Posted by: Ross Gardner | April 4, 2015

A new toy

I have invested in a new moth trap!  Momentous news to you all, I’m sure.  I have previously bumbled along with various Heath-Robinson affairs in the past, but I am now in possession of a shiny new portable trap, complete with moth-baffling actinic light.  The garden list should burgeon and even better, I can take the thing anywhere!

I’d like to think I’ve done alright without over the years.  I’ve recognise several hundred species (still a way to go towards the couple of thousand British species!), found the odd rarity (like the Toadflax Brocade below) and have even been able to indulge myself by setting up another blog on the micro-moths (UK Micromoths) that I have managed to photograph and identify.

Toadflax Brocade (Calophasia lunula) - a scarce moth found feeding on Buddleja at Hockley, Essex in 2010.  Copyright 2010 Ross Gardner.

Toadflax Brocade (Calophasia lunula) – a scarce moth found feeding on Buddleja at Hockley, Essex in 2010. Copyright 2010 Ross Gardner.

Unsurprisingly and inevitable, since acquiring my new toy the weather has been too wet or too much on the cold side to really give it a decent try-out.  I did nevertheless give it a go the other night.  It was a decidedly chilly and moonlit evening (not the best conditions for moths in March/April) and yielded, shall we say, mixed results.  Well I say mixed, but what I really mean is no results.  Well I say none, but there was one, indirect result, which I shall attribute to the trap.  On stepping outside to switch off and bring in the trap, I took the opportunity to shine a torch-light across the pond for any amphibian activity to find a small moth struggling desperately on the surface film of the water, attracting the attentions of more than a few newts.  It seemed likely that the moth, disoriented by the light of the trap, flew too close to the surface and came awry (note to self: place trap further from the pond in the future).  I retrieved it, identified and placed it safely in the garden dry out.  As you can seen from the picture, it didn’t show any apparent ill-fortune from its misadventure.

Common Quaker (Orthosia cerasi) - the inaugural species in the new moth trop...kind of.  Copyright 2015 Ross Gardner

Common Quaker (Orthosia cerasi) – the inaugural species in the new moth trop…kind of. Copyright 2015 Ross Gardner

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