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

Saturday 20 April 2019

Field Trip - 18/04/19 - Basil's Park/Bramfield Woods

My earliest ever field trip commenced last Thursday evening and after a warm and balmy late Spring day, with highs of 20 degrees, a smattering of cloud and with the keen wind dropping by the minute, it looked like we were in for a good maiden session at a new site.

Basil's Park/Bramfield Woods is a huge site situated in Central Hertfordshire, it is of significant importance due to it's size, range of deciduous trees as well as a large selection of different species of Pine, a lot of them very old and mature.
The site has been thinned out and coppiced in certain areas to allow the regeneration of understorey flora, this is fantastic for certain species of moth that feed on various wildflowers at ground level.

Saplings have also been planted in areas where felling has occured, this to me shows that the management plan for the wood seems to be sufficient to support a plethora of wildlife.

There have been many records of other wildlife over the years here, Mammals, Birds and possibly Bats? But Moths have never been recorded here before.

On that premise I was eager to start the ball rolling and to see what moths really did reside within this wood.
Access was granted and we had the whole site to choose where to put our 10 lights, to be fair we had no idea and no data to go one, so we chose a range of habitats, with some amongst woodland, others in clearings and up high, and some next to the larger stands of coniferous trees.

It was a pleasing first trip with over 40 species recorded. This is a personal high count of species for a trip out in April, since I started recording moths in 2006, which bodes well for future recording sessions

We set the traps up from 7:30pm and lights went on at around 8:15pm, all were ran until 12am whilst packing up slowly until 1am.

There were lots of expected species that feed on the surrounding trees, such as Birch, Beech, Oak and Hornbeam.
We even got the Bracken feeder Brown Silver-lines, a nice fresh and early example, to the trap nearest to last years dead plants, further re-inforcing the importance of certain habitats being sustained.
There were also some Coniferous feeding moths recorded, which is what my target species are for this year, we got a few Pine Beauties, a couple of Spruce Carpets, but better still we got a specialist pine feeding Tortrix moth and a first for the County of Hertfordshire, Gravitarmata margarotana.

Not only was it new for the site and the County of Hertfordshire, but we got 3 of them! with 2 from the light nearest some of the most mature Pine trees on the reserve.

This is a very rare moth only recently added to the British list from Kent in 2011, to date there are under a dozen records, so to get three suggests that there is a local population here. A moth that has been introduced from Europe and seems to like our ever warming climate!

Thank you to Nick Fox for sorting the access rights out and to Trevor Brownsell and Bill Last for helping out and adding to the trap and species roster.

Below is the full list, there are several small Micro moth species pending identifications.

29 Macro and 14 Micro species recorded.

Catch Report - 18/04/19 - Basil's Park/Bramfield Woods - 1x 250w Clear MV Robinson Trap, 2x 125w MV Robinson Trap, 1x twin 20w Wemite Actinic & 40w Actinic Trap, 1x twin 15w Actinic (30w) & 1x 15w Synergetic Skinner Trap & 1x 160w Mercury Blended Robinson Trap - 6 traps in total + 4 extra traps provided by Trevor and Bill

Macro Moths

Brindled Pug 30
Brown Silver-line 1
Chestnut 2
Chinese Character 1
Common Quaker 25
Clouded Drab 5
Dotted Chestnut 2
Double-striped Pug 1
Early Grey 3
Early Thorn 1
Engrailed 8
Frosted Green 20
Green Pug 1
Hebrew Character 5
Least Black Arches 1
Lunar Marbled Brown 40
Nut-tree Tussock 30
Pine Beauty 2
Powdered Quaker 1
Purple Thorn 3
Red-green Carpet 1
Satellite 2
Scalloped Hook-tip 1
Small Quaker 5
Spruce Carpet 2
Streamer 5
Twin-spotted 5
Waved Umber 1
Yellow Horned 2

Micro Moths

Adela reamurella 3
Alucita hexadactyla 1
Dyseriocrania subpurpurella 20
Cameraria ohridella 2
Emmelina monodactyla 2
Epinotia immundana 3
Eriocrania salopiella 2
Gravitarmata margarotana 3
Incurvaria masculella 1
Pammene argyrana 1
Parornix sp 1
Phyllonorycter tenerella 2
Phyllonorycter ulmifoliella 1
Semioscopis steinkellneriana 8

Alucita hexadactyla

Brown Silver-line

Chinese Character

Epinotia immundana - A dark morph

Gravitarmata margarotana

Lunar Marbled Brown aberration

Nut-tree Tussock

Pammene argyrana

Parornix sp

Phyllonorycter tenerella

Scalloped Hook-tip

Semioscopis steinkellneriana

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