The Moth Man Cometh

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  • The Moth Man Cometh
  • teasel

    Moth Boffin : So, what’s your favourite illumination source…?

    Elephant Moth : Well, incandescent is okay, but if you really want to freak-out for the evening try and find a security HPS or something. That’ll do me as long as it’s not a PIR type, of course.

    That type of thing, yes…


    Literally on the edge of my seat.

    Seriously it should be quite interesting.

    How fabulous! You are very very lucky! Can’t wait for the results!! πŸ˜€


    Yep pictures as well please.

    Premier Icon SaxonRider

    My experience from a couple of weeks ago has made me a moth convert. I look forward to the pics!

    Premier Icon Stoner

    This morning we had a visit from a moth boffin. He returned this evening with a couple of fancy moth traps to do a survey. Last week he surveyed a neighbours garden and caught around 600 moths of fifty different species. We are at a slightly higher altitude with varied woodland and a walled garden.

    The bats and swallows are always busy at dusk, so I have high hopes he’ll catch something.

    Tune in tomorrow for the results.

    Premier Icon Bunnyhop

    Can’t wait.
    My grandpa was an entotologist and as a child I would go out on a warm summer’s evening and help him put out his moth traps. The excitment of emptying the egg boxs on the morning after was great.


    Moth Boffin : So, what’s your favourite illumination source…?

    I think it’s some sort of Mercury Vapour lamp, it’s very bright. He cautioned against looking directly at it, but typically I was drawn to it like a moth to a light. There is a lot of activity around the trap. It’s a windless still dry night.

    He’s coming back at eight in the morning. I’ll take some pics if there is anything he thinks is rare.


    Moth trappings a great way to see what night time visitors you have around your home and it’s a super way to be able to look at them close up.

    You’ve got an ideal evening for it being still and hopefully mild.
    He’ll have you checking around the trap as some moths will settle nearby on trees, buildings,etc.

    Have a fun morning checking the trap and be amazed at the vast array you’ll no doubt find.

    The trap i use is away at friends so my mothing is limited to what i can find around the local lights which is still rewarding.
    I was out the other night with a Bat detector and heard at least 4 different species in the area hunting the moths.

    Here’s a few moths i’ve seen this week.

    A Brimstone.

    Canary shouldered thorn

    Ruby Tiger

    Yellow tailed moth

    Female Oak Eggars.

    Chinese Character

    Dark arches.

    Hopefully this wind can die down here meaning a few more can be found tonight, and maybe the otter will pass through again..

    Be good to here whatcha get and that no wasps or Hornets get in during early doors.


    Fantastic pictures Sharki.


    I see this moth about quite often and nearly always on something of a similar colour to itself…

    I called it the Dog-faced Moth, though it bears more resemblance to that weird flying thing from Neverending Story. Intriguingly, it’s called The Miller.

    Ed. Apologies for the poor picture quality…


    Cheers Timber.
    Teasel, there’s alot that look very similar to that, it’s only when you really study them closely that you see some very subtle differences and suddenly you realise you’ve loads of different species there.

    Ooops! The last one of my images is Black Arches, not Dark, rushed post as i wanted to get out.
    Pointless really as it’s blowing a hoolio and raining with it, so not a great night for it.


    I’ve no doubt about that at all. I haven’t got around to studying the moths yet, still got my hands full with mammals. Purely a hobby, though…


    Same here, though the UK mammals, (most)birds, Amphibians, reptiles and Butterflies i’m sorted with, churning my way(slowly) through moths and when you get to the Micro’s you’ve really got an obsession. LOL

    Then there’s beetles, flies, bee’s, fungi, flowers, bryophytes, Lichen, etc..

    Everyday does however become a school day. πŸ™‚


    It sure does. A short trip outside a short time ago revealed a group of slugs involved in what I can only describe as an orgy. It was all too voyueristic for me to take any photos.

    I feel lucky to be right in the heart of the wild world for most of my time. Had a muntjac camped outside my door only yesterday – a deer stalker, if you will. I’ll post a few piccies of the bugger tomorrow, if you’re interested…


    Why when I left a used bbq grill on the lawn did the slugs gather? When to get it in early hours and there were loads on it.


    They were probably feasting on the one that got trodden on. Unless there’s a certain amount of translucent tissue showing in which case they were mating or trying to. The problem sometimes occur that both slugs reveal their male genitals(slugs being hermaphrodites) after abit of intertwining of the penises, one slug chews of the others penis and normal service can resume. At least that’s the jist of it from memory.
    This is normal Service.

    I’ve yet to see a Muntjac, heard one yes and boy do they scream. SO lucky you and pics would be lovely, i’m sure other STWers would like to see it to.

    Wild worlds are great aren’t they?

    BBQ grills? You’ve wasted beer on it ya drunkun yob πŸ˜‰
    Slugs like abit of most food so a touch of burger stuck to the grill was a enticing treat.


    Premier Icon geoffj

    Excellent – would be nice to see a species list for McMoonter towers, as it appears to have been a bad year for Lepidoptera

    If you fancy sharing the information, you could enter the records on iRecord ( They will be checked by experts and then will be put onto the NBN Gateway ( for use by folk who need data for planning, agri-environment, climate change studies etc.


    What news McMoonter??



    Good and bad news.

    The conditions were perfect until after midnight when it poured with rain. One of the traps was flooded, the other stayed dry.

    The count in the wet one was high and varied but the moths were wet, we are just starting the dry one.

    A Light Emerald has been the most exciting find so far.


    Sharki, your pics are fantastic.

    The Moth man has just gone, he’s been here since eight o’clock.

    It really is a fascinating subject. he caught around 650 and there were forty species he could name.

    There was one he couldn’t. It’s going to need some more research.

    My photos were hopeless, but he is going to take some better ones and mail them to me, with a full analysis of the survey, I’ll copy it here when it arrives.

    Other than the one he couldnt identify the most interesting were a Crescent Scotica and a Bee moth. The latter being a huge micro moth that was as big as a macro moth.



    all manner of moth spotting related shenanigans (scotland) here

    Premier Icon Bunnyhop

    How are the butterflies doing this year? does anyone have info?


    Cheers, that’s a fair old haul giving an insight to just how much is flitting about over our heads at night. And that was all during an unsettled night weather wise.

    So, you’ll no doubt be looking at the Anglian Lepidoptera site and building up a trap of you’re own πŸ˜‰

    I’ll look forward to the list, i trust he’ll submit the list to the local Moth recorder.

    Great stuff.

    Bunnyhop – Member

    How are the butterflies doing this year? does anyone have info?

    We have an enormous buddleia that used to be covered with butterflies each summer over the past 3 years they have become fewer and fewer, this year we’ve only had a handful despite the bush being covered in blooms.

    Premier Icon D0NK

    I always thought slugs were grim, sharki just confirmed they are even more grim-er than I thought



    Bunny. Not great i’m affraid, though we really won’t know the extent of how damaging this weather has been on them till next year when those that have just one brood hatch or or go through complete Metamorphosis.(This varies across the species).
    Hopefully the results from the Big Butterfly count will aid in giving us a better idea of how down on numbers we are. You’ve still got till the end of this month to do some counts so get on it.

    My monthly surveys from May started terribly as it struggled to provide the correct conditions in which to get an accurate survey done, with just one session providing a healthy numbers of varied species.
    Meadow Browns and Ringlets seem to have enjoyed another good year, marbled whites seem to be having a reasonable year and Gatekeepers are in good numbers right now.

    All three whites are now emerging as a second brood and seem in good numbers.

    Of the commonly seen larger Butterflies, Peacocks are finally appearing in their numbers, and thankfully are gracing the Buddleia’s after what appeared to be a poor show early on. Red Admirals this year aren’t having such a great start, but as they are a tough butterfly, they can do well in poor weather.
    Small Tortoiseshells really seem to be struggling this year, so few of these once common sightings are being reported.
    Migrants like the clouded yellow and painted lady are having a quiet year from what i see of it.

    Woodland species are fairing ok, but still nothing like ideal, so again, only time will tell.

    Species that colonise only need a window of opportunity in which to find a mate so Common blues, Brown Argus, etc should be fine.

    It’s all not perfect for them, but they battle on. Just a shame to not see meadows of them bustling with life during the summer months, instead they just hide out under a leaf, or on a stalk. waiting, waiting, waiting..


    Beautiful photos Sharki.

    Premier Icon Bunnyhop

    Thanks Sharkie, very informative.


    Is it just me or does the top one in Sharki’s last post look like an X-wing!? It looks fast!



    He had a book which catalogued the disposition of every species found across the country. When we looked up the Crescent Scotica, we saw that only one other had been recorded in Fife in St Andrews. He was going to add it to a database which I presume is the one you referred to.

    I’m very excited about the one he couldnt identify, he said if he couldn’t find it from his reference books he’d ask on a specialist site, I doubt he rode a bike so it may not be here.


    One of the traps was flooded,

    OMG Flooded? Did mothman murder some moths? Was he shaken? unbelievable.


    The previous LOL was for this remark.

    he’d ask on a specialist site, I doubt he rode a bike so it may not be here.


    Mafiafish.I thought more of a Stealth bomber, guess i’mnot watching too many Sci-Fi’s now i’ve hit 40 to see that comparison πŸ™

    Mcmoonter. That’s pretty cool, potentially finding a rare of new the UK species. Many are hard to ID without looking at their genitalia and then there’s the colour variations seen on many species causing confusion in ID.

    I’ve no doubt you’re moth expert knows his stuff better than i and if a Specialist site can’t ID it, perhaps he’s kept the Specimen to be checked out properly.

    Have a great weekend all whatever ya’ll get up to.
    I’ll be out deer tracking as the Stags here will be in Velvet and ripe for photographing.


    Update Update

    I just got the survey results from the moth meister.

    I had to copy and paste the spreadsheet, I hope you can follow it.
    The two different numbers following the species are for each of the two traps in different locations.

    Here is a wee summary of his findings.

    ‘The moth you photographed for identification by the bikers was probaly a Heath Rustic – not seen by me before and surprising for a garden – the food plant is heather and the moth likes tall heather moorland. There were two other interesting species (Crescent and Large Wainscot) that normally frequent boggy moorland and carr with food plants like Flag Iris, Great Fen-Sedge, Common Reed etc – again surprising for a garden. Clearly Glassmount has many diverse habitats.’

    Title Name Gerald Lincoln
    MV trapping Glassmount Walled Garden
    Grid ref 16-Aug-12
    Total Ref Species Taxon Location Rec Ver ID Trap Trap Trap Trap Trap
    1 2 3 4 5
    Bold = local/new for Gerald old new
    front house walled garden
    1 1702 Small Fan-footed Wave Idaea biselata Kinghorn GL 2
    2 1713 Riband Wave Idaea abersata Kinghorn GL 2 2
    3 1722 Flame Carpet Xanthorhoe ferrugata Kinghorn GL 5
    4 1727 Silver-ground Carpet Xanthorhoe montanata Kinghorn GL 1
    5 1742 Yellow Shell Camptogramma biliniata Kinghorn GL 1
    6 1752 Purple Bar Cosmohoe ocellata Kinghorn GL 1
    7 1754 Phoenix Eulithis prunata Kinghorn GL 1
    8 1759 Small Phoenix Ecliptopera silaceata Kinghorn GL 1
    9 1762 Dark Marbled Carpet Chloroclysta citrata Kinghorn GL 2
    10 1764 Common Marbled Carpet Chloroclystra truncata Kinghorn GL 2 15
    11 1777 July Highflier Hydriomena Β impluviata Kinghorn GL 2
    12 1802 Rivulet Perizoma affinitata Kinghorn GL 2 1
    13 1803 Small Rivulet Perisoma alchemillata Kinghorn GL 1
    14 1838 Tawny Speckled Pug Eupithecia icterata Kinghorn GL Photo 1
    15 1906 Brimstone Opisthograptis lutolata Kinghorn GL 1
    16 1961 Light Emerald Campaea margaritata Kinghorn GL Photo 1
    17 2082 Garden Dart Euxoa nigricans Kinghorn GL Photo 1
    18 2107 Large Yellow Underwing Noctua pronuba Kinghorn GL 93 61
    19 2109 Lesser Yellow Underwing Noctua comes Kinghorn GL 24 18
    20 2110 B B Yelllow Underwing Noctua fimbriata Kinghorn GL 1 2
    21 2111 L B B Yellow Underwing Noctua janthe Kinghorn GL 26 50
    22 2130 Dotted Clay Xestia baja Kinghorn GL 12 17
    23 2133 Six-striped Rustic Xestia sexstrigata Kinghorn GL 3
    24 2134 Square-spot Rustic Xestia xanthrographa Kinghorn GL 4
    25 2135 Heath Rustic Xestia agathina Kinghorn GL Photo 1 1
    26 2192 Brown-lined Bright eye Mythimna conigera Kinghorn GL 1 4
    27 2198 Smoky Wainscot Mythimna impura Kinghorn GL 4 8
    28 2199 Common Wainscot Mythimmna pallens Kinghorn GL 3
    29 2293 Marbled Beauty Cryphia domestica Kinghorn GL 1
    30 2299 Mouse moth Amphipyra tragopoginis Kinghorn GL 1
    31 2306 Angle Shades Phlogophora meticulosa Kinghorn GL 1
    32 2318 Dunbar Cosmia trapezina Kinghorn GL 2 1
    33 2321 Dark Arches Apamea monoglypha Kinghorn GL 13 7
    34 2322 Light Arches Apamea lithoxylaea Kinghorn GL 1 1
    35 2337 Marbled Minor Oligia agg Kinghorn GL 1
    36 2342 Rosy Minor Mesoligia literosa Kinghorn GL 1
    37 2343 Common Rustic Mesapamea secalis Kinghorn GL 57 27
    38 2361 Rosy Rustic Hydracia micacea Kinghorn GL 1 1
    39 2368 Crescent Celaena leucostigma Kinghorn GL Photo 1
    40 2375 Large Wainscot Rizedra lutosa Kinghorn GL Photo 1
    41 2382 Rustic Hoplodrina blanda Kinghorn GL 1
    42 2434 Burnish Brass Diachrysia chrysitis Kinghorn GL 1 6
    43 2442 Beautiful Golden Y Autographa pulchrina Kinghorn GL 7 3
    44 2444 Gold Spangle Autographa bractea Kinghorn GL 1
    45 2477 Snout Hypena proboscidalis Kinghorn GL 7 3
    46 2489 Fan-foot
    Zanchognatha tarsipennals
    Kinghorn GL 4 2
    Species total
    Micros (unclassified) 112 73
    Total 381 335
    Grand Total 716

    I’ve always liked the names of moth species e.g.:

    Water Veneer
    Death’s-head Hawk-moth
    Rhomboid Tortrix
    Shuttle-shaped Dart
    Green-brindled Crescent
    Twenty Plume
    Beautiful Plume Moth
    Copper Underwing
    Mouse Moth
    Light Arches
    Dark Arches
    Timothy Tortrix
    Autumn Green Carpet
    Small Wainscot
    Blotched Emerald
    Lunar-spotted Pinion
    Maiden’s Blush
    Oak Lutestring
    Dingy Footman
    Frosted Orange
    Double-striped Pug
    Hawaiian Beet Webworm

    To name but a few…

    EDIT: You should be able to find pics (not as good as Sharki’s) of most of them here


    Fantastic. Quite a few i’ve yet to see there and many that i’m surprised not to see. Perhaps the rainfall halted the trapping of even more species.

    So you’ve no Heathland or moorland close to you? they’ve a bit of a journey to find a suitable egg laying site if that’s the case.


    So you’ve no Heathland or moorland close to you? they’ve a bit of a journey to find a suitable egg laying site if that’s the case.

    We have an oasis of a walled garden surrounded by trees, Then a tree lined boundary. Outwith that is mixed intensive arable farming. A field away is some mixed heathland which I understand has some protected grasses, there are boggy sections among it.

    Sharki I’ll send you a link so you can get a better picture.


    Love this forum when threads like this pop up.

    Good stuff!


    Cheers Mcmoonter. I’m only interested to add to my basic knowledge of things.

    Nice to know there is boggy land and heath land nearby, so looks like a probable case of either wind blown moths or them just looking for more and got attracted to the MV.

    I’ve just been out to check the weather and it’s looking good, quite alot of micros about already and ruby tiger is settled on a lamp and a tawny owl calls in the distance.
    I’ll hopefully have my trap over here next week, so looking forwards to a full nights collection rather than hanging about under street lights….

    Gary. Yeah, much better than the usual on here, hence why i’m not on here much these days.

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen

    Disappointed theres no Venezuelan Poodle Moths on that list


    Disappointed theres no Venezuelan Poodle Moths on that list

    Mac – I’m relieved I didn’t find a Venezuelan Poodle Moth, it looks pretty scary, just how big is it.

    This was my favourite find of the night, A Light Emerald.


    Ace! so who was moaning about off-topic threads again?!

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