Monday, 13 July 2015

Beautiful as a Butterfly.....Moths.

 Swallow Prominent

The ironing is piling up nicely, and the spiders think Christmas is here with the amount of midges on the windowsill.
There is a moth in every room just waiting to be rescued and I've taken to Twitter to follow "Moth people" !  


My family are use to my , shall I say slightly obsessive behaviour. When I like some thing I like it a lot, remember all the sheep photos a little while back...

For the past few weeks I've read, watched and read some more all about moths, hoping to get better at I.D them so I don't look like a right noob on iSpot when I post my photos .

Grey or Dark Dagger ((Acronicta psi/tridens))

Like the Dagger moth, which I think looks like it has been trampled by a bird with inky feet.
It's very hard to tell the two apart  except by examination of the genitalia, I might need something a little stronger than my reading glasses for that!

Common Wainscot (Mythimna pallens)

The next thing you get to learn is there are many moths that are the same but just a different colour, which is OK until you learn that many moths look the same but have a different name !
Even the experts can't agree sometimes, as this moth could be a Smoky Wainscot

Mottled Beauty (Alcis repandata)

Coming in all shapes and sizes, some much pretty than others.

Thursday night was the night the moth trap went out, it had been a warm day which is a good start and rain was not promised till later Friday.
I did sit out and watch the moths come in for over an hour, I mentioned to OH that it was better than TV and we could set a camera up to watch it from in side, did not quite catch what his reply was!

 Flame (Axylia putris)

Swallow-Tailed Moth (Ourapteryx sambucaria)

I had many new moth this night including four Swallow-tailed which are so beautiful.


Lempke's Gold Spot (Plusia fistulae/putnami)

I think this has to be one of my favourite ones of the night, the colourers are stunning,

Beautiful as a Butterfly


Spectacle (Abrostola tripartita)
Snout (Hypena proboscidalis)
 Small Magpie (Eurrhypara hortulata)
Common Yellow Conch (Agapeta hamana)
If you are interested you can see the full list here

Light box catch 10/7/15

15 New Moths
29 Species
51 Total garden moths

So that is during the night but during the day I have been of looking ......

Meadow brown


green grasshopper

5 spot Burnet moth
and funnily enough another moth, this is a day time flying moth.

Silver Y
Hope you have enjoyed looking at some of the moths I have caught.



37 comments:

  1. Oh they are fabulous, I was going to wait until next year to get a moth trap but now I think I can't wait.... lol! Can you tell me which trap you have? I know it's a Skinner, but looking on Anglian Lepidoperists Supplies there are Skinners with an MV bulb, then Skinners with either one or two bars of what looks like flourescent light strips (Actinic bulbs, whatever that means). I think I read somewhere that MV bulbs were going to be reduced from sale soon (no idea why) so think I need to look at the others. As you are getting loads of moths I wonder which one it is? My hubby found a Very Special Caterpillar (tell you about it next post of mine) which means a Very Special Moth exists here in my hamlet!!! It's too late in the year for the moth but I'm itching to catch a few moths now.... :-)

    Great photos and well done for capturing the Burnet and the Silver Y, which are often very flitty. I'm never going to be able to ID moths so may just have to post photos and spend the winter swotting up on them (if I get a trap that is... ) But I was going to buy the beginners kit which comes with a moth guide book and pots to put the moths in. xx

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  2. What a lovely post, Amanda. We saw our first Burnet Moths (and chrysalis cases) yesterday at Snape Maltings. We also had a visit from the Swallow-tailed moth - my first sighting of one, I believe. Thank you for your comments on my tree post.

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  3. P.S. I forgot to add that the Swallow-tailed moth perched on our mirror-faced wardrobe, so I could see it in stereo, so to speak!

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    1. Thanks Caroline, well that would have been a wonderful sight as they are very beautiful...
      Amanda xx

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  4. Hi Mandy, if you got one now you would still get plenty of moths to keep you happy( it came in two days), I got mine from Anglian Lepidoperists Supplies too. It's Twin 30w Skinner Trap, bright enough not to bother the neighbours but still bring the moths in.
    This one is fully water proof, but have brought it in if rains (have bought a barbecue cover to go over it) You could get The 125w MV (SK07) with the rain cover, if you don't have to worry about how bright it is.

    When I bought mine CT commented on the retention rate is poor, and yes after watching the moths go in on a night I do seem to have a lot less in the morning, but still over 100 is enough for me to deal with at the moment.Some people get up at first light and block of the hole to stop them coming out during the morning light, still not managed to get up at four to do this though!

    If I had the money I would get a Professional Robinson Trap( Lot of money) or a portable to put out in the field. They are stopping selling the bulb ( heath and safety !) as they are Mercury Vapour. Looks like they are going to stock up with as many as possible and if treated right they last for years.
    Great thing is you don't have to leave the garden to do this hobby :)

    I have the book all ready so go for the beginners set. for tubs to hold the moths in I have been using Toothpick containers I have bought for 20p they even have a small hole in the top to let air in. I used my small tanks( used to raise my butterflies) to hold all the Heart and Dart moths in (28 ) as they have a little lid on the top.

    JUST DO IT.... start saving your egg boxes as you could have your trap up and running by the weekend...:)))))))

    Looking forward to seeing what special moth you have in your garden, let me know how you get on..
    Amanda xx

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    1. No problem with the egg boxes, keeping hens I have plenty! OK so that is the one I was thinking of getting. Originally I wanted the one that CT has, but my husband persuaded me to get a cheaper one, and thinking about it, timewise I really don't want to deal with as many moths as she gets in hers!

      Thanks for the tip about them getting out - thankfully dawn is an hour later here due to the time difference, though I don't particualarly want to get outside at 5.30am either. :-) I think I'm going to be a devil and order it, even if I only use it once a week. But I'm hoping to get away next year for a well deserved holiday in September, and I expect that is a good month for moths so I could see what is around this year if I am away at that time next year. A Deaths Head Hawkmoth would be good - one of my neighbours found one in a building he was working on recently (he's a builder)!!! :-)

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    2. I am so excited for you, it does take some time to go through the moths especially if you want to photograph them all, I write the photograph number down as I'm going and make notes as you can get a little mixed up, popping them in the fridge for a short time calms them down as other people have mentioned. Now the Deaths Head Hawkmoth would be a great catch, I do look forward to seeing what you catch.
      Amanda xx

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    3. I'll be getting it Monday, funny thing is I received an email from la Poste saying it would be delivered Monday, then went to have a shower, the doorbell rang (hubby was out), nothing I could do about the doorbell.... then find they'd sent another email saying it would be delivered Sat morning between x and x hours! Silly sods. Well 2 days to France is quite incredible and the p&p was only double that within UK so I am impressed. I'm going to be so busy trying to ID them I don't know if I'll have time to do anything else.... :-) Can't wait!

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    4. Hi Mandy, I am so pleased you decided to get one now rather than wait, think August can be just as good for moths. Looking forward to seeing what you get.
      What I have found useful is Hants Moths, type this in and go to flying tonight, gives you a good selection of moths.
      This week as we have rain over night, I have just put the light out and caught moths I think I have not seen before, then switched it all of when I go to bed.
      Amanda xx

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    5. Thanks, I'll check out that site. Still don't have it, as forgot our village PO is shut on Mondays! Today then. I want it set up and out tonight, as I've got chemo again and early on Thursday and Friday so won't have time to check the trap those days. I did wonder about doing like you've said, just leaving it on for a few hours. Well it's going to be fun learning all about it. :-)))))))

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  5. Great selection Amanda. I've never had a Gold Spot here so it was lovely to see yours. Always great to compare regions and species. So pleased you're enjoying it all x

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    1. Thanks CT, it is a beautiful looking moth...
      Amanda xx

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  6. Hello, what an awesome post. It is neat seeing all the various moths! The Burnet Moth is a beauty! Have a happy day and new week ahead!

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    1. Thanks eileen, the Burnet Moth is such a bright red is so nice to see them flying around, and in good numbers too..
      Amanda xx

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  7. Suddenly getting a lot of moths about, riband wave being rather popular! Still yet to see a really big hawkmoth. First swallow tailed moth seen in the air last night, very late.

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    1. Thanks Simon, we had quite a few Swallow tail moth and seem quite large in the dark, I hope I get a Hawkmoth soon.
      Amanda xx

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  8. Excellent stuff Amanda, it is fascinating to compare the moths you are getting to those I am getting over here in East Yorkshire. I particularly like the Gold Spot, a species I recorded a number of times in 2013 but not at all last year, so perhaps this year is going to be another good year for them :-)

    All the best and kindest regards :-)

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    1. Thanks David, if the rain holds of trap going out to night, it would be nice to see some more Gold spot.
      Amanda xx

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  9. Wow, those moths are amazing but not as good as your photos - the detail you,ve achieved is just stunning. I so want one of those moth traps now or to go on a moth event. X

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    1. PS love your new header!

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    2. Thanks for the kind comment Julie, it would be wonderful if you could get a trap to. Have a look out for a trapping event, the one I went to are having more events during July and August, you would hope other places would do the same..
      Amanda xx

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  10. Wow what a collection they are beautiful in a creepy sort of way. To be honest I don't really like being in the same room as moths - never have since childhood. They sound really hard to identify.

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    1. Thanks Elaine, I know what you mean, when we are out in the dark with them flying all around it can get a little odd, there are all sorts of funny noises when its dark which doesn't help...
      Amanda xx

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  11. Some great finds - brilliant photos! And no, you won't change my mind on pink flowers! I tolerate some (like the red campion by the pond and the corncockles) but I've always hated anything pink, haha!

    Also, no, there's nothing I can do at school to encourage nature love. It's such a chaotic, disorganised and busy school with demanding children and low attainment means that it's all about literacy and 'proper' learning there - the natural world has no place in school life and health and safety there is just ridiculous. The children aren't even allowed to go out to play if there's a light frost in case they slip. I can't figure out if it's fear of being sued by parents or just totally OTT on the 'caring' side of things! I really hate it, keeping an eye on the jobs pages!

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    1. Thanks Louise, been looking at bell heather to day and thought of you as it's the most beautiful baby pink :)

      About your job, it's such a shame they won't engage in nature, as all the core subjects can still be learned this way too, if there was a chance you could change their minds it would have been a exciting challenge. Life to short to be unhappy at work so I hope you find something soon.
      Amanda xx

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  12. What a lovely selection of photographs Amanda, many beautiful colours.

    Do you know I have actually seen restaurants advertising this past week 'Book your table now ready for Christmas'! What a thought I'm still doing my best to enjoy summer.

    Hope you have a lovely week

    All the best Jan

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    1. Thanks Jan, glad you like the moths, I have heard and seen the Christmas word popping up to !! please not yet. If I had my way there would be a law not to mention or make ready for till Bonfire night is out :)
      Amanda xx

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  13. Hi Amanda, Your Gold Spot is a Lempke's Gold Spot. If you email me ( address on my blog) I'll sen you a pic showing why. I get 50-50 of each in my garden here with Lempke's maybe just nudging the lead?

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    1. Thanks Stewart, got the photos..
      Amanda xx

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    2. Thanks Stewart, got the photos..
      Amanda xx

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  14. I'm back! Sort of - OH is still setting up the new computer but will gradually get on here more hopefully and catch up with blogs :) Lovely selection of moths Amanda and super photos as always. I am so glad you are enjoying your moth trap so much - you get totally addicted once you have one.

    I agree with you that the retention rate isn't brilliant on the Skinner but at this time of year it provides more than enough moths for me to be looking at! I never get up at 4.00 in the morning either - I just rely on OH to close the trap for me when he gets up at 7.00. I am a night owl so don't surface that early!!

    I had a look at the Franesca Greenoak book on churchyards - there are several mentioned in Yorkshire but most were included in the chapter describing ceremonies etc. The only two I could see that were mentioned more in the wildflower section were Kettlewell and possibly Ripponden. Scalby North Yorkshire has a rare native species - the Coral Root bittercress but the book gives very little detail about wildflower species to be seen in Yorkshire churchyards. It might be worth visiting the God's Acre Living Churchyards website that might have more detail on churchyards local to you or the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust might be able to help you? I do hope you find one close to you that you can visit.

    I have found a few mentioned in the book down here especially in Oxfordshire but chances of persuading OH to go are negligible and now he's retired I can't just go off like I used to and do my own thing. Will try and find a way to get there somehow or failing that I will revisit one of the more local ones which I haven't visited in summer.

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  15. Hi again Amanda - have just found an article in one of last year's British Wildlife Mags on Caring for God's Acre. There is apparently a Yorkshire Living Churchyards Project - a joint project between Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and the Diocese of York. St Chads in Leeds is mentioned which has an oak dating back to Elizabethan times and a mosaic of grass lengths. Far Headingley is also mentioned where a plant survey found 5 ferns and summer wildflowers include Cat's Ear, Meadow Vetchling, trefoils and ox-eye daisies. Hope that helps a bit more!

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    1. Thanks RR, for all the information and taking the time to look, will have a look to day at it all..
      Amanda xx

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  16. Such a lovely bunch of creatures you've found! Thank you for sharing them - Ann

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    1. Thanks Ann, nice of you to leave a comment, and you liked the moths, do call again..
      Amanda xx

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  17. Fabulous photos Amanda, that 5 Spot Burnet Moth photo is stunning.

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    1. Thanks Ian, they are a lovely bright moth..
      Amanda xx

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