Moth Trapping in Ceredigion

The end of a busy weekend with no time for blogging, so here’s my first blog entry about what we got up to.

It was National Moth Night on Sept 18th-19th. National Moth Night (NMN) is Britain’s celebration of moths and moth recording and started in 1999.

As well as producing information about moths, an important aim of the event is to raise the profile of these insects, to highlight how attractive they are, and to raise awareness of the declines in moth populations that have taken place. Public events take place around the country, which can be a great introduction to the world of moths and stimulate some people to take up a fascinating new interest.

Aberdyfi by Night

Aberdyfi by Night

The Warden at Ynyslas Nature Reserve had organised an event so we popped along to see what was going on. I took a few photos of Aberdyfi by night and then we met a few other people in the dunes by the visitor centre and found Mike (Senior Reserves Manager, Dyfi NNR) who had set up a moth trap in the dunes and also one on the bog.

I didn’t (and still don’t) know much about moths and moth trapping, but we all huddled around the light of the moth trap whilst Mike gave us some stats and information on how it all works. He also told usĀ  a few stories of rare moth finds and sightings in the area as the moths started to appear. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see quite as many as had been hoped for, but some of them were still pretty impressive.

We went back in the morning to see what had been caught in the other traps and saw a few more species. I was surprised by how well behaved they were in the morning and the fact that they should be relatively easy to photograph, so it probably won’t be long before I set up a moth trap of my own and start photographing and identifying them.


Looking at the moths

Canary Shouldered Thorn (Ennomos alniaria)

Canary Shouldered Thorn (Ennomos alniaria)

Light Emerald ( Campaea margaritata)

Light Emerald ( Campaea margaritata)

As far as identification goes, the book recommended was ‘A Field Guide to the Moths of Great Britain and Ireland‘. It isn’t the cheapest book but it is pretty comprehensive, looked good and came highly recommended as ‘The ‘ book to get. Yep, I’ve already ordered a copy from Amazon! The 2nd edition came out earlier this year so if you’re buying make sure you get the new edition.

Next job is to build a moth trap and put it in the garden to see just how many species I can identify. Of course, if I’m going to start photographing them too then I may need a new macro lens and other bits and pieces to improve on the macro capabilities of my camera… Toys, toys, toys!

Mike was really helpful and seemed keen to get someone else in the area ‘into moths’ so I’m sure he’ll help out with identification of the various species if I need it.

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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