16 April, 2014

Dusking for moths

Although we've being treated to a decent run of very warm and sunny spring days of late, we're also having to deal with some distinctly chilly, cloudless nights. Any normal person would shrug this off and just enjoy the sunshine, but for any self-respecting moth trapper the weather is atrocious!

In this kind of situation I wouldn't usually bother myself with the inevitable one or two moth catches that would result from putting a moth trap out, but instead go out dusking! It's as simple as it sounds- just pick a still evening, head out with a net and see what you find (trying not to look like a deranged weirdo whilst you do it is the hard part). My patch, Stokes Field, has a nice range of damp meadows which are generally sheltered from the wind but also manage to catch the last rays of sun, providing a bit of late evening warmth to encourage day/dusk-flying moths onto the wing. A half hour session last night as the sun went down resulted in a modest but nonetheless interesting total of 6 species...

Caloptilia syringella
50+ Cameraria ohridella
5 Elachista apicipunctella
200+ Elachista rufocinerea
1 Digitivalva pulicariae
16 Eriocrania subpurpurella

Cameraria ohridella

Caloptilia syringella

Elachista apicipunctella

Elachista rufocinerea

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