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

Thursday 29 December 2022

Best Moths of 2022 Roundup

Welcome to the best moths I personally recorded in 2022.

Overall 2022 was a very busy year, with some outstanding records and in recent years, the year that i've added more new moths to my UK tally, this is partly due to changing location, my first full year trapping in Cambridgeshire as opposed to Hertfordshire.

With the record temperatures in summer which followed a dry end of the spring, moth numbers slowed down somewhat, but new species kept things moving, and then towards autumn it all went a bit crazy as we dragged in warm air for the best part of 6 weeks, which contributed to being the best migrant moth year I have ever witnessed.

The short-listed became a long-list this year and it contains 20 more species than I normally would feature, a full top 50 species! Some were new for me, others were notable for the county and some were recognised as having bumper years.

So here are my best moths of 2022, enjoy and I hope you all have a good year in 2023 and thank you for the continued support. 

1. Nemapogon granella 08/04/22 - Fordham, East Cambs (2nd for county) A further 20 records over the year, most were netted at dusk against the paling evening sky.

2. Eriocrania sparrmannella 14/04/22 - Cavenham Heath, West Suffolk (New species) A new moth for my records and nearly completes my Eriocraniidae group, several were retained and dissected from a lamp ran in birch woodland. 

3. Narrow-winged Pug 14/04/22 - Cavenham Heath, West Suffolk (New species) Another new species for my records, a Pug this time. One I had failed to record in Bedfordshire and West Hertfordshire previously.

4. Pinion-spotted Pug 18/04/22 - Fordham, East Cambs (New species) A second new Pug species in the same month felt rather unprecedented. This record was followed up by a further 3 specimens into the month of May.

5. Phyllonorycter pastorella 18/04/22 - Fordham, East Cambs (New Species) Netted at dusk and dissected by Colin Plant, one of 3 very similar species. A lucky sweep of the net indeed!

6. Cydia strobilella 30/04/22 - Fordham, East Cambs (New for Cambs) Found sitting on the windowsill next to the trapping area mid-morning. I am still unsure whether I missed it on the daily trap routine, or it was attracted by the various pine-feeding tortrix pheromone lures I had hanging in the garden at the time.

7. Pseudococcyx posticana 05/05/22 - Chippenham Fen, East Cambs (6th for Cambs) This stunning and fresh specimen was 40 days earlier than the previous earliest record, and only my 2nd record ever which I last saw 12 years ago in Essex).

8. Phyllonorycter comparella 06/05/22 Fordham, East Cambs (New species) Yet another new Phyllo species in the garden, it was certainly delivering some interesting species. This was dissected to differentiate between pastorella & sagitella.

9. Epiblema scutulana 10/05/22 - Fordham, East Cambs (First to a lure) This cracker came to my Grapholita funebrana lure, a nice large and boldly marked one as well. There was one subsequent record to erase the possibility of it being a fluke.

10. Chrysoesthia drurella 14/05/22 - Fordham, East Cambs (New species) Netting was becoming rather addictive, standing on the patio once more and sweeping at seemingly specks of dust, I bagged this beauty, a new species for my records.

11. Bucculatrix cristatella
17/05/22 - Fordham, East Cambs (New species) Several of these rather plain-looking tiny's were attracted to my actinic lamp over the ensuing months. 

12. Coleophora violacea 21/05/22 - Fordham, East Cambs (New Species) A complete surprise towards the end of May, was the attraction of the Cydia zebeana lure to this shiny Coleophora. I ended up with 5 records spanning 6 weeks.

13. Psychoides verhuella 23/05/22 - Bishop's Stortford, East Herts (New species) Another find I happened upon whilst clearing weeds out of a memorial garden, it was literally sitting on a lily stem. Luckily, I always carry an emergency pot!

14. Pammene rhediella 27/05/22 - Ely grassland, East Cambs (New species) A brief stroll turned up some quality grassland species, and a new tetrad for Coleophora amethystinella (Found in their 10's) pick was this new Tortrix species, a lover of Hawthorn thickets.

15. Both Cedestis gysseleniella and Cedestis subfasciella 06/06/22 - Fordham, East Cambs (Both species in one night) A handful of Cambs records for both of this family, to get both in my garden trap on the same night was rather special.

16. Platytes cerussella 07/06/22 - Fordham, East Cambs (New species) A species frequenting the thin dry soils of the Brecks which is around 6 miles east of here, probably blown in on the prevailing winds and a grass moth I've not encountered before.

17. Cydia inquinatana 09/06/22 - Fordham, East Cambs (New species) Probably the best moth netted at dusk here was this chunky Tortrix moth with a horse-shoe shaped saddle on its back. There are several previous records of this moth in Cambs, all are from the Kingfisher Bridge Nature Reserve 7 miles due West from here.

18. Coleophora vestianella 13/06/22 Fordham, East Cambs (4th county record) Dissected by Colin Plant, a rather rare Coleophora is always nice to get, my first as well. There are some records from nearby Mildenhall on the edge of the brecks.

19. V-moth 13/06/22 - Fordham, East Cambs (New species) Stunning moth which blew me away one morning in June. I was unaware of this species being present so near to Hertfordshire where there haven't been any records since 1977, nearly 30 years after I first started recording moths. 

20. Cochylidia heydeniana 17/06/22 - Fordham, East Cambs (New species) A rather smart but tiny Cochylis was potted up before bedtime, inspected in good light the next morning it was confirmed as Cochylidia heydeniana. These became quite regular through the summer months and well into September here in 2022.

21. Eidophasia messingiella 17/06/22 - Chippenham Fen, East Cambs (New species) Rather tatty but a welcome addition to my UK list, attracted to light as well as found by day being a diurnal species of moth.

22. Nascia cilialis 17/06/22 - Chippenham Fen, East Cambs (New species) Massively overdue species of the year? Probably. This pretty species of reedbeds has eluded me for nigh on 15 years despite running traps several times each year in its preferred habitat, a big worthy tick.

23. Crombrugghia laetus 20/06/22 - Hurn Forest, Dorset (New species) Our holiday this year saw us taking in Dorset, of course strolls at dusk were practically mandatory and I was pleased to find two new moths, both micros.

24. Phyllonorycter viminiella 20/06/22- Hurn Forest, Dorset (New species) The second new moth, a rather pale creamy brown coloured species of Phyllo which is unlike any others of the family.

25. Tawny Wave 06/07/22 - Fordham, East Cambs (New species) Yet more Brecks blow-ins! This cracker was awaiting me one morning on top of the trap, I recorded a further 3 this year.

26. Marsh Carpet 06/07/22 - Wicken Fen, East Cambs (New species) Wicken Fen is a wonderous place that holds great natural beauty here on my doorstep. The moths are pretty special and it was nice to get acquainted with its rarest inhabitant.

27. Acleris lorquiniana 06/07/22 - Wicken Fen, East Cambs (New species) This wasn't the first time I saw this pretty species, it was trapped in 2021 by a fellow trapper on the same night. It was great to bag one this year in pretty much the same spot!

28. Tissue 08/07/22 - Fordham, East Cambs (New species) I've been longing to see both of the Tissue moths for donkeys, and despite trapping previously known sites for both Tissue & Scarce Tissue I have always been unsuccessful, so you can imagine my joy adding it to the garden list.

29. Gypsonoma aceriana 12/07/22 - Chippenham Fen, East Cambs (New species) Several of these distinct half-patterned half white Gypsonoma were potted up and inspected on a field trip nearby. I even recorded one at home during the same week!

30. Eulamprotes wilkella 17/07/22 - Fordham, East Cambs (New species) Two of this rather striking black and white streaked Gelechid came to my trap over the year. Very few Cambs records.

31. Ancylis apicella 18/07/22 - Chippenham Fen, East Cambs (New species) An expected species as it inhabits fenland here in East Anglia, but still special all of the same. 

32. Phyllonorycter rajella 18/07/22 - Chippenham Fen, East Cambs (New species) The new species kept rolling in, July was no different. Phyllonorycter rajella is commonly found as mines on the Alder tree here in Cambs, this was my first adult record.

33. Phyllonorycter platani 20/07/23 - Fordham, East Cambs (New species) A new species of Phyllo that doesn't require the scalpel is always good. platani is so distinct, as the Latin suggests, it feeds from the Plane tree (Platanus).

34. Agdistis bennetii 23/07/22 - Fordham, East Cambs (Rare inland) This came as a complete surprise one night. I've only ever seen the Saltmarsh Plume on the coast before (For obvious reasons), so what was it doing in my garden, over 50 miles from the coast? Talking to Bill Mansfield he said of other records here that may be attributed to the salt yards along the trunk roads in Cambs, maybe it is breeding in the county.

35. Raspberry Clearwing 23/07/22 - Fordham, East Cambs (New species) Several of the unusual large-bodied Raspberry Clearwing were attracted to a variety of lures hung in the garden, most came to its own specific lure (HYL).

36. Udea lutealis 23/07/22 - Adventurer's Fen, East Cambs (New moth) Another moth that is fairly common in this country that I've missed out on before, a fresh one was swept from grass before even setting the traps up.

37. Anania verbascalis 29/07/22 - Fordham, East Cambs (New species) One of the best Pyralid moths of the year recorded in my garden and unfortunately a bit tatty. This species has not been seen in the county since 1938, again.. where did it come from?

38. Coleophora clypeiferella 07/08/22 - Fordham, East Cambs (New species) A rather striking, speckled and not fitting with many species of Coleophora going by the ground colour was taken to light in my garden. Keyed out it looked good for the rare clypeiferella, thankfully a spiny plate on the abdomen which is diagnostic of this species was visible, and confirmed its identity. It was to be the 3rd county record. 

39. Apodia bifractella 18/08/22 - Chippenham Fen, East Cambs (New species) Another overdue species which feeds on several common low-growing plants. Not a mint example but pleasing all the same.

40. Hellinsia lienigianus 22/08/22 - Fordham, East Cambs (New species) The Mugwort Plume was a nice surprise here. I haven't knowingly found any locally, but I bet I have overlooked a patch of it nearby. New Plumes are hard to come by.

41. Ancylosis oblitella 24/08/22 - Fordham, East Cambs (3rd ever record) My 3rd example of this species and the best marked one too, was taken during a warm spell where there was a lot of moth movement around the country.

42. Agriphila latistria 26/08/22 - Fordham, East Cambs (New species) I spotted an odd Crambid one bleary eyed morning that didn't fit with any of the usual suspects. With a white longtitudal streak running into the fringe it was a new one for me.

43. Vestal 01/09/22 - Fordham, East Cambs (Prolific year) Vestal gets a mention, with 6 records in my garden and at two other sites in September, the most I've recorded in one year. This count was echoed across the south of the country with someone in Essex finding 10's on one patch of ivy. 

44. Scarce Bordered Straw 19/10/22 - Fordham, East Cambs (Prolific year) Another migrant winner, I recorded 8 over September AND October, with one into November, one was a particularly fresh example and is depicted in the collage.

45. Uresiphita gilvata 27/10/22 - Fordham (New for Cambs) New for the county and one I've taken only abroad previously, another stonker for the garden list. It has striking yellow hindwings unlike any other Pyralid.

46. Etiella zinckenella 29/10/22 - Chippenham Fen, East Cambs (2nd for cambs) a second record of this predominantly meditteranean species was found perched on my new actinic bucket trap ran at my local nature reserve. It was to be a red-letter night for migrants with 6 other uncommon species noted.

47. Oak Rustic 29/10/22 - Chippenham Fen, East Cambs (New species) A spreading species, this being my first. I was surprised at how small this moth was, small but perfectly formed in pattern.

48. Tuta absoluta 29/10/22 - Chippenham Fen, East Cambs (1st for cambs) A new moth for Cambs was potted up at my flagship 250w Robinson Trap, there were sporadic records across the county during that same week where there had been no previous records, putting the idea out there that despite being only 4mm in size, that these were genuine migrants.

49. Antigastra catalaunalis 01/11/22 - Fordham, East Cambs (1st for cambs) Another new addition to the Cambs list and my second rare Pyralid at home. This was found sitting upside down on the patio door, i'm so glad I didn't disregard it as a Rusty Dot-pearl (For which it looked damn near identical ventrally). 

50. Pearly Underwing 12/11/22 - Fordham, East Cambs (Second garden record this year) Two Pearly Underwings was very pleasing for the garden list, not a common moth in fallow migrant years, but 2022 was to be an exception.

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