, only having a break since early June, will I get anymore I wonder? or will it be a poor year for them in my garden?

Three species of Thorn were recorded, Early, Canary-shouldered and August. With the latter two being new for the year.

Patania ruralis (The Mother of Pearl) was very late to put in an appearance this year, a bedraggled specimen it was to be. Since, I have recorded 1 or 2 most nights now.

A cracking Cochylis hybridella was worthy of a photo, a much brighter moth than my year first back on the 26th of June.

3 micros were also added to the year list.

The weather has been pretty mundane to be honest, one night lately I gave up at 10pm because of the wind and rain, although there is talk of it warming up on Wedneasday, fingers and toes crossed!

Only new for year species listed below.
 
Moth garden list for 2024 stands at 459 species
 
10/07/24 - Back Garden - Fordham - East Cambridgeshire - Actinic Trap

Macro Moths

August Thorn 1 [NFY]
Brown-line Bright-eye 2 [NFY]
Canary-shouldered Thorn 1 [NFY]
Lesser Swallow Prominent 1 [NFY]

Micro Moths

Assara terebrella 1 [NFY]
Elachista canapennella 1 [NFY]
Patania ruralis 1 [NFY]
Rhyacionia buoliana 1 [NFY]

Rhyacionia buoliana

Assara terebrella

August Thorn

Brown-line Bright-eye

Canary-shouldered Thorn

Cochylis hybridella

Elachista canapennella

Lesser Swallow Prominent

Parapoynx stratiotata



Saturday 13 July 2024

Another wet and breezy night

Still very changeable, in fact Tuesday night was warm but rain was threatening and the breeze was being rather unkind.
An average catch, and I ran out of time counting the moths, there were around 50 species. 

New for year species have slowed, but i'm still getting several each time I run the trap, and they are mostly micros which is great.
The sole new macro was a Maple Pug.

Micros included the scarce Gelechia Nigra (quite a light mottled one) Pexicopia malvella, Lobesia abscisana and Coleophora paripennella.
 
An Ephestia sp and Ectoedemia sp were retained.

Trapping has been awful recently, some nights I haven't even bothered to light up, others i've run for a few hours then admitted defeat.
 
Moth garden list for 2024 stands at 451 species
 
09/07/24 - Back Garden - Fordham - East Cambridgeshire - Actinic Trap

Macro Moths 

Maple Pug 1 [NFY]

Micro Moths

Cnephasia longana 1 [NFY]
Coleophora paripennella 1 [NFY]
Gelechia nigra 1 [NFY]
Lobesia abscisana 2 [NFY]
Pexicopia malvella 1 [NFY]

Pexicopia malvella

Cnephasia longana

Coleophora paripennella

Dioryctria abietella

Gelechia nigra

Lobesia abscisana

Maple Pug

 

Thursday 11 July 2024

A brief flurry of activity with a netted rarity!

A few nights off over the weekend as it was so wet and cool, but Monday night it wasn't too bad and warm with lows of 17 degrees, but only highs of 21 during the day, unfortunately it didn't stop raining and the patio was very wet, the moths did not seem put off by the showers.
 
The cloud cover helped and the catch was good, but not remarkable given the conditions, it should have been a 300 moths of over 100 species kind of night, on a normal year that is.

But, 83 species was very pleasing.

I did a brief bit of netting and bagged a few common species, then I saw a tiny dark moth against the paling evening sky, a quick swoosh and it was in the bottom of the net. Potted up it looked like an Elachista, but observing it's behaviour in the pot, it certainly wasn't moving like an Elachista, for starters it was walking and flexing it's wings.
Under the hand lens indoors and I instantly recognised it as a Phaulernis species, very dark with a slight raised scale tuft on the dorsum, Phaulernis dentella it was, and a new moth for me.
Even better, the moth has not been found in the county since 1905, 118 years ago!
I guess being a day flying moth the chances of seeing one is probably the main factor for it being labelled as rare (as is often the case). 
Still, what a little corker, not much to look at sadly as it was a bit worn.

Other good species included 2 Delicates (Most probably home-grown from last years progeny), Dusky Sallow, a mint Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, an interesting striated Coleophora which has been retained, and the darkest Zeiraphera isertana I have ever clapped my eyes on.
 
Dot Moth was new for the garden! A very common moth in my old Hertfordshire garden.

Certainly a very rewarding night, despite the heavy rain overnight.
 
Moth garden list for 2024 stands at 445 species
 
08/07/24 - Back Garden - Fordham - East Cambridgeshire - Actinic Trap

Macro Moths 

Common White Wave 1 [NFY]
Dark Umber 1 [NFY]
Delicate 2 [NFY]
Dot Moth 1 [NFG]
Dusky Sallow 1 [NFY]
Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing 1 [NFY]
Brimstone Moth 1
Broad-barred White 2
Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing 2
Chinese Character 1
Clay 1
Cloaked Minor 1
Clouded Silver 1
Common Carpet 1
Common Footman 3
Dark Arches 1
Double-striped Pug 1
Dwarf Cream Wave 1
Early Thorn 1
Elephant Hawk-moth 1
Grey Dagger 1
Heart & Club 2
Heart & Dart 2
Large Yellow Underwing 1
Least Carpet 1
Light Arches 5
Marbled Clover 1
Miller 1
Nutmeg 3
Nut-tree Tussock 1
Poplar Grey 1
Riband Wave 3
Ruby Tiger 1
Rustic 1
Scarce Footman 1
Setaceous Hebrew Character 1
Shark 1
Silver Y 1
Small Dusty Wave 1
Small Elephant Hawk-moth 1
Small Emerald 1
Smoky Wainscot 1
Snout 1
Swallow-tailed Moth 2
Sycamore 3
Uncertain 1
Willow Beauty 1
Yellow Shell 2

Micro Moths

Catoptria pinella 1 [NFY]
Pediasia contaminella 1 [NFY]
Phaulernis dentella 1 [NEW!]
Acleris schalleriana 1
Aethes tesserana 1 (netted)
Agapeta hamana 1
Agonopterix heracliana sp 1
Alucita hexadactyla 1
Anania hortulata 1
Ancylis achatana 1
Borkhausenia fuscescens 3 (netted)
Bryotropha affinis 1 (netted)
Celypha striana 1
Chrysoteuchia culmella 2
Clepsis consimilana 1
Cnephasia sp 1
Cochylis dubitana 1
Coleophora trifoli 1
Coleophora sp 1 (TBC)
Crambus pascuella 1
Cydalima perspectalis 1
Elachista maculicerusella 1
Eudonia lacustrata 1
Euzophera pinguis 1
Hofmannophila pseudospretella 1
Homoeosoma sinuella 2
Hypsopygia costalis 1
Large Tabby 1
Paraswammerdamia albicapitella 1
Patania ruralis 2
Phycita roborella 1
Plutella xylostella 1
Pterophorus pentadactyla 1
Sitochroa verticalis 1
Yponomeuta evonynella 1

Zeiraphera isertana

Catoptria pinella

Coleophora sp

Dark Umber

Delicate

Dot Moth

Dusky Sallow

Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing

Pediasia contaminella

Phaulernis dentella


Sunday 7 July 2024

Catch-up during the moth drought

This quiet spell is allowing me to catch up, there aren't many moths to photograph or sort in the morning, just 12 moths this morning as an example of how bad it is out there.

On the 3rd a year first Southern Wainscot was nice to see, amongst 25 species.

On the 4th, again 20 odd species with two pretty ones turning up, best was a garden first Green Silver-lines! I got the Scarce Silver-lines two years ago! White Satin was the second one, such a lovely moth. 
 
During the daytime a Nemapogon ruricolella was found in the VES pheromone lure trap, the first this year, unfortunately it got stuck between the glass tube and the rubber bung and so died, I had to photograph what was left of it.

The trap was switched off a few nights early as it was either too cold, or belting down.

A nicely coloured Dun-bar was found on Friday night and worthy of a photo, and just today another moth in one of the lure bucket traps, this time to the SAL lure (intended for the Sallow Clearwing moth) a worn out Psychoides filicivora, at least it was a year tick.
 
The year list has really ground to a halt with this never-ending bad weather.

Not sure whether to trap tonight or not yet, we've just had a large thundery downpour, sigh.
 
Moth garden list for 2024 stands at 435 species
 
03/07/24 - Back Garden - Fordham - East Cambridgeshire - Actinic Trap

Macro Moths 

Southern Wainscot 1 [NFY]

 

04/07/24 - Back Garden - Fordham - East Cambridgeshire - Actinic Trap

Macro Moths

Green Silver-lines 1 [NFG]
White Satin 1 [NFY]

Micro Moths

Nemapogon ruricolella 1 [NFY]
- (To VES Lure)

 

07/07/24 - Back Garden - Fordham - East Cambridgeshire - Actinic Trap


Micro Moths

Psychoides filicivora 1 [NFY] - (To SAL Lure)

Southern Wainscot

Dun-bar

Green Silver-lines

Nemapogon ruricolella

White Satin

Psychoides filicivora


 



Saturday 6 July 2024

In limited supply

Not particularly cool nights but a little breezy and numbers are still well down for July, so there's not been much interest this past week.

Tuesday night yielded quality over quantity, with a stunning form of Buff Ermine (A form i've seen before here, with much darker connected markings across the breadth of the wings.
 
Marbled Beauty was a good year tick, such a pretty species and my second Oak Nycteoline of the year, a very strikingly streaked markings, completely different to the form from February.
 
The first of many Blastobasis adustella also turned up and a third Triaxomasia caprimulgella to the LUN lure was notable.

Still dreadful weather, wet, cool and uninspiring.
 
Moth garden list for 2024 stands at 430 species
 
02/07/24 - Back Garden - Fordham - East Cambridgeshire - Actinic Trap

Macro Moths

Marbled Beauty 1 [NFY]

Micro Moths

Blastobasis adustella 1 [NFY]
Coleophora sp 1 (TBC)

Blastobasis adustella

Buff Ermine

Coleophora sp

Marbled Beauty

Oak Nycteoline

Triaxomasia caprimulgella

 

Friday 5 July 2024

Still so quiet, but data is data

Another pretty unremarkable night on Monday. Species and numbers are more akin to late April.

3 new species for the year were recorded and were as follows....
 
Buff Arches - A far from common moth here in my garden, with just two records in 2022 and none last year, a real treat to see and an unmistakeable looking moth.
 
Common Rustic - Ubiquitous in my garden and for most others I suspect, darker individuals will be checked for Lesser Common Rustic.
 
Dingy Shears - Rare here, a moth that i've only ever seen once before last year. A fairly drab and worn example this time.

The weather continues to be windy and cool unfortunately (I wrote the same in my last post)
 
Moth garden list for 2024 stands at 428 species
 
01/07/24 - Back Garden - Fordham - East Cambridgeshire - Actinic Trap
 

Macro Moths

Buff Arches 1 [NFY]
Common Rustic 1 [NFY]
Dingy Shears 1 [NFY]

Buff Arches

Common Rustic

Dingy Shears




Thursday 4 July 2024

Not stellar, but new species each night is pleasing

Still exceptionally slow in my garden for July. Usually these are bumper times with 60-80 species per night on average and upto 100 on a good night.
Recently it's been averaging aronund 25 to 35, catastrophic to say the least, others are reporting the same.
 
But maybe it's just a crap year that won't be replicated in 2025, or a worrying trend that could carry on downwards, time will tell.

Just the 3 new species on Sunday night, but Rhopobota naevana (The Holly Tortrix) was new for the garden which was pleasing.

The weather continues to be windy and cool unfortunately.
 
Moth garden list for 2024 stands at 425 species
 
29/06/24 - Back Garden - Fordham - East Cambridgeshire - Actinic Trap
 

Macro Moths

Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing 1 [NFY]
Small Ranunculus 1 [NFY]

Micro Moths

Rhopobota naevana 1 [NFG]

Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing

Rhopobota naevana

Small Ranunculus

 

Wednesday 3 July 2024

Latest from the home trap

A welcome night off last Friday, as it was a bit cool and breezy and I needed to recharge ready for a trip to Wicken Fen on Saturday night!
Upon returning from Wicken at gone 3am and frazzled, I decided to pack my garden trap up as it would be getting light in less than an hour anyway!
I probably a missed a few in the evening as I was out, but there were around 50 species noted.
 
Best moth of the night was a new garden macro, a fantastic pink-blushed Lilac Beauty, what a moth. Sort of half carpet-half thorn. They are tricky to get a photo of due to their odd posture. There were just 5 records last year in the county of Cambridgeshire, so it's not a common moth.
 
Other good moths were all micros, including mint examples of Epiblema foenella, Gypsonoma aceriana, Schoenobius gigantella &Yponomeuta rorrella.
 
As is the case this time of year, i've only listed the new species for the year.
 
Moth garden list for 2024 stands at 422 species
 
29/06/24 - Back Garden - Fordham - East Cambridgeshire - Actinic Trap
 

Macro Moths

Lilac Beauty 1 [NFY]

Micro Moths

Epiblema foenella 1 [NFY]
Gypsonoma aceriana 1 [NFY]
Limnaecia phragmitella 1 [NFY]
Vitula biviella 1 [NFY]
Yponomeuta rorrella [NFY]

Epiblema foenella

Gypsonoma aceriana

Lilac Beauty

Limnaecia phragmitella

Phycitodes binaevella and phycitodes maritima/saxicola

Schoenobius gigantella

Vitula biviella

Yponomeuta rorrella