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National Moth Night

We didn’t hold out much hope for a bumper moth night as we had already had the trap out twice this week – on the 9th and 11th May and had caught precisely nothing. Although it had been warm during the daytime the temperature was due to fall as low as 3′C during the night. But you gotta try haven’t you.

I got up at 5am to turn off the trap lamp – immediately found a moth on the top of the trap and grabbed a pot. It wasn’t a moth either of us recognised immediately. Ian spotted another moth – a tiny orange-looking one – i didn’t even see it at first. That was also potted up and we began our trawl through the id books.

Muslin Moth (Diaphora mendica)

Muslin Moth (Diaphora mendica)

The moth i’d found wandering around on the top of the trap was a Muslin Moth (Diaphora mendica) a moth belonging to the Arctiidae family – sub-family Arctiinae (which includes the tiger and ermine moths).

Underside of the Muslin Moth

Underside of the Muslin Moth

The micro moth Ian had found was, we assumed from the book a Horse Chestnut Leaf-miner. This species was only first discovered in Macedonia in 1985 (source: British Moths) and has since spread throughout Europe. The larvae cause damage to Horse Chestnut tree leaves as that is their food plant.

Horse Chestnut Leaf-miner

Horse Chestnut Leaf-miner

Inside the trap itself we found only one moth! A Common Pug. We photographed it while it was in the pot as it was pretty lively.

Common Pug (Eupithecia vulgata)

Common Pug (Eupithecia vulgata)

Ah, well better luck next year but we can’t complain, 3 moths all new to us.

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