In 2021 I recorded 150 species of moth in the garden which I thought was a pretty good year, would I be able to better it? I wasn't sure but I was prepared to give it a good go. By the end of the year I had a recorded the huge total of 261 species of Moth and added a massive 115 species to the garden list. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would get that many. Here is a report of the year, so many moths to mention and so many photos I could show you but I will try to concentrate on the ones new for garden or anything that I consider particularly Interesting in the garden.
I love Mothing, no 2 nights are ever the same and I say now to any moth-er, Always expect the unexpected you just never know what will turn up, just look at the photo above for proof, more on that later in the blog.
I trapped with a combination of traps, mainly a 15w twin tube actinic but also a 50w MV and sometimes a 20w actinic.
Photo below of Twin Tube Set up, on a table on covered decking.
First Moth of the year on the 3rd Jan was the larval form of the Angle Shades found on the driveway and moved to a safe place
First Adult Moth of the year on 2nd Feb was this rather tatty looking Acleris schalleriana
It was a slow start to the year with things not really picking up until mid April, 1's and 2's mainly with a mild night in March producing the huge total of 5 including the gorgeous Oak Beauty and the first Hebrew Character of the year. Other Moths seen in the early part of the year inc Pale Brindled Beauty, Early Grey and Red Chestnut.
Top left to bottom: Red Chestnut, Pale Brindled Beauty, Oak Beauty, Common Quaker and Hebrew Character.
The 8th April seemed to be perfect conditions (Sunny & Warm) to try out my Emperor Moth Pheromone Lure. It was a great success attracting 2 Males, below is couple of photos of one individual.
Early May really started getting busy with around 15-40 Moths in the trap most mornings and an increasing number of species added to the garden list.
April/May/June selection, most new for the garden:
Oak Tree Pug caught in the 50w MV trap on 1st May. (NFG)
Ocherous Pug caught in the 50w MV on 1st May. (NFG)
Chocolate Tip found on 14th May later in the day after the trap was checked resting on the inside of the fly screen by the patio door. A much desired moth for the garden, unfortunately when It was released It got eaten by a Robin, however another was caught on 17th May
The first Lime Hawk Moth in the garden caught on 17th May in the Twin Tube Actinic
The Gorgeous Puss Moth, yet another NFG caught on 19th May in the Twin Tube Actinic.
What a privilege to have these two gorgeous moths resting on my hand.
Clearly not a Moth but still as beautiful, the gorgeous Green Drake Mayfly and another new species for the garden on 18th May in the Twin Tube Actinic.
The Pebble Hook Tip on 22nd May in the Twin Tube Actinic (NFG)
Eyed Hawk Moth on 26th May in the Twin Tube Actinic, 1 of 3 records this year, the other two on 9th & 10th June
Small Elephant Hawk Moth on 26th May in the Twin Tube Actinic. There was a definite increase with this species in 2022
The Stripey Story:
Saturday 11th June started like a normal day, I was up early to check the moth trap (twin tube actinic) before I went to work. I thought there might well be a few moths so a quick look then switch off and check later. Quite how I didn't manage to wake the neighbours with my my yelps of delight I have no idea. I peered into the trap and there in the corner was a STRIPEY. Yelps of oh my god its a Stripey or words to that effect came out my mouth, I couldn't quite believe it, all the efforts of getting up early had finally paid off, WHAT A MOFF! Most Moth-ers would probably be aware that there was a bit of an influx of these beauties into the UK in 2022 with most records being in the south with some appearing further North like the Norfolk coast or even Cheshire but |I never imagined that one would turn up in my garden. I was smiling all day and most of the next. This was the first Striped Hawk Moth in VC29 since 2006. WOW. Enjoy a load of Stripey Photos below:
I released Stripey in the evening and it flew to a nearby Shrub and stayed there until the next day.
The good Mothing continued in June with my first Red Tipped Clearwing in the garden on 14th and another 2 new for the garden on the 15th, Mompha subbstrigella and Scythropia crataegella. The 16th saw another big surprise awaiting for me in the trap in the morning, having never recorded Scarlet Tiger in the garden before I was faced with 7 of these gorgeous Moths in and around the trap. What another stunner! Not to be out done by the array of Scarlets was the arrival of a garden first Leopard Moth, WOW never expected to get one of those in the garden. On the 17th another new species attracted to a pheromone lure, a Red Belted Clearwing.
I had been trying the Lunar Hornet Clearwing pheromone lure for a few years but without success, The 30th June seemed like a good day for it. Perfect conditions and the lure was out, It didn't take too long before one appeared, Fantastic stuff, another new species for the garden and a lifer for me. It is amazing just how much like a Hornet they are but you couldn't pay me to put a Hornet on my hand like the photo below.
New moths continued to appear in the garden as we arrived into August with Garden Dart, Monopis crocicapitella on the 1st and Hemp Agrimony Plume on 17th, although not new the Jersey Tiger continues to delight with an increase in records this year.
August was busy in the moth traps with the 22nd producing my largest catch of 114 moths, of particular note was the large amount of Common Wainscots in the trap the first half of the month with 25-40 in the trap most nights.
Small Phoenix on the 8th August was new for the garden and Latticed Heath on 15th August while not new was having a good year. Another new moth was the Beet Moth (Scrobipalpa ocellatella) which had a very good year in general first seen in my garden on 22nd August. It was a good year for records of Chinese Character in the garden too. (A total of 8 records).
Old Lady on Wine Rope on 30th August
Early september saw another run of moths new for the garden, Achroia grisella (Lesser Wax Moth), Cacoecimorpha pronubana (Carnation Tortrix), Bulrush Wainscot, Feathered Gothic, 6 Striped Rustic, The gorgeous looking Vestal and The Delicate. Several of these were also lifers. On the 8th September a small micro was caught in the twin tube actinic, Ancylosis oblitella which turned out to be a 4th record for VC29.
The last new moth of the year was Tachystola acroxantha caught in the Twin Tube Actinic on 27th November.
2022 was such an amazing year for moths in the garden. 115 new species added and some moths like the Jersey Tiger and the Eyed Hawk now becoming a more regular visitor. I'm not going to list all the moths recorded in this blog but If you would like a copy of what I recorded then please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org Below is a list of the number of moths recorded in 2022 taken from the brilliant Cambs Moths website with 2021 to compare to.