Tuesday, 2 July 2013

82 Moths And Counting....

It's been reasonably good for moths here over the last few days, in terms of new species rather than out and out numbers. I haven't been up as early as I should probably have been and I think a few have escaped as a result :-(

The types of moth I'm getting in the box have altered subtly over the past week with new varieties appearing that I haven't had before, which is rather exciting. 

I've now had a total of 82 different moth varieties since I started in mid June, some very beautiful and all of them interesting (well, to me anyway!). My IDing skills are getting better: it no longer takes me hours to find each individual moth and I feel quite chuffed when I know what the moth is without needing to look it up :-)

My Moth Radar is working well- I've been seeing moths out in the garden during the day, some flying other resting on gates and trees. Once you get your eye in it's amazing what you notice.

Anyway, here are a selection that I have found most interesting over the last week or two...  As usual, if anyone spots any errors please let me know.
  
White Plume Moth



Common Wave

Foxglove Pug
Chestnut Coloured Carpet

Shoulder Striped Wainscot

Green Oak Tortrix

Phlyctaenia Coronata
Blood Vein

Blood Vein Head-On View

Great Oak Beauty

Small magpie






Large Twin Spot Carpet

Purple Bar

The final two moths are the most extraordinary looking creatures. I got quite a shock when I first saw the "eyes" on the back of The Flame (the second moth). They really do look just like a pair of startling blue eyes staring at you! Many if not all of these moths will be flying around your garden at night too. Amazing thought isn't it?

Beautiful Golden Y
 

The Flame



I'm thinking about upgrading the moth box to a Robinson. I've been losing a fair few moths recently because while The Skinner trap has been great to start me off, it does not retain the moths very well so if you aren't up by 4.30 at this time of the year the moths fly around the box and escape through the gap between the perspex sheets. This is incredibly frustrating, particularly when (as happened this morning) you arrive just in time to see at least three new moth species disappearing out into the garden before you've had a chance to even photograph them! Arghhh!!!!


21 comments:

  1. Another wonderful collection CT with many moths I would love to see in my garden (especially that lovely Blood Vein) :-)

    I too now wish I had spent the extra money and bought a Robinson but I think I might have a go at making my own in order to save a bit of money. As you say it's frustrating to say the least when you see moths escaping before you've had a chance to record them !

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    1. If I was safe to be let loose making my own trap I'd do the same, but I fear I might electrocute myself and the moths which wouldn't be good ;-)

      It is fascinating to observe the different species emerging over the weeks. I'm really enjoying it. So pleased you are publishing yours too- I very much appreciate being able to compare and contrast.

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  2. Your photos and the diversity of moths you have recorded is amazing! The White Plumed Moth - Ahhhh beauty - is my favorite. Are you contributing your findings in a dedicated moth atlas project? It would be such a waste to not get your data contributed in a larger network of people doing similar inventory work! Very exciting!

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    1. It's encouraging to be getting such a good variety given the doom and gloom that surrounds so much of the world's wildlife at the current time. I too thought the White Plumed was incredible.

      I would like to get them officially recorded and have photos of all (in case my IDs are not up to scratch!) so it should be do-able.

      I'm glad you're enjoying them. I'd be very interested to see Canadian Moths (hint hint) :-)

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  3. What a fantastic haul! Small magpie definitely my favourite.

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    1. It was new to the box this morning and in fact there were two so they must have only just appeared :-)

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  4. They really are quite amazing. I had no idea there were so many different types frequenting our gardens, or that they can be so beautiful... i.e. not all brown!

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    1. Me too. I am officially completely hooked on moths. L says "all you ever talk about mum is moths and ponds" which is a pretty fair assessment :-)

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  5. Another set of stunning pictures - thank you! I've never really given much time to moths (being a bumblebee person) other than flapping them away from me when I'm hanging out of the bedroom window at three in the morning trying to stave off a hot flush. But they are really beautiful and delicate creatures, aren't they?

    Looking forward to seeing what else you can lure into your moth box!

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    1. They are wonderfully varied which was what really amazed me when I first started to put the box out (and to be fair still does).

      The worst thing we've had in the box (TWICE) was a wolf spider... :-(

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  6. Hi stunning shots of these moths. Since blogging, I have seen more moths than I even knew existed. thanks for sharing. Margaret

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    1. That's one of the things I love about blogging - the opportunity to see remarkable creatures and landscapes all around the world you perhaps wouldn't otherwise get access too.
      Glad you enjoyed looking at the moths :-)

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  7. Well CT, what a great collection - I can see you are hooked! I love their names most of all, Chestnut Coloured Carpet, Shoulder Striped Wainscot...amazing. Who on earth names them? I think the Blood Vein head on looks like a spider hiding under a leaf :)

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    1. Oh No! Not more spiders!

      The names are brilliant aren't they? M and I were talking about that the other night, wondering who dreams them all up :-)

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  8. Some of these moths are very beautiful and 82 species in such a short time is incredible. Do you think you are in a very good 'moth' area or is this typical? I wonder if there would be that many here.

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    1. We're in a rural area which is unfarmed so there is no heavy chemical load or much interferance from man and as a result we have an abundance of wild plants, flowers and trees which is what moths and their caterpillars rely on (often the plants that are normally considered weeds, such as bindweed and ragwort).

      Having said that all my moths are common to the UK and the average garden gets 300 plus species a year so I expect you do have them- we just never usually see them.

      I've been thinking a lot about "weeds" since becoming involved with moths and am all the more determined to leave a section of the garden wild with all sorts of interesting plants growing there. You never know who might need them :-)

      If you want to attract moths in to your garden the best advice is to plant night-scented flowers like stock and honeysuckle :-)

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  9. 82 new species is phenomenal!! Really enjoy the Beautiful Golden and the head on photo of the blood vein! Fabulous!! I might have to have a go at making my own some day... I was watching a few large moths feeding on the valarian last night but they were beating their wings so quickly I had no chance of IDing them!

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    1. They are pretty quick moving things and I only manage the pics because by morning they are usually dozy. Even then some of them are more perky than others and I put them in the fridge (which doesn't harm them) to calm down for an hour or two then get the pics for my records.
      The old way to go mothing was with a white sheet and a torch in the garden at night. I've read of people getting several hundred landing on the sheet- just make sure you've got some pots handy and a good ID book too!

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    2. Some good tips there thank you :) I would have to make sure our pup was indoors somewhere otherwise he would have a field day catching all the precious moths!

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  10. Well done on all those moth species :) You really are trapping some beauties - many new for me!!!

    Its only recently reading your blog (and David's comments) that I realised how easily moths escape from the Skinner trap which could account for some of my low catches! I am not a morning lark!!! although husband does close the trap when he gets up about 7.

    Great to hear how your id skills are improving - when I first started it used to take me hours to id just one moth too :) Now I am going through the same process with micros!!

    Have been away for a week and so haven't been able to trap but with the hotter weather am hoping to get some new species this weekend :)

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    1. Crikey the micros are hard work aren't they? I'm generally just taking their pic and leaving the ids for later!

      The real test re the skinners losing moths will be when the Robinson trap I've ordered arrives (hopefully next week), then we'll see how many more moths we're getting. Catches have been considerably down here this week, and that's with me getting up at 4.30 to close the trap!

      I'll bet you're looking forward to getting the box out over the weekend after a whole week without moths :-) Very much looking forward to seeing what you get...

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x