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

Thursday, 2 December 2021

219th and the last species for the year?

A brief spell of warm but very windy weather, swept the Country on Tuesday night and with minimums of 8c it was lights on.
The previous night, an anomally happened, in that it was frosty at 8pm, but by the morning it was 9 degrees! The temperature has risen overnight by 9 degrees.
This doesn't seem to happen very often in the Winter from my experience.

I managed 3 moths of 3 species on Tuesday night, hardly stellar I hear you say but pleasing all the same as I do not live right next to any significant thickets or woodland. The wind also must not have helped, with gusts of 30mph or more.

Singles of Emmelina monodactyla, Mottled Umber and a new species for the garden, a Winter Moth
 
Moth garden list stands at 219 species.
 
Winter Moth


 

Friday, 26 November 2021

No trapping but a nice indoors surprise

In the shape of rather fancy plumed, Alucita hexadactyla.
It was found by my wife on our back door curtains yesterday, and is the 3rd record for the garden. 
I expect to get a few more next year, as our neighbour but one, has a large Honeysuckle at the bottom of their garden.
I haven't ran the trap for over a week here now, keeping a close eye on the weather in a week or so.

Alucita hexadactyla


Friday, 19 November 2021

Moths at home and at work - 18/11/21

Home : Last night I decided to run the trap again as it was forecast to be a mild and cloudy night with minmums of 12 degrees.... nope, it was cool and clear with a full moon (Well the first part of the night was). It mut have clouded over at some point and the temperature had risen.
 
11 moths of 5 species was pleasing though.
 
December Moths keep on coming, with 6 last night and already 7 here tonight. 

Work : Yesterday afternoon I had the misfortune of ripping out an ancient hedgerow because it had entangled itself around wrought iron fencing, which had to be recovered.
I felt a bit bad as it disturbed a few moths presumably getting ready to over-winter. I relocated all potted moths into the opposite Hawthorn hedge.
There were 4 Emmelina monodactyla, 1 Acleris cristana and 1 Epermenia chaerophyllella, very pleasing to see, I just hope they'll find other suitable spots in the Hawthorn hedge.
 
Moth garden list stands at 218 species.

18/11/21 - Back Garden - Fordham - East Cambridgeshire - Actinic Trap
 
Macro Moths
 
December Moth 6
Scarce Umber 1
Sprawler 2
 
Micro Moths
 
Blastobasis lacticolella 1
Monopis crocicapitella 1

Acleris cristana

Blastobasis lacticolella

Epermenia chaerophyllella


Thursday, 18 November 2021

A couple of small catches during a cold clear spell

Not much cooking here lately with 6 moths on Tuesday night, and 5 moths last night.

All 5 moths last night were December Moth which was a bit odd! The best moth was a really well-marked Mottled Umber.

The overnight temperatures have ranged between 3c and 5c minimum.

Moth garden list stands at 218 species.

16/11/21 - Back Garden - Fordham - East Cambridgeshire - Actinic Trap
 
Macro Moths
 
December Moth 3
Mottled Umber 1
Scarce Umber 1
Sprawler 1
 
17/11/21 - Back Garden - Fordham - East Cambridgeshire - Actinic Trap
 
Macro Moths
 
December Moth 5
 
Mottled Umber

 

Monday, 15 November 2021

Latest from the moth trap - 14/11/21 - Fordham Garden

Another rather tidy catch under cooling conditions, with the bulk of the catch being Light Brown Apple moths, all 7 of them!

Best moth of the night was two garden first Scarce Umber's, after receiving a message from Leslie round the corner whom also attracted one to his light last night as well. A very co-ordinated emergence.

I also got my latest Box moth, I don't think i've seen a November one before.

Moth garden list stands at 218 species.

14/11/21 - Back Garden - Fordham - East Cambridgeshire - Actinic Trap
 
Macro Moths
 
Scarce Umber 2 [NFG]
Angle Shades 1
Beaded Chestnut 1
December Moth 1
Feathered Thorn 1
November Moth sp 1
Red-green Carpet 1
Sprawler 1

Micro Moths 
 
Acleris schalleriana 1
Cydalima perspectalis 1 
Emmelina monodactyla 1
Epiphyas postvittana 7
 


 

Saturday, 13 November 2021

Latest from the moth trap - 12/11/21 - Fordham Garden

A great haul for my birthday, a cooler and breezier night and after two nights of really mild and flat calm conditions with very little, I thought I would struggle to catch just a couple of moths.
How wrong I was, with a minimum of 7 celsius (3-4 degrees down on past nights) there were 26 moths in and around the trap of 12 different species!
Amongst the Sprawlers, Feathered Thorns and December Moths, were two Turnip Moths, both probable migrants as I haven't seen one since the 7th of October, so well over a month.

Moth garden list stands at 217 species.

12/11/21 - Back Garden - Fordham - East Cambridgeshire - Actinic Trap
 
Macro Moths
 
Beaded Chestnut 1
Blair's Shoulder-knot 1
December Moth 4
Double-striped Pug 1 
Feathered Thorn 1
Merveille du Jour 4
November Moth sp 2
Red-green Carpet 2
Setaceous Hebrew Character 1
Sprawler 5
Turnip Moth 2

Micro Moths 
 
Epiphyas postvittana 2
 
Turnip Moths

 

Thursday, 11 November 2021

Bits and bobs

A quiet catch of just 9 moths of 5 species last night.
Best, were my 5th garden record of Udea ferrugalis, and probably the latest Cambridgeshire record of Scrobipalpa ocellatella. 
The nights continue to get quieter as the fruitful mothing year draws to a close. 
 
Scrobipalpa ocellatella

Udea ferrugalis

 

Wednesday, 10 November 2021

Oak Nycteoline at work

On Tuesday I was pruning Yew trees with my team at work, when a moth took flight from the over-hanging Ivy covering the side of the tree, I tracked the moth which settled within easy reach and I potted it up.
It was an Oak Nycteoline, a species of Nolidae and resembling a Tortrix moth (But actually in the order Macrolepidoptera).
I count myself lucky that I have a job where I am outside for most of the day, if I wasn't, then I also wouldn't have spotted a pair of Brimstone's fluttering through the afternoon hazy sunshine, awoken by incredibly mild 15 degrees of warmth.
 
I have yet to record this species in my garden.
 
Bishops' Stortford Cemetery, East Herts. 

Oak Nycteoline
Brimstone Butterfly

 


Tuesday, 9 November 2021

Two December girlies

Two smashing female December Moths last night to my trap here in Fordham, East Cambridgeshire, the first examples of the year.
Never, have I ever had two Females at once to a trap before.
 
A warm and mild night with minimums of 11c yielded just 4 other moths, rather less than I was expecting given the temperatures, but needless to say I was thrilled to record my 217 species for the garden.

Tonight could be even warmer and calmer, lets see what happens!




Saturday, 30 October 2021

Very little reported last night, but a rather nice November Moth & another Musotima!

A quiet trap with under 12 moths of 5 species last night, the highlight was a rather smart November Moth (Logged as Epirrita species).
Checking the antennae and under a hand lens revealed that it was another girlie, so could not be taken to species level (Thanks Graeme Smith for reminding me).
I'm pretty sure it is Autumnal Moth, but we will never know.
All that I hope for, is that if it is indeed an Autumnal Moth, then there must be Males in the vicinity. 

Also, I saw a Spider wrapping what was presumably a Light Brown Apple Moth under the windowsill. I'm glad I looked closer, as it was my 2nd garden record of Musotima nitidalis.
Sadly it was deceased, but it was still very soft and wasn't there the night before.
This is now the 2nd or 3rd County record (With one unconfirmed record from another local recorder).

An Acleris schalleriana was also nice to see, this appears a fairly regular moth here, since beginning recording moths at the end of August.
 
Epirrita sp - Female

Acleris schalleriana

Musotima nitidalis

 



Friday, 29 October 2021

Latest from the moth trap - 28/10/21 - Fordham Garden

As October draws to a close, moths are still very much on the wing, albeit in vastly reduced numbers now. The warm wind doth blow, but it's strength has been the issue.
This morning there were only 10 moths in and around the trap, being off work today and whilst photographing some of last night's specimens I had a scour around the fence panels and added a couple more.
A tentative small Epirrita species with a slight hunch to it's shoulder's was retained and dissected, to then realise that it's a Female (Graeme, GRAEME I NEED HELP!) i'll be sending it to Graeme Smith next week. 
Sprawler was new for the garden, found 5 feet away from the trap on the lawn, then a second one was found on the house wall. 
Large Wainscots have been abundant here with easily 100 recorded over the last two months, and still they come, a large Female last night.
And a cracking form of Beaded Chestnut was great to see, almost reminiscent of the colour of Flounced Chestnut.

Moth garden list stands at 216 species.

28/10/21 - Back Garden - Fordham - East Cambridgeshire - Actinic Trap
 
Macro Moths
 
Sprawler 2 [NFG]
Beaded Chestnut 2
Feathered Thorn 1
Green-brindled Crescent 1
Large Wainscot 1
November Moth sp 1 [TBC]
Red-green Carpet 1

Micro Moths 
 
Agonopterix alstromeriana 1
Emmelina monodactyla 1
Epiphyas postvittana 4
 
Beaded Chestnut

A Bead of water on a Beaded Chestnut

Beaded Chestnut

Epirrita sp

Sprawler's

Large Wainscot

 

Thursday, 28 October 2021

Exceptionally mild, windy and rather poor!

This week has been a bit of a non-starter here to be honest. Some nights i've not bothered, and on the really warm nights i've been a shade disappointed in what I have recorded.
Minimums of 14 degrees, and a minimum gust of probably that as well, resulted in just 6 moths on Tuesday night and 7 moths last night.
Luckily one species was added to the garden list, two examples of Yellow-line (With a red line, confused yet?) Quaker.

There are still a few possibles to record this year, but I don't think I will surpass more than 6 species no until the new year.
 
Moth garden list stands at 215 species.

Mottled Umber

Yellow-line Quaker


Sunday, 24 October 2021

Latest from the moth trap - 23/10/21 - Fordham Garden

Another very decent catch for the time of year with 36 moths of 19 species to the Actinic box trap. The night started very mild after a fairly warm day peaking at 17 degrees. By this morning it was 8c and still cloudy which helped to obscure the moon.
Two new moths for the garden were recorded, a rather smart Mottled Umber, living upto it's name! And a dissected Pale November Moth (After dissecting one last week for a friend in the same village).

Macro Moths i'm still hoping to see here are as follows (And in rarity order from most expected to least expected). Pink-barred Sallow, Winter Moth, December Moth, Brick, Yellow-line Quaker, Sprawler Scarce Umber, Pale Pinion, Dusky-lemon Sallow, Tawny Pinion, Black-spotted Chestnut, Cypress Carpet.

Moth garden list stands at 214 species.

23/10/21 - Back Garden - Fordham - East Cambridgeshire - Actinic Trap
 
Macro Moths
 
Mottled Umber 1 [NFG]
Pale November Moth 1 [NFG]
Angle Shades 2
Barred Sallow 1
Beaded Chestnut 4
Black Rustic 1
Feathered Thorn 1
Juniper Carpet 1
Green-brindled Crescent 2
Large Wainscot 1
Large Yellow Underwing 1
Merveille du Jour 1
November Moth 6
Red-green Carpet 3
Setaceous Hebrew Character 3

Micro Moths 
 
Agonopterix alstromeriana 1
Cydlima perspectalis 1
Emmelina monodatyla 2
Epiphyas postvittana 3
 
Beaded Chestnut

Beaded Chestnuts

Mottled Umber

Pale November Moth

 

Saturday, 23 October 2021

Latest from the home trap (22/10/21) - Fordham, East Cambridgeshire

14 moths of 8 species last night here in Fordham, East Cambs.
Mostly Red-green Carpet and November Moth species, 4 of each.
Only notable moth was an Agonopterix heracliana which is new for the garden.

Moth garden list stands at 212 species.


Thursday, 21 October 2021

Caloptilia betulicola on a sopping night

12 moths last night here in Fordham, East Cambs.
Best moth of the night was the first species of Caloptilia to be recorded in my garden, a Caloptilia betulicola.

Moth garden list stands at 211 species.

Wednesday, 20 October 2021

Chestnut makes it 210 species for the garden

A relatively quiet trap this morning amidst the wind and rain, nevertheless, it was super mild again!

A smart Chestnut was the only new for year species. Most prevelant was Brown-spot Pinion (5), Beaded Chestnut & Box Moth (4).

Moth garden list stands at 210 species.
 
Chestnut

 

Tuesday, 19 October 2021

Gem strikes twice in Fordham! (But not in my garden)

Leslie Gardiner trapped this Female Gem to his Actinic light on Sunday night. Subsequently Leslie has now caught another last night, a Male! Lightning does strike twice afterall. Leslie lives just a stones throw from my garden here in Fordham, East Cambridgeshire.

The last and only record for my old garden in Stevenage, was in August 2013! And that was a Male.

Gem (Leslie Gardiner) - 17/10/21

Gem - Stevenage garden - 14/08/13


 

 

Monday, 18 October 2021

Latest from the moth trap - 17/10/21 - Fordham Garden

Another mild night, almost perfect but the catch was perhaps a little underwhelming for such great conditions?
It was good to see my 11th Blue Underwing from the garden, after last weeks tatty one, I thought they were nearly over, but this mornings specimen was pristine!
 
My nearby moth'er friend Leslie brought round a Gem he had in his garden last night, it is a stunning little moth, he also had a Pink-barred Sallow, another species that hasn't graced my trap yet.
 
A red-line Quaker was added to the garden list.

Moth garden list stands at 209 species.

17/10/21 - Back Garden - Fordham - East Cambridgeshire - Actinic Trap
 
Macro Moths
 
Red-line Quaker 1 [NFG]
Angle Shades 3
Barred Sallow 1
Beaded Chestnut 1
Black Rustic 1
Blue Underwing (My 11th this season)
Brindled Green 1 
Brown-spot Pinion 1
Green-brindled Crescent 2
Large Wainscot 3
Lesser Yellow Underwing 1
November Moth 2 

Micro Moths 
 
Acleris schalleriana 1
Emmelina monodatyla 1
Epiphyas postvittana 4

Red-line Quaker

Clifden nonpareil



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