Friday, 18 July 2014

Biggest catch of Moths ever

well for me anyway ...!

These moths were caught in my home made moth trap on Saturday 12th July,
I bring them in and usually pop then into a little tub then put them in the fridge, this does not harm them but calms them down so I can take a photo, before carefully releasing them into the Ivy on the shed wall, this is done late evening. Unknown  to me the Sparrows were watching, one of the moths took off and was about to go into the house, when out of no were a male Sparrow swooped into the kitchen and took the moth.. Very sad for the moth but great to watch the Sparrow do this.
Had the moth trap out last night, the Sparrows are already lining up on the shed roof !!!!

The most beautiful moth

Swallow-tailed Moth ( ourapteryx sambucaria)  (12/7/14)

This is a large moth, flies at night in June and July.. but did disturb this one while gardening.
It is attracted to light sometimes in big numbers.
The larvae feed on trees and shrubs including elder, hawthorn, honeysuckle and Ivy.
They are very hard to spot when they land on the Ivy as they just look like a leaf.

Small Grey (Eudonia mercurella)
This moth flies from June to August, the larvae feed on moss growing on tree trunks and walls.

Small Fan-Foot (Herminia grisealis) (12/7/14)

These moths fly in one or two generations from early May to mid August, and the larvae feed on
deciduous trees, including oak, alder, birch, and they will feed on fallen leaves.

 Marbled Beauty (Cryphia domestica) (12/7/14)

The above two photos are the same moth, this highlights how difficult it can be to ID sometimes.
The colouring of this moth gives it great camouflage against Lichens, were it lays its eggs.
The adult fly at night July to August.  

 Bee Moth (Aphomia sociella) (12/7/14)

This moth flies from June to August, the caterpillars feed on the honeycomb in bumblebee, bee and wasp nests.

 Dark Fruit-Tree Tortrix (Pandemis heparana) (12/7/14)

This moth flies from late May to mid September, the larvae feed on various trees and shrubs, including oak, willow,birch, honeysuckle, apple and pear.

Brown House Moth (Hofmannophila pseudospretella) (12/7/14)

This moth I found interesting when researching, some moths have great names but this is a simple brown moth, probably originated from Asia, but the brown house moth is SYNANTHROPIC , (which I had to look up to find out what it meant). It has been introduced to other regions by human activity and now is found almost world wide.The adults fly all year.
It can be a pest, due to the feeding activity of it's caterpillar.

Caddisfly (Trichoptera) (12/7/14)

There are 199 British and Irish species of Caddisfly of which 3 have only been recorded in Ireland.
These insects are also called Sedgeflies or Railflies.

While looking for information on moths, one thing struck me is how important trees were for there survival especially oak.

Thanks for the information


Happy Hunting
Amanda xxx


  1. You did very well to get a Marbled Beauty- I've never seen one before so am very jealous! And the swallow tail is lovely. I haven't seen one here yet this year. So glad the home made moth trap is working so well and that your interest in and knowledge about moths is growing :-)

    1. Thanks CT, it's quite nice to show you something you haven't seen, had three in the trap. Trap was out last night and caught a few more I haven't seen before, need to name them now.
      Amanda xx

  2. I'm really enjoying your moth posts and am amazed at how many different kinds you find. The swallow-tailed is beautiful. My favourite part though was your sparrow story - I would have had exactly the same reaction! x

    1. Thanks Julie, I was realy careful releasing the moths today hiding them in the Ivy, sadly one decided to fly of and straight away was taken out by a Sparrow, normally I just watch the Sparrows feeding on the bird table, so it's quite amazing watching them catch a moth. I think I will have to start putting them back in the pots if I can and let them go in the dark, just my look the bats will have them !
      Amanda xx

  3. Wow that swallow tailed moth is gorgeous! Glad your moth trap is working and you've some nice different species there. Poor moth that got taken by the sparrow though! I bet you felt guilty! :-)

    1. Thanks Mandy, had a Swallow tail in the moth trap, it could be the same one...they only fly a short time. Someone said if this moth was a butterfly it would be the most sort after because it's so beautiful ....can't disagree with that...

  4. A great post Amanda and a lovely selection of moths :) Welll done on the Swallow-tailed moth sighting :) I rarely find them in the moth trap but my daughter found one in the bathroom last night - such beautiful moths :) I look forward to seeing what else you find in the trap over the next few months. I used to have problems with a robin here trying to catch moths as I emptied the trap :(

    I get quite a few Caddis Flies in my trap - but I find them so hard to id to species level. :(

  5. Thank you, I have enjoyed finding out information about the moths I've found, and how important trees are in their survival .
    Caddis Flies are very tricky to ID, I was very surprised to find out Ireland only have three specie .