Monday, 24 December 2012

Cwmbach, Last Night

After belatedly putting the trap out last night, I still had four or five hours of dry evening before the rain arrived and this morning, there were two moths present. Inside the trap was a dark looking Winter Moth and on the top of the trap, this lovely Mottled Umber.

Mottled Umber


  1. That's better than I did Mark, under similar weather conditions. I only had 4x E. postvittana, making it 469 of those this year (my commonest moth, well ahead of 2nd place Heart and Dart with 300).


  2. Blimey! In the whole of the 13 years I've bee trapping in my garden I've only ever recorded 429 E. postvittana, with only ten of them being 2012 records. As for Heart and Dart, I've had 58 of them in the garden in 2012. In fact, I can confidently say that with a total of only 1206 moths recorded in my garden in 2012, no individual species got anywhere near a total of 300.

  3. 360 H&D here in 2012, but a whopping 1700 in 2011.

    The LBAM's turn up in my trap regularly but not usually in large numbers (mostly 5 or less). This is despite having clouds of them (50 plus) flitting about on a lavender hedge at dusk very near the trap. Either they are more crepuscular than most species, or they are not that attracted to light here...

  4. A lot must be down to trap effort. Through the spring summer and autumn, with the odd rare exception, the garden trap only gets run on Fridays, for GMS, so the apparent lack of moths is almost certainly in large part down to lack of effort, coupled with the traditional GMS weather, which is always worse than any other night of the week!

  5. Mark - also probably due to you running an Actinic not an MV. In my previous Cardiff garden I ran a 22W actinic in 2006 (a good year for moths) and my highest annual total was only 63 (Large YU). Actinics seem to do fairly well on the species count, but don't attract large numbers of moths (particularly noctuids) compared with MV lights.

    Adam - I think LBAM is quite crepusular, we often have large numbers flying around the garden at dusk, and most come to light within the first hour of darkness. But I still regularly get totals of 20-30 per night in August.

  6. You,re undoubtedly right about the MV to Actinic thing, though strangely, on the few occasions when my neighbours have been away and I've run a 125 watt MV on my garden trap, the catches have been no better, even on seemingly ideal nights.
    I sometimes wonder whether there is a cumulative effect with light trapping, with many moths attracted close, but not to the immediate vicinity of the trap one night, making it the rest of the way if the trap is run again the following night. If this is the case, could the gardens and other habitats surrounding the site of a trap run every or every other night become artificially enriched with moths in waiting, which would increase their likelihood of mating and laying in those gardens, thus increasing the artificially high population even more.