A Box full of Moths

We were going to go to the RSPB reserve at Ynyshir last night for a ‘Nightjars and Glow-worms’ walk, but decided not to at the last minute so instead I put the moth trap out again. I don’t normally trap on consecutive nights as I like to make sure I give the moths a chance to do moth-like things now and then, but as the conditions were perfect I thought I’d make an exception.

It turned out to be the busiest night so far and it was just complete madness stood out by the trap at midnight. There were moths coming from all directions. The trap was buzzing and the sheet was covered in moths. There were plenty that I’d never seen before, some of which I didn’t manage to see properly before they got away. It is surprising just how many moths there are, and how many of them never actually enter the trap. Despite this, there were over 100 in the trap this morning. Here’s the full list. As usual, the new ones are marked with an asterix and I shall include a photo of them.

  • 1x Clouded Silver*
  • 1x Barred Umber*
  • 2x Common Marbled Carpet
  • 3x Wormwood Pug
  • 1x Water Carpet
  • 1x Small Seraphim*
  • 9x Elephant Hawkmoth
  • 1x Common Swift
  • 6x Purple Bar
  • 5x Gold Spot
  • 2x Buff Tip
  • 2x Cinnabar
  • 3x Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet
  • 19x Heart and Dart
  • 1x Buff Ermine
  • 2x Silver-ground Carpet
  • 3x White Ermine
  • 2x Shears
  • 12x Flame Shoulder
  • 7x Setaceous Hebrew Character
  • 14x Small Square Spot
  • 3x Oligia sp.
  • 7x Treble Lines
  • 2x Wormwood Pug
  • 1x Red Twin-spot Carpet
  • 3x Common Pug
  • 1x Garden Carpet
  • 2x Rustic Shoulder Knot
  • 1x Tawny Shears
  • 2x Pebble Prominent
  • 2x Shark*
  • 1x Scorched Wing*
  • 2x Common Carpet
  • 2x Shoulder-striped Wainscot
  • 2x Dusky Brocade
  • 1x Small Magpie
  • 1x Clouded-bordered Brindle
  • 3x Small Elephant Hawkmoth
  • 1x Alder Moth
  • 1x Poplar Hawkmoth
  • 1x Dark Sword-grass
  • 5x Silver Y
  • 1x Brown Rustic
  • 1x Broom Moth
  • 1x Pale-shouldered Brocade
  • 2x Shaded Pug

3 Responses

  1. Rob Pearce says:


    Great website … and I’m envious of the way you are living your life. We used to live in Bristol also, so a few parallels.

    I love my family (wife and 4 kids), mtbing, surfing, fishing and nature also, but live in Hampshire and work full time for a large company so work life balance tends to be a little more challenging.

    At home we have a lovely house and garden, with chickens and tortoises as pets. The kids love spending time out in the garden … and the moth counting looks like great fun … so how did you get started and build your moth box ? Can you point me at any websites that got you started or have advice on how to ?

    Good luck with getting Morgan to surf … I’m just starting to get my boys interested but they are older (13 and 10) and we are a bit further from the beach.


    • Alan says:

      Hi Rob,
      Sounds as though you have a pretty good life there – don’t worry, the work life balance thing doesn’t always work quite they way we’d like it to here either! 😉

      As far as a moth trap goes, then you can of course make them yourself, but after some deliberation we bought one rather than go the DIY route.. Take a look here for my moth trap buying decision making process: https://www.alananna.co.uk/blog/2009/buying-a-moth-trap/

      Basically, by the time you buy the electrics and spend some time putting it all together you may as well get a ready made one from Paul Batty – I’ve been recommending them quite a but recently so if you buy one from him let him know that it was me who pointed you in his direction – You never know, if he knows I’ve brought him lots of business I might be able to get a discount from him next time I’m buying a trap! (I’m thinking of getting a battery operated one at some point). They are home made affairs in themselves, but the electrics are all spot on and it saves you a lot of trouble for not much money.

      The trapping is good fun, its great to know just how many species there are in your garden, but it does take a while to sort through them all, so be warned! The kids will love it though.

      Fishing – Now that’s something we haven’t done much of, maybe a new project for the summer! 🙂


  2. Rob Pearce says:

    Thanks Al, I’ll take a look.

    On the fishing front … I used to do it a lot when I was a kid,
    course and sea fishing (not far from you … we spent summers in
    Aberdovery as a family and my dad and i collected soft crabs to fish
    for Sea Bass off the rocks in the Estuary). In the last 3 years I
    have taken up fly (or game) fishing for Trout which I find more fun
    (and is more accessible in Hampshire) and my eldest daughter and two
    boys love also. Around where you are I would have thought there is
    plenty of opportunity to fly fish for Salmon and Trout on the Dyfi or
    other rivers. It’s good to have some lessons on how to fly fish
    initially so that you get the casting right. Sea fishing off the
    beach or rocks is more basic and easier to get to grips with. For
    beach fishing, finding the bait (crabs, rag worms etc), catching a
    fish and bringing it home for supper was a great experience as a kid.
    When we started to go Trout fishing Josh, my 10 year old, was a little
    uncertain about clobbering a Trout the first time, but no he’s quite
    happy to catch and sort the fish out on his own and we’ve even had a
    go at smoking trout on an old bbq which tasted great.

    Anyway, hope you find the time to give it a go in between your other
    pursuits. I’ll see how we get on with Hampshire moth counting !!

    All the best.


    PS. If you’re looking for an interesting MTB challenge …

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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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