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

Sunday 2 September 2012

Northaw Great Wood, near Cuffley, Hertfordshire, 1st September 2012

In spite of poor moth trap returns for the previous week we had a good turn out of people – perhaps it was the onion soup and other food provided for us that attracted people! Thanks to Trevor and Chris James for this and for generally hosting the event in a wood that is normally locked, barred and bolted overnight. Note that Chris will be VERY pleased to hear from anyone who wants to trap moths either regularly or occasionally in Northaw Great Wood so the effects of management can be monitored. Please e-mail me if interested and I will put you in touch with her.

The site has a chequered history and was originally heathland that became wooded. It is a SSSI for its current woodland type, which was assumed to be ancient; this designation was, it is now generally agreed, made in error. During the past 6 years, Chris and others have cleared tens of acres of Rhododendron and were surprised and delighted when, a year ago, Heather suddenly re-appeared from the seed bank. Why surprised? It  has been under the Rhododendron for a hundred years – that’s why! So there is great hope for a recovery of heathy woodland here. We ran a sheet in the cleared area, which is now dominated by Bracken under well-spaced mature birches – I have suggested that both be partly cleared to give the heath a better chance of recovering.  

We also ran 3 Robinson traps and a fourth ran for part of the evening at the visitor centre, turning on at about 20.15 hours. The moths were utterly abysmal, as predicted but, non-the-less, several newcomers to our gatherings were suitably impressed and we did get a couple of good micros, as follows:

The grass moth Agriphila latistria is the only species that might be vaguely associated with a sandy habitat. It is easily recognised amongst the grass moths by the white streak that runs the full length of the forewing, including into the terminal cilia. To my shame, I failed to realise when we caught it that it is actually NEW TO HERTFORDSHIRE, though I did keep the specimen. I wonder if it has reappeared with the Heather, or if it came with the wave of Jersey Tigers, Tree-lichen Beauties and others that hit us in mid-August?  

Another good micro was Metalampra italica which I assume is consolidating its residential status centred on woods about 5 Km to the north (see “Moths of Hertfordshire” pages 157 – 158; there is a picture in the new micro book by Sterling and Parsons).

The full list is as follows (if I have missed any, please let me know). Apart from the several Light Emeralds most, if not all, were represented in single figures. The Oak Nycteoline was not dissected, though I am happy that it is not any other species. There were a few Hornets (Vespa crabro) as expected here, but these were quickly potted and did not cause any problems.

We gave up in a fit of depression at about 23.15 hours.

Colin Plant (Herts Moth County Recorder)

Full list in next post

My 160w MBT Homemade Robinson Trap

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