About My Moths Blog
My Moths Blog is a diary of the comings and goings recorded at my moth station, together with other general information about moths that I feel you may find useful and/or interesting.
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For more information on specific moth species I am currently working on two new sections of the site, Steve's Micro Moths and Steve's Macro Moths, which can be accessed from the buttons at the bottom of the page. Please note that these are works in progress, so will take some time to complete.
My fascination with moths started in July 2013 after I encountered a Magpie Moth in the meadow’s boundary hedgerow. Not knowing the beauty of the moth species then I thought I had encountered on a rare visiting butterfly. I have always been interested in butterflies but took little notice of moths. My perception of moths then was like most folk, those little things that eat your clothes. However, they are both Lepidoptera species of insect. Butterflies usually rest with their wings closed, while moths rest with their wings open. ... Butterflies have a long, thin antenna, while moths have shorter feathery antennas. Butterflies generally gather food during the day while moths are seen more at night-time.
If you have an interest in the species and would like to discover which moths live in your garden. Complete beginners can delve into the wonderful world of moths too. To create a simple moth trap in a matter of minutes, all you need is a white sheet and a bright lamp or torch. Peg the sheet up onto your washing line, turn off nearby lights, switch on your torch and wait patiently.
Moths come in all shapes, sizes and colours, elaborate names and amazing life-cycles, the minute yet completely beautiful details you notice when you take a closer look at them. Some are spotty, stripy, speckly; some shimmering copper and other bright canary-yellow. There are around 2500 different species of moths in the United Kingdom, split into two categories. There are 1500 Micro species, these are the smaller moths and the Macro species 1000. There are only around 59 species of Butterfly in the UK. So, when it comes to identification a good reference book is a must when you first start to study the world of moths.
The word ‘trap’ rings alarm bells with some people until explained, that moth trapping isn’t deadly or cruel. It simply involves attracting moths to a light source or food source so you can take a closer look at them, or if you’re a serious moth-er, record the species. I photograph, study, log and send records to the Norfolk moth recorder at https://www.norfolkmoths.co.uk/records.php It can be a great activity for the whole family to be involved in. Moths unlike butterflies fly at all times of the year. Some winter moths body fluid is like antifreeze to help them survive the cold winter months.
There are a many different designs of moth light traps; https://www.angleps.com/mothtraps.php some more expensive and labour intensive than others. Moth traps are available to buy online but are very expensive. A cheaper option is to make a moth trap. There are lots of DIY moth trap tutorials online
Certain moths are more attracted to sugary treats than light. they can be lured using them wine rope? Simply soak an old cloth in a mixture of cheap red wine and sugar, hang the strips over your washing line or some branches, and check them for visitors in a couple of hours. Others can be attracted to a pheromone lure such as the Emperor Moth and clearwing specialist.
Invest in a good reference pictorial guide book to help you identify the moths you attract. I use the British Moths and Butterflied, A photographic guide by Chris Manley a great place to start. Also available in app form for iPhone and iPad, great for use in the field.
Warm nights with little wind and a decent cloud cover make for good trapping.
If you’re using a traditional trap or making a trap, consider the type of light you use. Brighter lights attract more moths but might annoy your neighbours! The actinic variety is less bright but still attract moths. Go outside with a torch at night to check your windows, walls and plants for moths.
Plant pollinator-friendly plants like Jasmine, honeysuckle, buddleia and fuchsia they are all loved by moths and other insects.
If you are trapping in a small garden, avoid trapping every night, as it can stop moths from going about their normal behaviours like feeding and mating. I trap most nights throughout the year. However, the area I trap the Wildlife meadow covers six acres, with plenty of trees, bushes, water and undergrowth. I release my moths around 200 – 300 meters from the trap area in the mornings.