Garden Robin

Garden Robin

Wednesday, 15 July 2015


Apologies for the lack of posts but my desktop finally gave up the ghost at the end of last week so we've had to buy a new computer which B is slowly setting up. This is really just a test post of a few garden moths I trapped last week - all the moths were new for this year.

Clouded Border (Lomaspilis marginata)
Common in woods, marshes, riverbanks and heathland. Larvae feed on Aspen, Poplar, Sallow, Willow and Hazel.

A worn Dark Arches (Apamea monoglypha)
Common in gardens, hedgerows, woods and road verges. Larvae feed on various grasses.

Buff Arches (Habrosyne pyritoides)
Common in woods, hedges and gardens. Larvae feed on Bramble and Dewberry

Marbled Beauty (Bryohila domestica)
Common on moors, woods and around old buildings. Larvae feed on various lichens. Adult moth has brilliant camouflage :)

Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing (Noctua fimbriata)
Common woods, parks, heaths and gardens. Larvae feed on deciduous trees, for example, Birch, Sallow and Sycamore

Flame Shoulder (Ochropleura plecta)
Common in many habitats. Larvae feed on herbaceous plants, for example, Groundsel, Ribworth Plantain, Bedstraws.

Lozotaeniodes formosana
First recorded in Surrey in 1945 and slowly spreading. Common in pine woodlands. Larvae feed on Scots Pine.

Poplar Grey (Subaonicta megacephala) Hopefully, id is correct as I have been known to get my Poplar Grey and Knot Grass mixed up!!
Common in parks, woods and gardens. Larvae feed on Poplars and Aspen.

Swallow-tailed Moth (Ourapteryx sambucaria)
Common woods, parks, hedges and gardens. Larvae feed on various woody plants e.g. Blackthorn, Hawthorn, Elder, Horse Chestnut and Ivy.You don't need a moth trap to see this species as I often find it indoors or fluttering at lighted house windows.

Also in the moth trap Uncertain x 23, Heart and Dart x 11, Garden Grass-veneer x 8 (NFY), Large Yellow Underwing x 1 and a Silver Y.

I only have limited time on the new computer at the moment as B sets it up. Unfortunately, he has decided that rather than clogging up the new hard drive, I now have to upload photos onto an external drive from the camera - a totally new way of doing things to learn and very time consuming as I really don't have clue what I am doing :( But I will catch up with your blogs over the next few days and Amanda, I haven't forgotten the Yorkshire churchyards I have mislaid the note I made! but will let you know as soon as I find it and can get back on the computer!!!


  1. Now I have seen a few moths reading your posts on them makes more sense, I can relate to what you are posting as I have now seen most of them :) Did have a Clouded Border but gone in the morning, good number of Dark Arches , I quite like this moth. It has been very cool on a evening here which has meant lower numbers. I see before you have recorded the Temperature, what have you got as I have had a look and there is quite a few to choose from as well as the price...!
    Amanda xx

    1. Hi Amanda - glad to see you are enjoying it all so much :) I thought of you last week when I put the trap out and there were dozens of moths all round it - but not so many in the morning!! I do sometimes try and pot them up as they arrive but its not always easy as they are so lively.

      I haven't put the trap out yet this week as my back has been playing up and its difficult to bend and stoop to empty the trap :(

      re: recording Min Temp. You can just buy a cheap garden centre min/max thermometer. Its not very accurate in the day (depending on where you put it) because of sun shining on it but it may be ok for overnight. The one I use is an Oregon Scientific Weather Station but its years old and I can't find the same model. The nearest one to it is on Amazon and is the BAR908HG - £39.99. You can get far more complicated ones that measure rainfall and wind direction etc. etc. The important thing is to be careful where you place the sensor bit outside (B made a mini Stephenson Screen and located it in the shade). If you wanted a more complicated set up David Turner may be have some good advice as he records lots of weather info.

      With the simpler ones you do have to record Min Temp the next day and then reset as it may change depending on temp the following night.

  2. Nice selection Caroline, especially the Buff Arches & Clouded Border which I have't recorded so far this year.

    Kindest regards :-)

    PS. Hope you get the external hard drive to work properly :-)

    1. Thanks David :) I don't trap many Buff Arches or Clouded Borders so both were a delight :)

      Have got hang of using external hard drive in conjunction with editing software but am not happy about uploading from camera direct to it :( Sadly, although I'm fine with Word and Excel etc. am not good technically with computers :( My main worry is that not using the computer hard-drive will mean I will have one less back-up of photos :( I guessed OH wouldn't let me put all my photos back on computer but I did hope to put on some of the more important pictures and new ones as I took them. We had rather a lot of arguments yesterday!!!! Will just have to get used to it I suspect :( Oh to have a computer of my own!

  3. Some of these moths are really pretty. I don't know any of them but my moth trap is arriving tomorrow - the same one as Amanda has - I couldn't wait until next year after all! So I will be busy learning about them and reading the moth ID book which is coming with it... :-)

    1. I am SO excited for you - so glad you have decided to go ahead immediately :) The trap is similar to mine (the Skinner bit is the same!) but I only have one actinic tube.

      You will quickly become totally addicted :) and I can't wait to see what you trap. Depending on the moths you trap id can be a steep learning curve but it gets easier the more you trap and you start to recognise the different species. I get far more noctuids than geometrids here and some of those can be similar but there is lots of help available on the internet, twitter, etc. Even after about 5 years I still make howlers and need lots of help :)

      Above all enjoy - you will have such fun and will be astounded at the variety of moths that are using the garden at night that you knew nothing about!

    2. Meant to add that (although I am not an expert) please let me know if you need any help over id or trapping.

    3. I've just looked again and thanks, cos that's one more ID for me as I trapped a Clouded Border last night. ID is hard so I will be asking for help when I get round to.posting my.moths! :-)

    4. Ask away! Will do my best to help. When I first started I relied just on the moth "bible" and it could take me an hour sometimes to id just one moth!!! I still post photos on Twitter from time to time if I am struggling. One useful website which I find helps a lot is Hants Moths Flying Tonight. I know neither of us live in Hampshire but its a very useful site and shows photos of moths on the wing at that moment in time. If you google it you should find it easily.

      Will be interesting to see if you trap moths not found over here.