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 24 April 2016

The state of moths in my garden

Hi all.
I had a good peruse through my records for the last three years up to today's date (24th of April) and collated the data to see which species I have missed or which haven't turned up yet this year

The past two years on similar dates for example on the 24th of April last year I managed 24 moths of 14 species! and on the 14th of April 43 moths of 13 species. I can only hope that
species are just flying late in my neck of the woods here in North Hertfordshire.

So far this year I have managed 18 Macros and 9 micros making 27 species up to 24th April 2016

Below are the species that I haven't seen yet this year from the past two years.

From 2015 - 17 species missing

Angle Shades - 24/04/15
Brimstone Moth - 24/04/15
Dark Chestnut - 14/02/15
Dotted Border - 07/03/15
Engrailed - 03/04/15
Early Thorn - 14/04/15
Flame Shoulder - 24/04/15
Herald - 14/04/15
Nut-tree Tussock - 24/04/15
Powdered Quaker - 14/04/15
Small Brindled Beauty - 11/03/15
Argyrotaenia ljungiana - 17/04/15
Acleris schalleriana - 05/01/15
Acleris hastiana - 10/02/15
Epiphyas postvittana - 14/02/15
Endrosis sarcitrella - 28/03/15
Mompha subbistrigella - 04/01/15

From 2014 - an incredible 39 species missing!

Angle Shades - 23/04/14
Brimstone Moth - 13/04/14
Clay Triple-lines - 23/04/14
Dotted Border - 17/02/14
Engrailed - 16/03/14
Early Thorn - 31/03/14
Early Moth - 04/02/14
Flame Shoulder - 23/04/14
Grey Shoulder-knot - 29/03/14
Herald - 21/04/14
Lead-coloured Drab - 17/03/14
Lime Hawk-moth - 22/04/14
Nut-tree Tussock - 30/03/14
Oak-tree Pug - 17/04/14
Purple Thorn - 10/04/14
Pine Beauty - 09/04/15
Shuttle-shaped Dart - 22/04/14
Spruce Carpet - 08/04/14
Twin-spotted Quaker - 13/03/14
Waved Umber - 17/04/14
Acleris schalleriana - 17/02/14
Alucita hexadactyla - 31/03/14
Adela reamurella - 13/04/14
Agonopterix purpurea - 31/03/14
Acleris hastiana - 14/07/14
Caloptilia semifascia - 03/04/14
Caloptilia betulicola - 30/03/14
Depressaria chaerophylli - 24/02/14
Epiphyas postvittana - 17/04/14
Endrosis sarcitrella - 26/04/14
Eriocrania subpurpurella - 08/04/14
Epermenia chaerophyllella - 17/04/14
Elachista apicipunctella - 21/04/14
Mompha subbistrigella - 08/03/14
Psyche casta - 13/04/14
Phyllonorycter messaniella - 22/04/14
Phyllonorycter blancardella - 30/03/14
Phyllonorycter coryli - 17/04/14
Ypsolopha ustella - 19/02/14

There are of course many theories for the lack of moths in my area (yes I am not an isolated case unfortunately)

Theory 1 : Weather : We have had quite windy, wet and cold nights so far this year. If we have had a bright and sunny warm day then the night has been cold and clear and not ideal for moths. The wind also has been predominantly from the north.
Compared to the last two years temperatures have been well down, we had temperatures of up to 28 degrees in 2014 over the Easter period with lows of 15 at night! In 2015 we had temperatures up to 22 degrees and lows of around 12 degrees.
Recently we have had 10 degrees daytime and 2 degrees at night. 

Theory 2 : Predation : Predation in many different forms, obviously birds are the main culprits at the moment as they feed their young ones.
Also parasites, as we have had such a mild winter could they have had a population explosion and feasted on our caterpillars?

Theory 3 : Emergence : Late emergence could be the reason for such low numbers of some species, but this doesn't run true with missed species that have now finished (Small Brindled Beauty and Early Moth as examples)

So as you can see, i've had it hard lately and that's my little rant over. I guess i've had my fair share of luck over the years and it is time for others to shine.

On the plus side, some of the species in my list I never thought I would trap in my Garden.

Depressaria chaerophylli - A rare moth in the County - 24/02/14

Clay Triple-lines - Another scarce woodland species - 23/04/14

 Good luck all for the rest of this year and keep on mothing :)


  1. Same here, mate. Been out with the net on numerous occasions during sunny weather but very little return so far.

  2. Hi Ben. I'm in the same position here in Oxfordshire, as are friends. Thanks for your very interesting thoughts on the reasons. I blame the weather mostly but the others are thought-provoking. Hope things look up for you. All warm wishes, Martin