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.

Find out more....
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.

Welcome to my weird and wonderful world of moths. Part 2

However, most people’s perception of moths is; 'Hmmm... those little brown things that eat your clothes’

How, a description of a subject can be so wrong. In fact, there are only two clothes moth species found in the UK that actually are the main offenders for eating your cloths - the Common Clothes Moth and the Case-Bearing Clothes Moth. Both are small and seldom seen, as they prefer the dark, to avoid light they hide in, folds of fabrics, corners, cracks and crevices in quiet unseen forgotten areas.

If you think moths are uninteresting you are mistaken, even some of our common species are very colourful.

Angle Shades

Brimstone Moth

Dusky Thorn

Magpie Moth

Ruby Tiger

Elephant, Lime & Privat Hawk Moth

Emperor Moth (not in your trap but attracted using a Lure of the scent of the female)

These are just a small sample of some of the common species you are likely to see in your trap throughout the year.

The bright colours are a warning to predators to stay away, I don’t taste good.

Some other moths have taken to disguise themselves to blend into their surroundings and become masters of disguise. For me, that’s the Buff tip it remarkable resembles a broken-off birch twig. However, there are many more that blend in with their natural surroundings. Others mimic different objects my favourite is the Chinese Character, the bird poo moth.

Our moth names were centuries in the making I once believed it was the Victorian entomologists who came up with the fancy names we have for our moths. In fact most of the names go back much earlier to the Georgian times.

The English names that many moths have been given are beautiful and others strange, but all the species also have a scientific name in Latin and often mixed with Greek. However, I keep to the vernacular common name. As much as I try it’s a struggle, remembering, Over Out of the 1500 micro species found in the UK only 135 species have vernacular names according to the Checklist of Lepidoptera Recorded from the British Isles.

Moths come in all shapes and sizes. The largest is the Clifden nonpareil (Macro). This moth became extinct in the UK in the 1960s but has been turning up in numbers again since early 2000 in the South of England and Wales. The Clifden nonpareil- the name means “beyond compare” the name is very fitting for our largest and most stunning of moths. Its wingspan can range up to 120mm.

And at the other end of the scale there is the Enteucha acetose (Micro) with a wingspan of only 3-4mm

You would be amazed the number of moth species that are active during the day and are as brightly coloured and beautiful butterflies, However, Not all moths fly at night many fly during the day – including the lattice Heath, Common Heath, Silver ground carpet, common carpet, Balsam Carpet, Twin-spot Carpet, six-spot burnet moth, yellow shell and the amazing hummingbird hawk-moth its fooled many a person thinking it was a Hummingbird. I know it fooled me many-many years ago when I first encountered one. These are just a few of the daytime moths you are likely to see flying by day.

Next time you look at a moth, look closer and you may be surprised by what you are see!


Our Wildlife Quicklinks