Friday, 4 July 2014

Not a sighting but advice...

sorry if this is not allowed but I am wondering if anyone ever traps or has trapped with low wattage actinic bulbs and / or black bulb ? are they good at attracting a variety of moths ? thank you.
emma cram


  1. Hi

    I normally use a 15w actinic in my home garden in Buckinghamshire, and I also use it in my parent's garden in Gower; I was there last week and although I still have to plot all my catches, I was getting 50-60 species per night with this bulb (approx 200 moths; last year on one night I had nearly 300 moths of 85 species with the same bulb). The two nights I used an MV I was getting twice as many moths, of 70+ species, although a lot of the higher number of moths was taken by Heart & Dart and Dark Arches!

    One day in 2012 (in Bucks) I ran an MV and a 15W actinic adjacent to each other, with similar results (295/65 vs 117/48) and it was noticeable that there were some species that came to the actinic and not the MV.

    Hope this helps!


  2. For a couple of years I used to run a 125 watt black MV on my garden trap. It pulled in more moths than the 6 watt actinic I would otherwise have been using, but almost certainly less that a 125 watt white lamp would have. The main drawback I found was the price of the lamps and their ridiculously short service life. I tried two lamps and neither lasted much more than a year. I always keep a record of trap on and off times so I was able to work out the total burn time of each lamp and neither managed more than 200 hours, which is pretty poor. I believe it is the thick Woods glass envelope that shortens their life, by hindering the cooling of the lamp, leading to overheating. I now use a 22 watt circular, green actinic and it pulls in as many moths and species as the black MV, if not more.

  3. And just to say, of course it's ok to ask for advice on the blog - just try to keep it mothy if possible!