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

Tuesday 16 April 2024

Cooler snap = slow

Currently the weather is a bit chilly and windy and I haven't bothered running my trap for a few nights now, maybe Thursday might be the next outing.

On Saturday night I got one of my earliest Poplar Hawk-moths, a rather small proportioned male, and during the day I spotted a Carnation Tortrix flying around the garden, they are quite distinct as nothing else flies during the day with bright orange hindwings.
But there wasn't much else to write home about, the Quaker's are dropping in numbers and getting tatty now, particularly the Common Quakers.

On Sunday night it was more of the same, but a few differnces with a few more spring species returning for the second time this year.
A flighty noctuid moth was netted early doors and initially I thought it was Poplar Grey, but it turns out it was a Knot Grass, certainly more expected this early on.

In the daytime my wife said that there was a moth or fly or thingie in the bedroom, thinking it maybe a year first house moth, it wasn't to be.
I turned out to be a year first of the very common Mallow feeder, Platyedra subcinerea.
It must have blown in through the open windows earlier on in the day.

When will this wind end?
Moth garden list for 2024 stands at 89 species
13/04/24 - Back Garden - Fordham - East Cambridgeshire - Actinic Trap

Macro Moths
Poplar Hawk-moth 1 [NFY]
Clouded Drab 1
Common Quaker 1
Early Grey 1
Muslin Moth 2
Nut-tree Tussock 2
Oak-tree Pug 2
Micro Moths 
Cacoecimorpha pronubana 1 [NFY]
Agonopterix alstromeriana 1
Emmelina monodactyla 1

14/04/24 - Back Garden - Fordham - East Cambridgeshire - Actinic Trap

Macro Moths
Knot Grass 1 [NFY]
Chinese Character 1
Clouded Drab 1
Common Quaker 1
Muslin Moth 2
Pebble Prominent 1
Powdered Quaker 1
Scorched Carpet 1
Micro Moths 
Platyedra subcinerea 1 [NFY]
Alucita hexadactyla 1

Cacoecimorpha pronubana

Poplar Hawk-moth

Knot Grass

Platyedra subcinerea

Monday 15 April 2024

Latest from the garden moth trap

A good catch on Friday night here in my garden, still a bit breezy, but it was warm and stayed dry with temperatures still at 16 degrees at midnight (I miss those nights already).
Amongst the 18 species noted were an impressive 7 new for year species, including 3 new Pugs, 2 rather early species as well.
Still I have yet to record a Brindled Pug in my garden this year, but probably in excess of 40 Oak-tree now over the last 3 weeks.

A good selection with some early season favourites of mine, Waved Umber with its 'bark-like' pattern, the beautiful green Yellow-barred Brindle (Which does fade to yellow eventually with wear) and a very smart Currant Pug.
Foxglove Pug was also very welcome as I don't see it very often, although I get plenty of Toadflax Pugs here.

A few more posts left before it looks to be rather chilly.
Moth garden list for 2024 stands at 85 species
12/04/24 - Back Garden - Fordham - East Cambridgeshire - Actinic Trap

Macro Moths
Common Pug 1 [NFY]
Currant Pug 1 [NFY]
Foxglove Pug 1 [NFY]
Seraphim 1 [NFY]
Waved Umber 1 [NFY]
Yellow-barred Brindle 1 [NFY]
Brimstone Moth 2
Hebrew Character 1
Muslin Moth 8
Nut-tree Tussock 1
Oak-tree Pug 2
Red-green Carpet 1
Streamer 1
Swallow Prominent 1

Micro Moths

Monopis weaverella 1 [NFY]
Alucita hexadactyla 4
Epinotia immundana 1
Epiphyas postvittana 5

Common Pug

Currant Pug

Foxglove Pug

Monopis weaverella


Waved Umber

Yellow-barred Brindle

Missing posts already..

I was driving myself mad the other day, convinced I had seen a really early Latticed Heath, but there were no photos of it on my laptop, and I hadn't uploaded anything to social media.
I had of course spoken about it on a whatsapp group, and luckily got to the date in question.

So a double check of my camera card and bingo, I had taken photos of 3 new for year species on the 5th of April (A day after catching them).
Not quite sure how those records slipped through the net. I also have no recollection of what else I caught that night, maybe I morphed into a parallel vortex or something!

So below are the 3 new species I recorded on the 4th of April.
Moth garden list for 2024 stands at 78 species
04/04/24 - Back Garden - Fordham - East Cambridgeshire - Actinic Trap

Macro Moths
Early Tooth-striped 1 [NFY]
Latticed Heath 1 [NFY]

Micro Moths
Depressaria chaerophylli 1 [NFY]  

Depressaria chaerophylli

Early Tooth-striped

Latticed Heath

Sunday 14 April 2024

Chippenham Fen - Field Trip - 11/04/24

After a nice warm day it was time to dust the traps off and head back out into the field.
4 traps were loaded up, bearing different light sources on each of the traps, from 40w Actinic bulbs to the big 250w clear mercury vapor.
Whilst setting up at 7:30pm it was still very mild with just a hint of breeze coming from the west, all good I thought, and after lights on there was activity around all of the traps almost straight away.
I also netted a few walking between the traps, which is always a handy tip to help increase the list a bit.
But, about 2hrs in the wind picked up, not just a bit but rather dramatically, swinging from the west to due south and howling up the exposed track, 2 traps were right in the firing line.
The big MV was the worst off, with external egg trays cart-wheeling all over the place and the flat ground sheet licking up at the sides.
I ended up moving my car next to it, to shield the worst of the buffeting breeze.

Nevertheless it was a very successful early season session with 48 species recorded over 3 hours before conditions got ridiculous.

Best moths of the night went to a new micro moth for my records, the tiny Phyllonorycter viminiella, a Willow feeder and probably easier to find in mine form.
A Pug moth may also be new for me, a melanic version which is proving tricky. Generally melanic pugs are a no-go for identifying by photos alone. We think the Pug is Golden-rod but dissection will tell.

The early records continued with Green Pug and Coronet, the latter about 3 weeks early.

2 examples of Acleris hastiana were good to see, though a little ragged around the edges.

Grey Birch put in an appearance one more, a really local moth nationally.

3 huge female Emperors came to the one trap, the most i've seen at once and we also recorded an incredibly large, female Powdered Quaker, a great looking specimen.

The first of the Elachistas were on the wing with 3 Elachista canapennella, 2 were a bit worn but the third was mint, and talking about mint, check out the incredibly coloured Epinotia immundana, garnished in orange, one of 15 recorded over the 4 traps.

A great session indeed.

11/04/24 - Chippenham Fen - East Cambridgeshire - 1x 125w Trap, 1x 160w MBT Trap, 1x 250w Robinson Trap & 1x Actinic Trap

Macro Moths

Brindled Pug 4
Chestnut 2
Chinese Character 2
Common Quaker 4
Coronet 1
Double-striped Pug 2
Early Tooth-striped 1
Emperor Moth 3
Engrailed 1
Frosted Green 1
Green Carpet 2
Grey Birch 1
Hebrew Character 5
Iron Prominent 3
Least Black Arches 10
Lunar Marbled Brown 6
March Moth 2
Nut-tree Tussock 8
Oak-tree Pug 12
Pale Prominent 1
Pebble Prominent 5
Powdered Quaker 1
Pretty Chalk Carpet 2
Pug sp pos Golden-rod TBC 1
Purple Thorn 1
Red Chestnut 1
Red Twin-spot Carpet 2
Ruby Tiger 8
Scorched Carpet 1
Seraphim 1
Shoulder-stripe 1
Streamer 4
Tawny-barred Angle 2
Twin-spotted Quaker 1
V-pug 5
Waved Umber 6
Yellow-barred Brindle 3

Micro Moths

Acleris hastiana 2
Agonopterix arenella 1
Agonopterix alstromeriana 1
Caloptilia semifascia 2
Elachista canapennella 3
Endrosis sarcitrella 1
Epinotia immundana 15
Mompha epilobiella 1
Phyllonorycter viminiella 1
Tinea trinotella 1
Zellaria hepariella 1

125w MV Robinson Trap

Acleris hastiana


Elachista canapennella

Emperor Moths

Epinotia immundana

Grey Birch

Phyllonorycter viminiella

Powdered Quaker

Pretty Chalk Carpet

Pug sp

Tawny-barred Angle



Saturday 13 April 2024

Fordham Footpaths

A nice hour walk around the local footpaths today with my son yielded plenty of day-flying micro moths and a few macros as well.
The skies were full of Butterflies too, beetles, bees and every insect imaginable. In that sunshine things have really woken up, but goodness me that wind! Ok if you are the right side of a hedge!

A few species listed below were found resting on foliage or netted.
The best species were two Pammene rhediella found on adjacent Hawthorn bushes, just resting on the top of the leaves, beauties! These are not common moths and i've only ever seen a couple over the years. Very tricky and skittish to photograph too.

Macro Moths

Streamer 1
Ruby Tiger 1

Micro Moths

Anthophila fabriciana 1
Esperia sulphurella 5
Incurvaria masculella 10+
Pammene rhediella 2

Pammene rhediella 1

Pammene rhediella 2

A much better array of moths

More quality last night with 4 new species and 1 found by day on the outside of the bedroom window (Esperia sulphurella of course).
Mild and still at first, but by the time I returned home at midnight, it was once again breezy. The temperature held above 12 degrees all night.
Best moths of the night included a nice mint Buttoned Snout, 2 Frosted Greens (One sadly very worse for wear), a worn Epinotia immundana (a shadow of the many fresh examples I recorded on the same night down at the fen), and that funny looking moth with a really looooooong name, Pseudoswammerdamia combinella, with its distinctive coppery termen.
I also recorded my first male Emperor to light, well... I say light. It wasn't until I took the lid off of the trap that I realised why he was there, a big fat female was sitting inside, he must have smelt her and decided that he couldn't wait for the daytime.
Esperia sulphurella was a chance find, on the bedroom window when I got home from work.

Moth garden list for 2024 stands at 75 species
11/04/24 - Back Garden - Fordham - East Cambridgeshire - Actinic Trap

Macro Moths
Buttoned Snout 1 [NFY]
Frosted Green 2 [NFY]
Angle Shades 1 
Double-striped Pug 3
Emperor Moth 2
Hebrew Character 1
Ruby Tiger 1

Micro Moths

Epinotia immundana 1 [NFY]
Esperia sulphurella 1 [NFY]
Pseudoswammerdamia combinella 1 [NFY]
Alucita hexadactyla 3
Depressaria chaerophylli 1
Emmelina monodactyla 1

Buttoned Snout

Depressaria chaerophylli

Epinotia immundana

Esperia sulphurella

Frosted Green

Pseudoswammerdamia combinella

Friday 12 April 2024

Still slow going

Very quiet on Wednesday night here, just 6 moths counted under conditions that didn't seem too bad, but I think it's the ever-niggling presence of the wind that is the main problem.

Still, it was nice to record the first Ruby Tiger of the year, a rather worn individuakl sadly, the wind probably blew its scales off!

Things picked up last night here and out, but I expect it to be slow for a few more weeks yet, as night time temperatures fall away.
Moth garden list for 2024 stands at 70 species
10/04/24 - Back Garden - Fordham - East Cambridgeshire - Actinic Trap

Macro Moths
Ruby Tiger 1 [NFY]
Hebrew Character 1
Muslin Moth 1
Oak-tree Pug 1
Red Chestnut 1

Micro Moths

Agonopterix alstromeriana 1
Ruby Tiger


Tuesday 9 April 2024

Respectable before dismal

The weather has turned again today once more, another storm this time coming up from France, in fact I think the wind today was worse than last weeks storm!
There is a glimmer of hope from tomorrow as the temperature recovers from todays measly 8 degrees high.
By Thursday it could feel quite warm again so I will hopefully partake in another field trip.
Last night was rather good with 20 moths of 14 species, with 3 new ones for the year.
Scorched Carpet was nice, as was a rather smart looking female Incurvaria masculella (With fine antennae and the ventral white dot like oehlmanniella, care is needed with this pair).
One moth was particularly interesting, my earliest ever Bryotropha species which I think is most likely to be basaltinella, if so it'll be a new species for my garden.
The moth will be dissected by Colin Plant shortly. 
Still no Brindled Pug here... but lots of Oak-tree.
Cold tonight and possibkly down to 2c with a horrible wind, i'm out.
Moth garden list for 2024 stands at 69 species
08/04/24 - Back Garden - Fordham - East Cambridgeshire - Actinic Trap

Macro Moths
Scorched Carpet 1 [NFY]
Double-striped Pug 3
Hebrew Character 1
Muslin Moth 1
Nut-tree Tussock 1
Oak-tree Pug 2
Pebble Prominent 1
Swallow Prominent 1

Micro Moths

Incurvaria masculella 1 [NFY] 
Agonopterix alstromeriana 1
Bryotropha sp 1 (pos basaltinella) TBC not added to year list
Emmelina monodactyla 2
Epiphyas postvittana 3
Mompha subbistrigella 1 

Bryotropha sp

Incurvaria masculella

Scorched Carpet

Monday 8 April 2024

Ditton Park Woods - Field Trip - 06/04/24

Leslie and myself made a trip to Ditton Park Woods in the far East of the county and bordering nearby Suffolk.
The weather looked reasonable as we pulled up, warm and the wind had dropped a bit.
How wrong we were...after an hour the wind was intense and blowing the external egg trays all over the woods, the sheets were blown to bits and after 2hrs we gave up.
Spin back to the start and we couldn't even get into the reserve, as they had changed the lock from a combination, to a key, gah! 
So we had to lug all the gear in, and all the gear back out again.
And then one of my generators wouldn't tick over, so then I had to wheel in the meaty reserve, some 200 metres away on a trolley.
What a night thwarted with a few disasters, but we soldiered on for a bit and we did manage to see a few moths.
3 moths I took photos of were species I haven't had in the garden this year so far, they were Brindled Pug, Small Brindled Beauty (getting late for these) and Lunar Marbled Brown.
We also trapped a late pristine Oak Beauty.

The only positives were a healthy catch-up, food provided by Leslie, o and it didn't rain!
We shall return during better conditions.

06/04/24 - Ditton Park Woods - East Cambridgeshire - 1x 125w Trap, 1x 160w MBT Trap, 1x 250w Robinson Trap & 1x Actinic Trap

Macro Moths
Brindled Pug 2
Chestnut 1 
Common Quaker 10
Early Thorn 1
Hebrew Character 1
Least Black Arches 1
Lunar Marbled Brown 8
Nut-tree Tussock 1
Oak Beauty 1
Small Brindled Beauty 1
Small Quaker 5
Twin-spotted Quaker 1
Micro Moths
There were no micros! 

Brindled Pug blending in

Lunar Marbled Brown

Small Brindled Beauty

A beautiful lady by night

Last night the wind was still brisk, but it was mild enough still and the trap was run once more.
By morning it was 'hunt the moth' just 10 moths recorded, but one was astonishing, my first female Emperor Moth, fantastic! 
I've trapped them down the road at the fen before, but i've only ever had two there in prime habitat, to get one in the garden has blown me away.
I also recorded my first Muslin Moth of the year, quite an uncommon species here. This poor fella only had one forewing, the hindwing on the same side was tatty and ripped also, so must have been a bat or bird strike.
Still warmish by night and hopefully the breeze eases soon.
Moth garden list for 2024 stands at 67 species
07/04/24 - Back Garden - Fordham - East Cambridgeshire - Actinic Trap

Macro Moths
Muslin Moth 1 [NFY]
Common Quaker 2
Double-striped Pug 1
Emeperor Moth (female) 1
Hebrew Character 2

Micro Moths

Emmelina monodactyla 1
Epiphyas postvittana 2

Emperor Moth (Female)

Poor ole Muslin Moth

The better side of him - Muslin Moth

Emperor Moth (Female)