Wednesday 19 February 2014

Three Moths

As the weather was forecast to be calm, fairly dry and mild, I ran my 22w actinic garden trap last night and attracted three moths of two species. On the outside of the trap were two Pale Brindled Beauty, one of which was the form 'monacharia'. The only moth inside the trap was this Ypsolopha ustella.

Ypsolopha ustella

It's the last week of the winter GMS and after three storm blasted and mothless WGMS Fridays, I'm hoping this small catch indicates a catch of some sort, this Friday.


  1. Nice form of ustella. I've given my trap a rare outing tonight...not expecting much though...


  2. Well you never know. I went to Cardiff yesterday (to get my flints back from the museum) and spent the train journey down and back, broom spotting. Between Aberdare and Abercynon I spotted two broom sites to check out, but after that nothing. That said, the railway hardly ever passes through habitat suitable for broom.

  3. Somewhat predictably, a blank. My garden is rubbish for moths until at least the end of March...

  4. Mine isn't as good as it once was. I've been looking back at the catches I was getting this time last year and considering how cold it was, they weren't bad. I think most of the moths this year have been battered to the ground and drowned.
    Yesterday morning, on BBC Breakfast and elsewhere on the beeb, they were on about a 'surge' in butterfly numbers last year. The data may have come from the Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey. I've been doing two of my BBS squares for the WCBS since its start and I actually recorded smaller numbers of individuals and fewer species last year than even 2012.
    Although there were generally more butterflies to be seen about, apart from the spring flyers of course, I wouldn't call it a surge in numbers and they certainly didn't seem to be about in the numbers seen pre 2012. I visited a few sites with lots of Buddleia in flower and saw not a single butterfly the whole visit. It all seemed very strange and sad. Obviously, the recovery in butterfly numbers was more pronounced in some areas than others.
    A similar thing was noticed with moths, with better numbers of species and individuals than 2012 (not difficult) but nowhere near what I'd call normal.

  5. That's interesting Mark, it sounds like a localised effect you've witnessed, as I saw plenty of butterflies on my WCBS surveys in South Wales last year, including huge numbers on Buddleia at times. And the national data back this up, so I think they were fair to call it a surge in numbers. Small Tortoiseshell, for example, had its best year since WCBS started in 2009.

    Also with moths, last year was by far my best in the garden since I moved here in 2007. I wonder what has been depressing numbers in your area?