Moth trapping at our Perthshire site has been a little come and go the past month. An initial session back in April led to over 200 (!) moths, but poor weather and a very short extension cable have limited our more recent attempts to only a few individuals. However, after the procurement of a much longer extension cable, which allowed us to leave the trap in a better location, our moth trapping has resumed its successful track record.
The chosen night for trapping was forecast to be dry and cloudy but upon awakening early on Saturday morning there had been obvious rain throughout the night. After a bleary-eyed rush outside to rescue the trap before it filled with water, it was with much trepidation that we lifted the lid, expecting a sea of soggy egg cartons and no moths. However to our delight, a quick glance revealed some classic favourite species.
First out of the trap was a peppered moth, happily relaxing and unpertubed by the drenched carton beneath it. A white ermine with its snowy jacket was hiding underneath. The next carton showcased a pristine dark brocade, clouded-bordered brindle and a small phoenix.
We quickly added to the list another small phoenix and white ermine before reaching some mystery specimens, difficult to identify with badly faded wings. But who doesn't love a challenge! After much consultation and deliberation, we agreed that they were more clouded-bordered brindles.
An escapee flame carpet offered some excitement as we chased it around the boot room before returning to find our dark brocade had also gone walkabouts as well (this particular individual was found Tuesday morning, looking a little dazed as it clung to a boot shoelace). The final highlight to surface out of the trap was a fine specimen of a poplar hawkmoth, rounding off a successful night's work by the little Heath trap... Or so we though!
Upon returning the moths safely to the wet hedge outside (althouth i'm sure they preferred our nice dry boot room), a lovely (albeit quite ragged) northern eggar was found on the grass near where the trap had been the night before. In total, 13 months of 9 different species were caught. This doesn't come close to the amazing numbers caught by the Robinson trap back in April, but it still resulting in an enjoyable Saturday morning.
Hopefully, an improvement in the weekend weather will mean we can get mothing more often, so keep your eyes peeled for our moth trapping updates! In the meantime, here are a few pictures from our moth ID session.
A beautiful white ermine (Spilosoma lubricipeda)
Our first catch - a peppered moth (Biston betularia)
Poplar hawkmoth (Laothoe populi)
Northern eggar (Lasiocampa quercus)