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

Wednesday 15 January 2020

Best Micro Moths of 2019

It's taken a while and it was extremely hard to narrow them all down (I managed to record over 60 new micro species last year alone bringing me just over 1600 species for the UK).

Last year was incredible for rare micros and probably one of the best years for sheer diversity.

Below is the short-list (although rather long i've had to split them over 3 seperate photo collages!

1. Paracrania chrysolepidella (25/03/19) - Bramfield Woods - New to me - Confirmed by dissection by Graeme Smith. A rather primitive looking little moth almost the missing link between a Lacewing and a moth.

2. Eriocrania salopiella (10/04/19) - Bramfield Woods - New to me - Beauties glistening in the sunshine was how to describe the early Eriocrania species on the wing in April.
Eriocrania salopiella was new to me and found frequently on sunny days at Bramfield Woods

3. Heliozela sericiella (16/04/19) - Bramfield Woods - New to me - Not one but 3 of these tiny moths were netted during sunny intervals. Not a common moth in Herts.

4. Mompha langiella (16/04/19) - Bramfield Woods - New to me - 4 new moths in 2 days was pretty special for day flying forays so early on in the moth season. Presumed to be diminishing and with very few post 2010 records, we were surprised how abundant this little moth was across the whole of Bramfield Woods, even recording it as a second generation later on.

5. Gravitarmata margoratana (18/04/19) - Bramfield Woods - New to Herts & me - This was a bit of a shock finding this species. Previously there were only 12 UK records from 5 Counties of this rare Pine feeding species. 3 examples were trapped on the very first field trip of the year, but better was still to come. On the 23rd of April we recorded no less than 16! Hitting it's peak flight period. 19 records over two sessions was unprecedented for a new County moth.

6. Phyllonorycter tenerella (18/04/19) - Bramfield Woods - New to me - A common moth in the County of Herts and abundant on the Hornbeams but one I never got round to actually finding, so it was nice to find an adult sitting on vacated mines. In the weeks after the moths were emerging anywhere near Hornbeam and were profuse in some areas.

7. Schreckensteinia festaliella (27/04/19) - Bramfield Woods - New to me - Another week and another new moth for my records, this is an unusual species, the only one in it's genus represented here in the UK and only one of 5 species worldwide. We found several over the coming months and well into August proving a second generation. With only 5 previous Herts records, it was great to note 3 in total for 2019.

8. Cedestis subfasciella (14/05/19) - Bramfield Woods - New to me - Another new Pine feeding moth was trapped at Bramfield Woods once again. It was a bit worn but luckily I trapped another a few weeks later in much fresher condition. A good addition and complete the Cedestis set here in the UK.

9. Lampronia fuscatella (14/05/19) - Bramfield Woods - New to Herts & me - Another County first from this new wood! Swept from Gorse. An extremely local and rare moth and my first species of the Lamproniinae group.

10. Hysterophora maculosana (13/05/19) - Bramfield Woods - New to me - Over 20 examples spotted and netted over Bluebells in a lovely sunny glade on the edge of this fantastic woodland in central Herts.

11. Phyllonorycter lautella (13/05/19) - Bramfield Woods - New to me - The second new species for my records in the same day, a beauty of a Phyllo. A fairly uncommon species here in Herts.

12. Elachista humilis (17/05/19) - Bramfield Woods - New to me - A rather non-descript but nevertheless different looking Elachsta was swept during the daytime on the 17th of May. The moth was dissected by Graeme Smith and turned out to be the 4th Herts record.

13. Stigmella samiatella (21/05/19) - Stevenage Garden - New to me - Another dissection job yielded a new species of Stigmella for myself and the garden list. A fairly local resident with feeds from Oak.

14. Glyphipterix fuscoviridella (23/05/19) - Bramfield Park Woods - New to me - I caught two of these in 2019, the first for me was at Bramfield during a sweeping session and the second was a new addition to the garden list taken at light.

15. Roeslerstammia erxlebella (23/05/19) - Bramfield Park Woods - New to me - Almost an identical situation to the previous species, except I saw one more on another sweeping session. This moth was added to my garden list in August. A cracking metallic micro.

16. Coleophora amethystinella (22/05/19) - A10 Ermine Street verge - New to me and 1st site in Herts - An area of scrubland that was formed when a new A-road was dug out 15 years ago in 2004 has been left to flourish. When the highways agency replanted the area between the new A10 and the old A10 (Ermine Street) they clearly didn't skimp. I came across this site two years ago. At roughly 5 acres it is a susbstantial plot of mixed deciduous trees including Oak, Elm, Cherry, Apple, Hawthorn, Sloe and Dog-Rose, it is also home to a wide variety of flora including Trefoils, Knapweeds, Ox-eye Daisies, Thistles, Tares, Speedwells to name only but a few.
John Chainey and Jenny Spence added Coleophora amethystinella to the Herts list, a few days before I found at least 10 individuals flying in the sunshine around Smooth Tare, which seems prolific at the site. The distinct Orange eyebrows on this moth are diagnostic.

17. Orthotaenia undulana (22/05/19) - A10 Ermine Street verge - New to me - A corking tort this one and one I've taken a long time to see, it isn't by any means uncommon either but nice all the same to find several on this site.

18. Agrotera nemoralis (01/06/19) - Bramfield Woods - New to Herts & me - A huge shock trapping this in the exposed 250w clear Robinson Trap, there was a bit of early season migration going on so I didn't want to miss the boat! The evening was warm and cloudy and just perfect. The migrant Agrotera nemoralis had me fumbling around for a pot! To add 3 new species to the Herts list by June at a new site was phenomenal.

19. Cydia conicolana (01/06/19) - Bramfield Woods - New to me - With the huge amount of Pine here, it was no surprise that we may bump into some of the associated Torts, which ones.. I could not predict. The first one was conicolana, a species that I had found evidence of last December, with holes in Spruce cones.

20. Pammene ochsenheimeriana (01/06/19) - Bramfield Woods - New to me - The second interesting Pine tort was this mouthful! A really tiny moth and so delicately marked with flecks of silver. It was to be only the 5th Herts county record.

21. Brachmia inornatella (14/06/19) - Chippenham Fen - New to me - I had an invite to go to Chippenham Fen during mid June and we had a fairly good night ahead weather-wise, although clear skies prevailed, it was a little on the cool side. This was an opportunity to pick up some new species, and it didn't disappoint. With Brachmia blandella a familiar site it was nice to add the brother inornatella.

22. Mompha terminella (14/06/19) - Chippenham Fen - New to me - From Chippenham Fen also was two examples of this rather petite but pretty little Mompha. A new one for me.

23. Argyresthia pygmaeella (23/06/19) - Bramfield Park Woods - New to me - This was a very lucky find amongst the 10's of goedartella, it just about stood out enough to be noticed and quickly potted. Not a common moth and the 8th County record and only the 3rd since 2010.

24. Pseudosciaphila branderiana (23/06/19) - Bramfield Park Woods - New to me - 5th County record for Herts of this chunky plain Tortrix, although unicolorous in appearance, it was absolutely mint. This is a Nationally Scarce B species that is only found amongst Aspen woodland.

25. Triaxomasia caprimulgella (29/06/19) - Stevenage Garden - New to Herts & me - A shock new record for Herts at the end of June, was in my trap here in Stevenage. I was pretty confident on the identification, but it needed to be dissected to confirm as it is such a rare moth nationwide.

26. Batrachedra pinicolella (03/07/19) - Holt Heath NR - New to me - We had our first holiday in Dorset with our then one year old son. Staying in a cottage not far from a nature reserve allowed me to do a few walks in the evening with a torch and net. The results were great. This moth was new to me, but I was lucky to see it again at Chippenham Fen in Cambridgeshire later on in the season.

27. Bucculatrix frangutella (03/07/19) - Holt Heath NR - New to me - Another new micro whilst on holiday. I have nearly seen all of the Bucculatrix species in the this Country apart from one now. This species is confined to the North in the County of Herts.

28. Grapholita lobarzewskii (05/07/19) - Stevenage Garden - New to me - This little moth seems to be on the increase. Not far from me in East Bedfordshire it appears well established. So it was great to finally spot one amongst the hordes of janthinana!

29. Coleophora binderella 05/07/19 - Stevenage Garden - New to me - (7th County record and only the 4th modern record (post 2000). This was dissected by Graeme Smith

30. Acleris logiana (09/07/19) - Bramfield Park Woods - New to me - A long time coming this Tortrix. I had seen the very similar kochiella many times before, but never this one, so it was great to find one on the top of the trap nearest a Birch stand.

31. Agonopterix assimilella (12/07/19) - Croxley Common Moor - New to me - The site is full of Broom, Gorse and Dyer's Greenweed, and the moths trapped represented the habitat in front of us. This was one species of Agonopterix that was on the list of possibles. We trapped 3 in all over 6 traps.

32. Caryocolum fraternella (12/07/19) - Croxley Common Moor - New to me - A rather pretty looking Gelechid and one I’ve never come across before, an uncommon moth here in Herts and seems to be confined along the southern border with Middlesex.

33. Leucoptera spartifoliella (12/07/19) - Croxley Common Moor - New to me - A Broom specialist, this is particularly scarce in Herts, probably owing to the absence of plentiful areas of the foodplant. Nationally it is a frequent little moth.

34. Sophronia semicostella (12/07/19) - Croxley Common Moor - New to me - A beauty of a moth and fairly common on the night at Croxley Moor, there were only 3 previous sites for this species and barely any records so it was great to get 4!

35. Trifurcula immundella (12/07/19) - Croxley Common Moor - New to me - To get 5 new species for my records, especially in Herts is pretty special and on such a cool and windy night, it just goes to show that habitat is key! This tiny little moth is the only modern record since 2000!

36. Coleophora saturatella (12/07/19) - Stevenage Garden (3rd County record and only the 2nd modern record), the most interesting of the Coleophora recorded in my garden, the fact that it's associated with Broom and there is none to my knowledge nearby, it must have blown in.

37. Agonopterix angelicella - (17/07/19) - Chippenham Fen - New to me - A beautiful pink-flushed Agonopterix and typical of this area with plentiful foodplant, it was one of 6 new species for my Moth records and part of a blooming good 289 species after dissections.

38. Evergestis pallidata - (17/07/19) - Chippenham Fen - New to me - A Pyralid as pretty as can be with extremely ornate wings, this species is present in Herts but I’ve never come across it. It was nice to trap two here and then a month later one at Home Wood in Bedfordshire.

39. Cosmopterix scribaiella - (17/07/19) - Chippenham Fen - New to me - An extremely rare moth and not discovered in the UK until 1996, we trapped two in the trap amongst the dense vegetation. There are very few records of this moth Nationally.

40. Gelechia muscosella - (17/07/19) - Chippenham Fen - New to me - Another good’un, this was my second ever of this rare species. I trapped the first for Hertfordshire a few years back, this one was in much better condition.

41. Vitula biviella - (17/07/19) - Chippenham Fen - New to me - This seems to be fairly regular in East Anglia but it was new to me on a warm and wet evening at Chippenham Fen. Unfortunately it was deceased by the time I got round to photographing it.

42. Dichomeris alacella - (17/07/19) - Chippenham Fen - New to me - This is a rather nice Gelechid that I first came across in France, it’s not a common moth by any means and was great to net an example whilst standing over one of the traps.

43. Acrocercops brongniardella - (23/07/19) - Home Wood - New to me - This was a great little moth and extremely hard to photograph, as it just wouldn’t sit still for me. It was amongst a catch of 156 species and did include several other micro moths that could be also new to me (pending gen dets).

44. Dystebenna stephensi - (25/07/19) - Bramfield Woods - New to me - Another scarce species and one of two on the night at Bramfield, there were literally several hundred Blastobasis adustella and Endotricha flammealis at each trap, it was really hard to pick out anything different!

45. Monochroa cytisella - (25/07/19) - Bramfield Woods - New to me - A target and expected species here amongst the swathes of Bracken. I noted no less than 50 across all of the traps.

46. Elachista stabilella (29/07/19) - Stevenage Garden - 1st Garden Record - Not a common moth for me, I’ve encountered this tiny moth a few times out in the field before but never in the garden, it’s a moth that you might just miss at 7mm!

47. Cydia amplana - (17/08/19) - Stevenage Garden - 2nd Garden record - Great to get another after seeing my first here in 2014. A migrant that seems to have done well in 2019 with lots of records reported.

48. Musotima nitidalis - (06/10/19) - Stevenage Garden - New to me - Just when I thought the year was over, this turned up in my trap after a rather windy night. Not a common moth and restricted to a few sites in East Herts. An Australian adventive species. Where it came from, who knows!

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