Sunday, 5 July 2015

Butterfly of night....

Well we went and did it...
We bought a Skinner Moth Trap.


What with all this warm weather and my recent trip to Rodley Nature reserve to see what moths they had trapped there.


Elephant Hawk-Moth 
 I really wanted to see what moths we had in our garden, last year we built a home made trap and would get a few moths, but this year I was getting none, and a little frustrated.
The white table cloth on the wall was getting more than the trap.


A beautiful moth called Ruby Tiger
and a Map-Winged Swift.


We ordered the trap Wednesday night, it came Friday afternoon and was up and ready on Friday night, the weather was not looking good, storms started moving over, so we decided to pack it away.

Saturday was the longest day, it seem to take ages to go dark, this evening we had moved the trap away from the trees and into the open near the back door, which turned out to be a bit of a mistake, as it got very dark all the moths came out !!! the light from the trap was glowing on the house wall which was filling up with quite a few moths, must say we were getting a little freaked out with the amount that was flying as they would bump or land on you. All the windows had to be shut as they were coming in the house. There just seemed a lot when you are just used to seeing the odd one..

The next morning I was straight out to see what was in  the trap, 
I had caught less than I thought I would  36 including some Caddis fly, I know it's more than the normal two I've been getting. 
In the end it was just as exciting to have this many, as it takes time to go through the egg boxes, take notes and photos. I put the moths ,still attached to the egg boxes in a large box and will let them go to night. They are tucked safely away in the shed, the few that escaped were picked of by the bird!
Here are a few that are new to my garden.

Varied Coronet (Hadena compta)

  Beautiful Golden Y (Autographa pulchrina)

Flame Shoulder (Ochropleura plecta)
Heart and Dart.
I have had recorded this moth before but it was the most popular moth of the night catching 16


Dark Arches (Apamea monoglypha)

Buff Ermine (Spilosoma luteum)

 Marbled Beauty (Cryphia domestica)
Riband Wave (Idaea aversata)

  Common Footman (Eilema griseola)

any one who as been thinking about getting one in the past, DO... I know they are a little pricey, but what the heck .
After reading other peoples posts on moths and doing a little reading, I managed to name most of the moths, but have had them on iSpot just in case.




27 comments:

  1. What a lovely variety of moths! My favorite is the first elephant hawk moth, it is beautiful. Enjoy your day and the new week ahead!

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    1. Thanks eileeninmd, It's going to be a great thing to do, as you never know what will turn up.
      Amanda xx

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  2. Super collection of moth photos, well captured.

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    1. Thanks Ian, this is something I can see you doing, the girls would enjoy it to...
      Amanda xx

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  3. Brilliant! I'd love to have a go at this but I'm still torn between being fascinated by moths and being freaked out by them! Maybe I'll stick to looking at your photos of them for a while :) x

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    1. Thanks Julie, it was a little scary I have to admit, what with it been dark as well, just adds to it. But to day it was all worth it so see the moths close up..
      Amanda xx

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  4. Lovely collection Amanda with some real beauties amongst them (including my diminutive favourite the Marbled Beauty). However you'll have to get used to Heart & darts (I had 26 last night) whilst it will soon be Yellow Underwing season too! Good luck with your next moth-ing night and I look forward to reading the next report :-)

    All the best & kindest regards to all :-)

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    1. Thanks David, think it was the heart and darts that were covering the house, did have one yellow underwing in the trap ( have seen a few before) they are quite a chunky moth, not fancying them bashing into me. !
      Amanda xx

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  5. I am so excited for you Amanda that its arrived so quickly and is up and running!! Must admit that when I first put mine out on a hot and humid night and there were moths flying all over me I got a little freaked out! But you get used to it and in my case it only happens when its very hot. Have had loads of Hearts and Darts here recently! and Large Yellow Underwings when they get going can come in their dozens. They make a large thud noise when they first go in the trap too!!

    Great photos and I love the Varied Coronet (have never trapped that here). So look forward to reading about all your catches. Enjoy and have fun :)

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    1. Thanks RR, glad there was one you had not see, would be interested do you send records of to local recorder ? do you right down what you catch in a book or just record on your blog ?
      Could of stayed up watching them come in, there was many more we spotted that we didn't catch, last thing how do you let them go, save them to the evening ? birds have been lining up during the day, funny how they know there are moths about.
      Amanda xx

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    2. Hi Amanda - Yes, I put my records of each trapping session on an excel sheet and send them to the local County Recorder at the end of the year. I also take part in the Garden Moth Scheme where you trap as many weeks as you can (once a week) and submit an excel sheet which they provide (it only includes a fraction of species though). I keep yearly and life lists of the moths I trap. I've got a handwritten record in a file, a typed life list and the excel sheet mentioned above which I send to the recorder.

      Yes, I've had problems with birds too so in the main I pot them and set them free when its dark. If I am going to trap successive nights I tend to let them go a few hundred yards up the road so I don't re-trap them. The ones I need to id and take photos of I put in the fridge for a few hours (it doesn't harm them) but it does calm them down!!! :) Some species though like Carpets, Pugs and many micro moths are still really lively even after a spell in the fridge!

      Been looking through the Greenoak book today to try and find a churchyard to visit :)

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    3. Thanks RR, for the reply, going to join up to send records in next year as by then I might know a few more moths, I had put the moths in the box the trap came in, still on the egg boxes then it goes in the shed, the window is open and there are holes were the roof meets the walls. Came to open the cardboard box in the evening and they were all gone, they had just made their own way out during the day, some had stayed in the gloomy shed till it was dark enough.
      I can tell now when one is about to take of as they start to vibrate but fond they are quite happy to stay on the egg boxes for longer rather than trying to take them of to photograph.
      Might just put the light out to night rather than trapping them, I just love watching them turn up !
      Amanda xx

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    4. Hi again Amanda - added reply to my comment in previous post - about also keeping record of min o/night temp and numbers of each moth trapped and whether NFY or NFG.

      I've put mine out tonight as its so hot and humid - there's a Swallow-tailed moth flying around in the bathroom at the moment.

      You will find id gradually gets easier. When I first started I relied just on the moth "bible" rather than the internet and it used to take me hours sometimes to id just one moth!! The idea of putting trap in shed and letting them find their own way out sounds a good one to me. Good luck tonight with the light :) When you first start trapping it seems really overwhelming at times so good to put out the light occasionally and have a break by just seeing a few :)

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    5. Thanks for all the help and ideas, have to ask what does NFY and NFG mean, have tried looking but what the internet comes up with is properly not what you mean ! :))
      Amanda xx

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  6. They are so colourful Amanda. Amazing images.

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  7. Well done! Glad to hear it's going well x

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    1. Thanks CT, rain has stopped plat :(
      Amanda xx

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  8. I'd love to buy one too, but I can't afford it really - so many more pressing things to spend money on and we are saving a house deposit too... one day though, one day! You had some nice visitors to your trap :)

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    1. Thanks Louise, once you have your house you can look forward to having a trap, It's taken me three years to take the plunge and spend the money..
      Amanda xx

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  9. You certainly have some interesting moths in your garden! Thanks for sharing the photos about your finds. I didn't realize such a trap exists. It's great that you can catch and release. :)

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    1. Thanks PP, you don't realise what flying around at night, it was a nice surprise to see so many..
      Amanda xx

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  10. Wonderful collection Amanda,

    I am a fan of moths............many gather around our front door at night. We have no street lighting here so they fly around the light by the door. Have also seen the bats come and feed on them.

    Thank you for sharing your night time secrets :)

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    1. Thanks Cheryl, can see it becoming quite addictive as it's exciting looking at what's in the box the next day, it would be a great sight to watch the bats though..
      Amanda xx

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  11. I envy you being able to observe these creatures. I however have an absolute terror of them, although I can appreciate their beauty, from afar!
    Jacqui

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    1. Thanks Jacqui, a few years back I would have been the same but have come to like moths, all though I was not to fond of them landing in my hair when we were out watching them..
      Amanda xx

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  12. Woohoo! I think that's the one I was planning to get - next year now. So pleased for you, this is going to be a great fun experience. Super photos and well done with the IDing. xx

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