Moth Spotting 15/04/18

Our fifth moth event, and the earliest one so far. A little light rain the evening before did not worry us, and though the morning started slightly cloudy, the skies cleared and we found ourselves in softly dappled sunshine for the moth unveiling.

We really did not know how many new species we could expect to find in April. The Reserve tally at this point was 93 and we were feeling hopeful that we’d get at least seven new names to get the list to 100. When we set up the trap the night before, the moths seemed shy to start with, but a good few started fluttering towards the lightbulb as we left.

By Sunday morning, the quickest glance into the drum hinted at a reasonable haul, but we dutifully waited until 10am and the arrival of local people who wanted to discover more about moths. Ten budding lepidoperists came along, and we began to pull out the egg boxes, slumbering moths in every nook and cranny.

Some 70 or 80 insects were resting inside. Ralph Hobbs, our expert moth friend from Powdermill Trust, was inspecting them before they were passed around the group. Everyone wanted to see every single one;  the children were particularly fascinated and very gently handled a few that were just stirring. They were then charged with the task of softly tapping the cardboard into the woodland undergrowth to set them all free again.

22 different moth species were identified. Only three had been recorded here before, so our Reserve total now stands at 112. Click here for the full list.

We have now had moth spotting events in April, May, June, July and October over the last three years. We hope to do another in August or September this year and make our Quarry Wood species list even more comprehensive.

And see even more tiny little marvels of night-flying insects.

– Lorna

Photography: Lorna Neville

Click here for the full moth species list , and below are the links for the pics from previous events…

29/10/17;       07/05/17;       26/06/16;       19/07/15

Moth spotting 26/08/18 Moth spotting 29/10/17