We set up the moth trap, which is a homemade trap (made by my brother not me!) with an actinic bulb. The bulb is bright but not as bright as some moth trap lights, and is in the right spectrum to attract moths. Every day household bulbs will work, but won't attract as many moths as a specialist bulb. We placed it next to the trampoline, as many moths are attracted to the light but don't enter the trap and seem to like hanging onto the netting around the outside of the trampoline.
We also decided to put out a wine lure, where you soak some rope or material in red wine and sugar. Some moths are attracted to that instead of light. We tried this earlier in the summer and it worked really well, although it also attracted masses of wasps! We soaked an old t-towel and hung it over a tree branch in the garden.
We checked the garden a couple of times after dark and it looked like it was going to be a good mothing night. The large yellow underwings were bombing around the trap almost straight away. They're big, feisty moths that bash into everything and dive bomb you. There are masses of them around at this time of year! We also found some other interesting moths on the trampoline net and on top of the trap.
|The brimstone moth looked very aggressive. I think it was having a |
Jekyll and Hyde moment as by day they look like delicate little butterflies!
|An old lady - a massive moth that always looks like a bat |
to me when it's flying around
|A large yellow underwing enjoying the wine and sugar t-towel|
|An ichneumon - a strange looking type of wasp that doesn't sting|
|A sexton beetle - this one was literally crawling with mites which seemed to |
glow in the light of the trap
|By daylight, the sexton beetle has a very distinctive orange and black pattern|
with bright orange ends to its antennae
|They are a type of burying beetle - they bury the carcass of a dead bird or |
small mammal for their larvae to feed on. Bit grim, but very handy for clearing
away dead creatures (they're sort of undertakers of the insect world)
|This one didn't hang around for long!|
The vast majority were yellow underwings of all shapes and sizes. There are several different types of yellow underwing and several different colourations for each of these. We didn't try and sort them out as we had 144 of them in the trap and just counted them all as yellow underwings. They like to huddle together in the egg boxes and look quite funny peeping out!
Some of our other rather brilliantly named catches ...
|Setaceous Hebrew character|
|Small phoenix - with it's bottom stuck up in the air|
Our totals for the trap were 144 yellow underwings, 1 feathered gothic 5 setaceous Hebrew characters, 2 centre-barred sallows, 1 old lady, 1 small phoenix, 3 brimstone moths, 7 common wainscots, 1 silver Y, 7 lunar underwings, 1 common marbled carpet, 9 heart and darts, plus a couple of mysteries that I'm still to identify.