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Archer's Delight

My first members Moth night at Woodhall Spa Golf Course was due to take place on Sat 22nd but due to the poor weather forecast I bought it forward by a day to Fri 21st, but even though it was short notice several members did attend and waited in anticipation as it began to get dark and the moths started to appear.You def need some patience when it comes to mothing out in the field! It was a slow start, not helped when the bulb in one of my traps blew which meant I was down to just 2, a 50w MV powered off the generator and a 20w actinic powered by a battery. The 50w trap was the most productive out of the 2 and we managed 37 species by the time I packed up just after midnight. The best moth of the night for me was the Archer's Dart (a new species for me), a moth common around the coast but also on Heathland/Brecks where it appears inland.

Archer's Dart (Agrotis vestigialis)

1 of 4 on the night

I always like to see Hawk Moths and the first (and only hawk moth species) to arrive was a Pine Hawk Moth that flew in as I was starting to pack up the battery trap. It is quite a big moth and certainly made its presence known as it flew around before settling on the wall of the hut, It was joined not long after by 2 more, I had never seen 3 on one nights trapping before anywhere.

Pine Hawkmoth (Sphinx pinastri)

Light traps often attract other insects and on the white sheet next to the battery trap was a Field Grasshopper.

Field Grasshopper (Chorthippus brunneus)

I recorded 37 species in total on the night. Below are more photos from the night and a list of all the species seen:

Top from left: Large Emerald, Small Scallop, Rosy Footman, Dusky Sallow, True Lovers Knot, Copper Underwing, Ruby Tiger and Canary Shouldered Thorn

Species seen:

Agonopterix Heracliana/ciliella

Chrysoteuchia culmella

Morophaga choragella

Yellow Tail

Archers Dart

Ruby Tiger

Copper Underwing agg

Scarce Footman

Arega velocella

Dusky Sallow

Silver Y

Common Footman

Smokey Wainscot

Eudonia mercurella


Rosy Footman

Dingy Footman

Riband Wave

True Lover's Knot

Endotricha flamealis

Dark Arches

Brown line Bright Eye

Pine Hawk

Carcina quercana


Accentria ephemerella

Coxcomb Prominent


Large Yellow Underwing

Large Emerald


Cydia spendana

Common Carpet

Vine's Rustic

Peppered Moth

Canary Shouldered Thorn

Small Scallop

I added 9 species to the total moths seen at WSGC which now stands at 292.

Look out for the next Moffy blog from WSGC later in August where I will be trapping on the Bracken Course.

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