Moths. They've had precious little air time on the blog in recent months for one reason; it's been crazy cold. Come to think of it, last night was the first time in over a month that I've actually
During much of the spring and summer, recording, identifying and just generally thinking about moths becomes a worryingly regular part of my weekly routine, and if I'm not checking a moth trap in the early hours of the morning, chances are I'll be dreaming about doing it. This year however, the freezing spell in late winter/early spring has rendered moth trapping worthless, and no doubt resulted in the belated emergence of many species awaiting a warmer weather window to fly. Unfortunately, I imagine there will also be a large number of casualties to the weather- not just in the adult stages, but also in the more vulnerable early stages as caterpillars and dormant eggs, possibly leading to knock-on effects later in the year.
Last night was encouraging, but still ridiculously poor; 3 moths of 3 species; a single Twin-spotted Quaker, Early Grey and Diurnea fagella the best that could be mustered up. Compare that to the mild weather of this time last year, when I was getting an average of 30 moths of 15 species on a nightly basis, and it's quite worrying. I even created a chart in Excel from data collected in the garden, comparing species diversity up to this point in 2012, with that of the 2013 season so far. The conclusions were stark:
|The garden set up for 2013; a dust-bin, a light tube, an old bed sheet strung across two ladders and compulsory beverage.|