Sunday, 14 July 2013

Moth Trapping in Brede High Wood 12th July 2013

 An Event Report by Heather Martin

Our moth trapping event in Brede High Wood on Friday 12th July was a very enjoyable and successful one. The ground was dry and the weather fine, warm and calm. Moths were on the wing in numbers that could only be dreamt about a month earlier and in spite of bats patrolling the rides taking what they could, we still attracted over 100 different species of moths into our traps.
Of note were several Waved Carpet (Hydrelia sylvata), Orange Moth (Angerona prunaria) and a Great Oak Beauty(Hypomecis roboraria). I did have the presence of mind to photograph the latter but when you are busily involved in an activity the camera often gets forgotten about and it's only after the event you wish you'd taken a few more pictures! It is also quite difficult to get a true representation of the colours in the glare of the mercury vapour lamps.

Great Oak Beauty
 The Pine Hawk-moth (Hyloicus pinastri) and Poplar Hawk-moth (Laothoe populi ) are distinctive due to their large size.
Pine Hawk Moth

Poplar Hawk Moth
 I find the patterning on the Scorched Wing Moth (Plagodis dolabraria) beautiful and unusual.

Scorched Wing Moth
To really appreciate Beautiful Golden Y (Autographa pulchrina) you do need to see it in the flesh as wing scales reflect flashes of metallic gold and grey-green on a background of purplish brown marbled with dusky pink.
Beautiful Golden Y
The pink and brown petal-like markings on the wings of the Peach Blossom moth (Thyatira batis ) make it impossible to confuse with anything else.
Peach Blossom
 The micro moths were mainly represented by members of the Tortricidae  family. This Aleimma loeflingiana  has a fairly memorable wing pattern - it's just the pronunciation and spelling of its name I have a problem with!

Aleimma loeflingiana
All busy! This is a photo of some of our group inspecting the surrounding grass and sheet for moths before the trap is opened. Any overhanging tree branches, trunks and nearby vegetation are also worth looking at because some moths prefer to just settle nearby.

Moth trappers at Work
As we were packing our equipment into the car in the early hours of the morning we could hear the strange continuous 'croaking' call of a Nightjar in the distance.
A lovely end to our time spent in a truly beautiful landscape.


All photographs by Heather Martin 14/07/2013

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