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 1 January 2017

My Notable Moth records from Hertfordshire in 2016

My Notable Moth records from Hertfordshire in 2016, recently featured and edited from this list for the contribution to the Entomological Record.
Here are my highlights from the year in the garden and further afield.

[2235] Tawny Pinion Lithophane semibrunnea
1 to light on the 12/04/16 at Roughdown Common (Hemel Hempstead). A moth that is still considered scarce in the County at time of writing. Pale Pinion use to be the rare moth in the County but both species have gone through a drastic role reversal and Pale Pinion is regular in most locations within the County up to and including 2016.

[1881] Early Tooth-striped Trichopteryx carpinata
1 to a 40w Actinic Skinner trap set in amongst the wooded area of Bovingdon Brickworks (Hemel Hempstead) on 08/05/16 was a superb and very unexpected record of this moth that is practically unheard of in the County.

[1254] Cydia strobilella
3 examples to both the 40w Actinic Skinner trap and 125w MV Robinson trap were recorded on 08/05/16 at Bovingdon Brickworks during a period of possible dispersion and/or migrant activity from this attractive Spruce feeder. Many new records were added to the Hertfordshire database over the space of a few weeks and in other neighbouring Counties too.

[0129] Incurvaria pectinea
On the 08/05/16 another uncommon moth for the County was potted up from the Robinson Trap that was opened up at packing up time. pectinea is one of the more uncommon of the Incurvaridae family. A first for me and the Boxmoor Trust land.

[2159] Dog’s Tooth Lacanobia suasa
1 adult to light on the 26/05/16 at Braughing Friars Farm was quite a nice surprise. A moth that seems to be very sporadic in the County and has very few records. Predominantly a coastal species but also inhabiting rough unmanaged waste-ground.

[1142] Epinotia tedella
A very pale example of this tiny Epinotia was recorded on our Herts Moth Group field trip to Balls Wood on 11/06/16. Scarce in the County and a first for many of us on the night.

[0923] Phtheochroa sodaliana
1 to light at Ashwell Quarry during a Herts Moth Group field trip in the far north of the County on the 18/06/16 was a good record of a local moth, new to me and nearly everybody on the night. Very few previous records.

[2171] Marbled Coronet Hadena confuse
An adult was found in the trap over-looking the bare chalk escarpment in the South-Eastern side of Ashwell Quarry on the 18/06/16. A local and uncommon species resident in very low densities within the County.

[0633] Cosmiotes/Elachista stabilella
On the 07/07/16 whilst surveying Braughing Friars farmland I potted up a tiny specimen that resembled an Elachistidae of somekind but was rather on the small side at 4mm. The moth was photographed (just!) and retained for further inspection. It turned out to be the scarce Cosmiotes/Elachista stabilella with very few previous records. On a return trip on the 19th of July, I recorded another specimen that resembled this moth.

[0857] Peach Twig Borer Anarsia lineatella
On both the 07/07/16 and 19/07/16 I recorded two examples of this adventive species on different dates, both on farmland at Braughing Friars in the same trap and unbelievably positioned in the same location! Other records were made in the County at a similar time including Graeme Smith’s garden first on the same night (07/07/16) and taking a joint County 2nd record.

[1462] Delplanqueia dilutella
Several examples of this moth were taken at light during the trip to Hexton Chalk Pit on the 09/07/16. It is a scarce Pyralid in the County and was a first for me and most of the other attendees on the night.

[0678] Depresaria sordidatella
2nd County record. Trapped at Braughing Friars on the 17th of July and which came to the 160w Blended Bulb Robinson Trap and didn’t look quite right for any other obvious Scoparids so the moth was retained.

[0962] Cochylis roseana
Another scarce moth in the County was recorded at Braughing Friars farmland on the 19th of July. There are quite a few records for this moth in the County but it was worth mentioning as we trapped a further two examples on the 23/07/16 at Bovingdon Brickworks during a Herts Moth Group outing. Noteworthy because this was the first year that I have ever seen one since 2006.

[0803] Gelechia muscosella
New to Herts, Gelechia muscosella was trapped at Braughing Friars on farmland on the 19/07/16
Rare and found in marshes, fens, river-banks and other damp areas. In recent years, it has been recorded only from Wicken Fen, Cambridgeshire, Dungeness and Whitstable, east Kent and at Blacktofts Sands Nature Reserve, south-west Yorkshire in 1998. The larva feed on catkins of Sallow.

[1138a] Epinotia cinereana
This record from 19/07/16 and taken at Braughing Friars is included dubiously as I only have photographic evidence of this species that was recently split from nisella and recognised as a separate species.

[0801] Gelechia scotinella
This record from 22/07/16 and caught in my back garden in Stenage is still pending.

[0757] Recurvaria nanella
A first for me on the 30th of July to the garden trap here in Stevenage.

[0806] Gelechia nigra
My second garden record of this very local Gelechiidae was recorded on the 02/08/16 in Stevenage. Mt first garden record was recorded on the 21/08/13. A very non-descript but distinct elongated dark Gelechia species that represent both 2nd and 3rd County records.

[1323] Pediasia contaminella
New to me on the 03/08/16 and trapped at Braughing Friars on farmland. Initially the record was shunned by many online opinions saying that it was ‘just Agriphila tristella’ and that Pediasia contaminella always sits with a head-down posture. Graeme Smith proved that my hunch was correct when the moth was dissected and did indeed turn out to be Pediasia contaminella. A second example was caught on 06/08/16 at Rye Meads Nature Reserve.

[1409a] Cydalima perspectalis
An increasing adventive species in the County and my first encounter with one was on the Herts Moth Group field outing to Rye Meads on the 06th of August to the 22w Actinic homemade trap along the hedgerow boundary of the reserve.

[2057] Garden Tiger Arctia caja
A slightly tatty example came to a light positioned over-looking long grass and reedbeds at Rye Meads on the 06/08/16 and was the only one of the night. Unfortunately a steadily declining species.

[2290] Reed Dagger Simyra albovenosa
A pristine specimen of Reed Dagger was trapped on our trip to Rye Meads Nature Reserve on the 06/08/16. Reed Dagger is a scarce moth in the County but is probably more frequent than records would suggest? At present it is only know from this one site here in Hertfordshire. It was great to find that it is still present at the reserve although maybe still at very low density.

[1171] Gypsonoma minutana
On the 24/08/16 whilst trapping on Braughing Friars farmland, I potted up an unfamiliar Tortrix moth. The moth turned out to be the very scarce Gypsonoma minutana.

[1215] Thaumatotibia leucotreta
A single specimen of this species was found at the bottom of my trap on the 27/08/16. It represents a first record for the County and is an extremely rare imported pest species that seems to turn up sporadically and with no warning.

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