Some more early moths (UK)

Nick Greatorex-Davies NGD at
Fri Feb 5 14:27:33 EST 1999

We get moths in the Rothamsted light trap here in Monks Wood all the year round and on some winter nights quite large numbers, for example on the night of the 19th/20th Jan there were:

13 Pale Brindled Beauty (Apochiema pilosaria) (10 on the outside the trap).
10 Mottled Umber (Erannis defoliaria) (8 on the outside of the trap).
 6 Early Moth (Thera primaria) (All on the outside of the trap).
 6 Dotted Border (Agriopis marginaria (All on the aoutside of the trap).
 1 Spring Usher (Agriopis leucophaearia)
 3 Chestnut (Conistra vaccinii)

 and micros:
1 Acleris notana
1 Acleris cristana
1 Torticoides alternella

One night more recently there were a lot more (numbers) micros and fewer macros - !?

Last night (4th Feb.) there was a rather early Oak Beauty (Biston strataria) in the trap. The earliest date for this here that I recall. It is not usually out here until March and April.

Interestingly, I put out my mercury vapour trap in my garden two nights ago  - a mild night for the time of year and cloudy, though a bit breezy later in the night, but not a single moth could I find either when I inspected the trap late in the evening, or at first light. There were quite a few moths however in the Rothamsted trap. In the summer the MV in the garden does much better that the 200 watt tungsten filament Rothamsted light trap in the ancient deciduous woodland here at Monks Wood. Many of the species are the same for the two traps though the proportions are rather differnent and some species only, or almost only, occur at one of the two traps.


Nick Greatorex-Davies
ITE Monks Wood
n.greatorex-davies at

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