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

Saturday, 16 October 2021

Latest from the moth trap - 14/10/21 - Fordham Garden

A rather mild day on Thursday with highs of 18 degrees, so unseasonal for mid-October, to say the least! The night stayed well about average as well, with lows of 13 degrees.
 
A fair few moths were found in and around the trap, 19 species in total.
 
November Moth was the only new for year species, confirmed by dissection today under a hand lens. Leslie Gardiner dropped round another smaller and paler Epirrita specimen, and I duly examined it this afternoon as well. 
It turned out to be a different species which is great! A Pale November Moth, with extremely narrow claspers, it certainly lived upto it's name as it is almost white!
Both were Males with pectinate antennae.

Other than that, it was great to see a little more variety with a second garden record of Juniper Carpet which is such a smart looking moth.
And two more fresh Carpet species, a late Common Marbled & Garden.

Dark Chestnut was also my second garden record, another mint specimen.
 
A Monopis was double-checked, and showing light hindwings making it crocicapitella (Which has been abundant here, and as yet, no obviella).

Moth garden list stands at 208 species.

14/10/21 - Back Garden - Fordham - East Cambridgeshire - Actinic Trap
 
Macro Moths
 
November Moth 1 [NFG]
Angle Shades 1
Beaded Chestnut 2
Common Marbled Carpet 1
Dark Chestnut 1
Garden Carpet 1
Green-brindled Crescent 3
Large Wainscot 1
Lesser Yellow Underwing 4
Lunar Underwing 2
Mallow 1
Red-green Carpet 3

Micro Moths 
 
Agonopterix alstromeriana 1
Cydalima perspectalis 5
Emmelina monodatyla 2 
Epiphyas postvittana 3
Galleria mellonella 1
Monopis crocicapitella 1
Plutella xylostella 1
Common Marbled Carpet

Dark Chestnut

Garden Carpet

Juniper Carpet

Monopis crocicapitella

November Moth

Pale November Moth (Leslie Gardiner)


Thursday, 14 October 2021

Juniper Carpet - Moth species no.207

After a break on Tuesday night (As it was far too cool for my liking) the trap was back on last night.
Given the mild conditions with no wind and no rain, 12 moths seemed kind of low? The usual Autumnal fare, a Plutella xylostella was only the 3rd so far this year.
The best moth however was right at the bottom of the trap, a fresh Juniper Carpet, and a rather good garden moth.
I had recorded this twice previously in my old garden in Hertfordshire, in the years of 2018 and 2019.

Some of you might know how tricky these are to photograph. They have a really annoying habitat (Like a lot of Carpets) to not sit flat and show their true delicate shades. This specimen was proving to be a tricky customer, and I waited over half an hour today at work for it to open up!

Moth garden list now stands at 207 species.
 
13/10/21 - Fordham - East Cambridgeshire 

Juniper Carpet


Wednesday, 13 October 2021

Euzopherodes vapidella - New to Britain - 19/06/21

I trapped a rather unusual looking Ephestia species back on the 19th of June at my works Actinic Trap (Which subsequently is the trap I now run in my garden).
The moth was dissected a few months later by Graeme Smith, and instantly Graeme could not match it with any of the Ephestia genitalia plates available to him.
The moth genitalia slide was then sent to numerous experts in Europe to confirm that it wasn't from the genus Ephestia, but actually Euzopherodes which is a completely new genus for the British Isles.
 
Eventually the moth was identified as Euzopherodes vapidella and new to Britain, very exciting indeed!

The species feeds from the Carob Tree, a species native to the Mediterranean and the Middle East.

This is now my second new to Britain species (And nearly my 3rd after spotting the Parallel Lines last year on Trevor Brownsell's sheet whilst packing up. Trevor, the record is yours don't worry!)

The full article will be available in the next edition of The Entomologist's Record and Journal of Variation and can be purchased from the following link. https://www.entrecord.com/ which is edited by Colin Plant and whom was a great help in the aid to the identification of this new species.

Once again I have to thank Graeme Smith for his dedicated time and knowledge, and being able to carry out the dissection for me. Graeme provides quick turn-arounds on moth genitalia dissections and can be found on the following link. https://mothsurvey.org/

Euzopherodes vapidella - 19/06/21 - Bishop's Stortford, East Herts

Works Actinic Trap where the moth was found


Monday, 11 October 2021

9 of 6 & 6 at 6

That was last nights figures, 9 moths of 6 species, with the temperature 6 degrees at 6am! 
Man it was chilly this morning, and my first day back to work which I was looking forward to, after being off a fortnight. Needless to say it's good to be back in the swing of routine and feeling healthier at the same time.

My 9th Blue Underwing was recorded along with a handful of Autumn moths, but there on the patio and then flying onto the window (After nearly treading on it) was a new moth for my records, and nudging me ever closer to the 1700 species mark, a flipping Pale-lemon Sallow!
This is a Nationally Scarce A species and feeds from Poplar trees. 
A species of Noctuid that I pursued for over a decade in Hertfordshire, on various organised and private trips to areas with Black Poplar trees, fruitless trips usually on cool nights that resulted in maximum effort, but minimum results.
To then flick a switch on and attract one in my new garden is unbelievable.
I know they have been recorded in this area before, but I never expected to see one in my first year of trapping here, very chuffed!

Moth garden list stands at 206 species.
 
Pale-lemon Sallow


Sunday, 10 October 2021

Latest from the moth trap - 08/10/21 & 09/10/21 - Fordham Garden

Things are slowing down somewhat now as expected, with lower numbers of moths and species. And although really mild for the time of year still, the nights are becoming cooler and dewy, even with thick fog on Saturday morning.
Two more species were added to the garden list over the weekend, and a high count of 8 Large Wainscot's was great. I have now recorded over 40 in the last two weeks.

Moth garden list stands at 205 species.

08/10/21 - Back Garden - Fordham - East Cambridgeshire - Actinic Trap
 
Phyllonorycter messaniella 1 [Not nfg, error 101]
 
09/10/21 - Back Garden - Fordham - East Cambridgeshire - Actinic Trap

Grey-shoulder-knot 1 [NFG]
Large Wainscot 8

Phyllonorycter messaniella

Grey-shoulder-knot

Large Wainscots


Friday, 8 October 2021

Latest Catch Report - 07/10/21 - Fordham Garden

A really good October catch last night here in the little village of Fordham.
Nothing spectacular species-wise, but a great variety was very welcoming after a few cooler nights last week. 
The temperature last night remained in double-figures, and seemed to get warmer in the early hours as cloud drifted in from the South-West.

A few more new for garden/year species were observed.

I now have had 7 Blue Underwings here over the past 4 weeks.

Pine Carpet was my latest record ever, the same for Bright-line Brown-eye.
 
Moth garden list stands at 204 species.

07/10/21 - Back Garden - Fordham - East Cambridgeshire - Actinic Trap
 
Macro Moths
 
Barred Sallow 1 [NFG]
Pine Carpet 1 [NFG]
Angle Shades 2
Beaded Chestnut 5
Black Rustic 2
Blue Underwing 1 
Bright-line Brown-eye 1
Brown-spot Pinion 2
Deep-brown Dart 1
Green-brindled Crescent 1
Large Wainscot 4
Large Yellow Underwing 2
Lesser Yellow Underwing 8
Lunar Underwing 5
Mallow 1
Red-green Carpet 1
Spruce Carpet 1
Turnip Moth 1
Vine's Rustic 1
Willow Beauty 2

Micro Moths 
 
Blastobasis lacticolella 3 [NFG]
Acleris sparsana 1
Acleris variegana 1
Agonopterix alstromeriana 1
Alucita hexadactyla 1
Cydalima perspectalis 7
Emmelina monodatyla 2 
Epiphyas postvittana 9
Galleria mellonella
Monopis crocicapitella 1
Scrobipalpa ocellatella 8
Udea ferrugalis 1

Barred Sallow

Beaded Chestnuts

Blastobasis lacticolella

Bright-line Brown-eye

Pine Carpet

Udea ferrugalis


Monday, 4 October 2021

Dark Chestnut makes it moth species no.200 for my garden.

A rather smartly marked Dark Chestnut was new for my garden last night here in Fordham, East Cambridgeshire. It makes it the 200th species for my garden since moving here at the end of August.

With no Facebook to post to, this will have to do :D 

 



 

 

Chippenham Fen - Field Trip - 25/09/21

I made my last field trip of the year last Saturday night to my local nature reserve, Chippenham Fen.
The day had been mild but a bit breezy and this theme continued into the night, but with a minimum of 15 degrees expected, it was a last chance saloon.
It started well, but then the sky cleared and the temperature cooled somewhat and a mist shrouded all of the lights by around 11pm, not ideal and consequently the moths just stopped flying.
 
I packed up just before midnight with a reasonable selection of early Autumn moths. 

Despite recording 22 Barred Sallow, I still to this date (04/10/21) haven't had one in the garden yet!

Some late records were observed, namely the following species..

Agapeta hamana
Apotomis betuletana
Argyresthia goedartella
Chevron
Grapholita funebrana
Spectacle
Straw Dot
 
All 7 species are my latest ever records since starting moth recording in 2006.

Two Epinotia species are almost certainly the Aspen feeding cinereana, one has been retained.

Catch Report - Chippenham Fen - Cambridgeshire - 25/09/21 - 3 traps - 1x 250w Clear MV Robinson Trap & 1x 125w MV Robinson Trap & 1x 160w MBT Trap


26 Macro Moth Species and 15 Micro Moth Species  - 41 Species in total. 


Macro Moths

Angle Shades 2
Barred Sallow 22
Black Rustic 1
Brimstone Moth 2
Centre-barred Sallow 18
Chevron 1
Common Marbled Carpet 1
Copper Underwing 1
Deep-brown Dart 2
Dingy Footman 1
Frosted Orange 3
Green Carpet 1
Large Wainscot 2
Large Yellow Underwing 1
Light Emerald 1
Lunar Underwing 25
Lunar Yellow Underwing 1
Pink-barred Sallow 2
Red-green Carpet 1
Setaceous Hebrew Character 10
Small Fan-footed Wave 1
Small Wainscot 4
Snout 2
Spectacle 1
Straw Dot 1
Willow Beauty 1
 
Micro Moths
 
Acleris comariana/laterana 2 (1 Retained TBC)
Agapeta hamana 1
Apotomis betuletana 1
Argyresthia goedartella 2
Cameraria ohridella l
Emmetia marginea l
Endrosis sarcitrella l
Epinotia cinereana/nisella 2 (1 Retained TBC)
Epinotia ramella l
Epiphyas postvittana l
Eudonia pallida 1
Grapholita funebrana 1
Hofmannophila pseudosprestella l
Phyllonorycter messaniella 1
Scrobipalpa ocellatella 3

Acleris comariana/laterana

Barred Sallow

Chevron

Epinotia cinereana/nisella

Epinotia cinereana/nisella

Eudonia pallida

Pink-barred Sallow

Frosted Orange

 

Friday, 1 October 2021

Latest catch report - 30/09/21 - Fordham garden

The last night of September and it was a wild, windy & wet evening but just so mild. Infact it got warmer as the evening went on, with a minimum of 15 degrees by dawn it certainly was a perfect temperature.

But, the brisk wind hampered thing somewhat, and what wasn't in the trap, was strewn half-way around the garden!

A nice selection nevertheless and a bonus Dark Spectacle was moth no.198 for the year.

30/09/21 - Back Garden - Fordham - East Cambridgeshire - Actinic Trap
 
Macro Moths
 
Dark Spectacle 1 [NFG]
Angle Shades 1
Beaded Chestnut 5
Deep-brown Dart 1
Flounced Rustic 1
Large Wainscot 1
Lesser Yellow Underwing 1
Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing 1
Light Emerald 1
Lunar Underwing 7
Mallow 1
Pale Mottled Willow 1
Willow Beauty 1

Micro Moths 
 
Eudonia angustea 1
Scrobipalpa ocellatella 1 

Dark Spectacle



Wednesday, 29 September 2021

A cold, wet and windy...Migrant night!

Well it really didn't look like very good conditions at all last night, but still 32 brave moths were attracted to the Actinic trap. Species numbers slumped to 13.
 
I've been struggling with ill health currently, and just about managed to get to the trap this morning before any birds noticed the moths. I couldn't believe my blurry eyes, Strategic bomber with fighter escort on the side of the house. convolvuli & kadenii!
 
The weather was horrendous, wet and with a strong cold wind and minimum of 8 degrees, I'm glad I bothered.
Clancy's is the 4th or 5th record for Cambridgeshire after 3 last year.

Spin back two nights and on the 26th I recorded a nice fresh pair of Shuttle-shaped Darts and a nice orange Beaded Chestnut. Blair's Shoulder-knot was new for the year.
A late Agriphila geniculea was also noted.

Last night I also added Feathered Thorn and Green-brindled Crescent to the year list.

Moth garden list stands at 197 species.

26/09/21 - Back Garden - Fordham - East Cambridgeshire - Actinic Trap
 
Macro Moths 
 
Blair's Shoulder-knot 1 [NFG]
 
28/09/21 - Back Garden - Fordham - East Cambridgeshire - Actinic Trap
 
Macro Moths
 
Clancy's Rustic 1 [NFG]
Convolvulus Hawk-moth 1 [NFG]
Feathered Thorn 1 [NFG]
Green-brindled Crescent 1 [NFG]

Blair's Shoulder-knot

Clancy's Rustic

Convolvulus Hawk-moth

Shuttle-shaped Dart's


Monday, 27 September 2021

A few milder nights and the moth diversity improves

The last three nights have been mild, with a minimum of 12 degrees, and still holding in high double-figures by midnight.
Consequently the moth numbers have increased to between 60 and 90 individuals with species on the 23rd/24th & 25th... 18, 25 & 26 species repectively.

Some truly remarkable moths have kept the garden alive here, as Autumn starts to kick in.

The first Sallow of the year on Friday night and a year first Merveille du Jour really are heralding the changing of the seasons.
Last night I ended up with 9 Beaded Chestnuts, more than I trapped in past 9 years in my old garden on just the one night!

But even better than that was a Feathered Ranunculus found by my son on Saturday morning as he was going out to play in the garden. He spotted it under the side of the back door mat! I must have missed it doing my regular morning routine!!
It is only the second record for the County, and last recorded in 1998 (Unless there any recent records). With this, and another really good moth last night (L-album Wainscot) maybe they are migrants? Or just wanderers from southern and coastal populations.
The L-album is another rare moth here in Cambs with just 3 previous records.

My son's favourite colour is green, and you can imagine his excitement this morning upon showing him 'the merv' he ran upstairs shouting ''mummy'' ''mummy'', ''look daddy found a green moth!''

On top of that, two rather chunky female Large Wainscot's, and a much smaller male were also in the trap.

There is one micro moth to check, possibly an Ocnerostoma sp, but it won't sit still currently.

Below are the new species for the year.

Moth garden list stands at 192 species.

23/09/21 - Back Garden - Fordham - East Cambridgeshire - Actinic Trap
 
Micro Moths
 
Tachystola acroxantha 1 [NFG]
 
24/09/21 - Back Garden - Fordham - East Cambridgeshire - Actinic Trap
 
Macro Moths
 
Beaded Chestnut 3 [NFG]
Feathered Ranuculus 1 [NFG]
Sallow 1 [NFG]

Micro Moths
 
Ocnerostoma sp? 1 TBC
 
25/09/21 - Back Garden - Fordham - East Cambridgeshire - Actinic Trap
 
Macro Moths
 
L-album Wainscot 1 [NFG]
Large Wainscot 3 [NFG]
Merveille du Jour 1 [NFG]


Tachystola acroxantha

Sallow

Ocnerostoma sp? TBC
 
Merveille du Jour

Large Wainscot - Male

Large Wainscot - Female

L-album Wainscot

Feathered Ranunculus

Beaded Chestnut

Thursday, 23 September 2021

Trickling in now.. but fresh new faces are appearing

A slow trickle of moths now as the summer varieties dwindle and the fresh Autumn species start to appear.
With less than 20 species per night now and numbers less than 60.

Best macro moths over the last few nights has been a smart Small Wainscot and a Deep-brown Dart.
 
On the micro front, a worn suspected Plutella xylostella, turned out to be porrectella, a moth I rarely see (And seperated from xylostella by the dark dash along the side below the white dorsal stripe).

The best moth however was one of the Tineidae species, Monopis laevigella. This is not a common moth for me, despite it's brother (weaverella), being extremely common. I've probably seen 50 weaverella to just 1 laevigella over the last 16 years.
I just cannot get it to sit still, hence the awful pot shot!
 
A Dingy Footman last night was my latest ever record.

Below are the new species for the year.

Moth garden list stands at 183 species.

 

20/09/21 - Back Garden - Fordham - East Cambridgeshire - Actinic Trap
 
Macro Moths
 
Small Wainscot 1 [NFG]

Micro Moths
 
Monopis laevigella 1 [NFG] 
Plutella porrectella 1 [NFG]

 
22/09/21 - Back Garden - Fordham - East Cambridgeshire - Actinic Trap
 
Macro Moths
 
Beautiful Hook-tip 1 [NFG]
Deep-brown Dart 1 [NFG]
Spruce Carpet 1 [NFG]

Beautiful Hook-tip

Deep-brown Dart

Monopis laevigella

Plutella porrectella

Small Wainscot

Spruce Carpet