Was this the best ever moth trap I've seen?!

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Saturday 24 June 2017 13:06

Last Thursday night, Alice put the MV Skinner trap out at Southerham and we recorded 95 species of moth (229 moths in all)! Five of these species were new to me and four were new to ALL Sussex Wildlife Trust reserves. This is remarkable as we have now recorded 1240 species on the reserves. We only started trapping at Southerham last year so many of these 95 species will be new to the site. I'm afraid I was a little carried away with the scarcer micro moths so I am afraid I forgot to photograph the three hawk moths that we had in the trap!

First up is Ethmia dodecea which I originally wrote down as Ethmia terminella - we had two of these last week and this is much more likely feeding on Viper's Bugloss. Ethmia dodecea feeds on Common Gromwell which as far as I know is not present on Southerham and Malling Down. However with that crazy heat we had, moths were dispersing all over the place. I haven't seen this moth since about 2004 and I'm glad we now have it on our reserves.

Then we had this Crescent Plume which I have seen at Benfield Country Park where I saw a similar amount of moths many years ago. It feeds on Restharrow which IS just up the hill from the office.

This Hollyhock Seed Moth is nationally scarce (Nb) and feeds on various types of mallows. These are in nearby gardens and hedgerows.

And finally Piniphila bifasciana which feeds on pine! No pine near Southerham! But that photo was too awful to be published. What's the largest number of species you've ever had in a single unattended MV trap? I'd love to know what the record is too!

1 Response to "Was this the best ever moth trap I've seen?!"

Johan Says:

Nice haul! That said, 10 years ago I used to regularly have hauls of 600+, especially around yellow underwing time. Largest I've had this year is 300

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