Alan has sent me this list of moths that he has caught in his moth trap this year. The chances are that if you do not have a moth trap yourself you will never have heard of these species before. If you do know about moths then you will know most of these, as they are quite common. Most Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies) have English names, This is unusual for insects, as most only have a scientific name. But what amazing names!
Most of these English names have been stable for many years and indeed go back to Victorian times. The names are often quite beautiful, always interesting, and sometimes quite bizarre. Whoever named the moths had a good imagination. But do they help to identify the moth? Can you work out, by looking at Alan’s photographs, which name applies to the moths shown. To make it just a bit easier I have highlighted 5 names to choose from for the 5 moths. Click on the link under each moth photo to see if you are correct. Try them all first! Don’t cheat.
Pale Mottled Willow
Lunar Marbled Brown
I set up my first moth trap in 1984 and trapped regularly for many years. Sally and I now run a few traps in the garden each year. It’s fun and it gives a glimpse into the amazing biodiversity of moths. So how did I get on? One correct! The Early Grey – but I knew what that looked like anyway, so I cheated really. If anyone gets any of the moths named correctly I will be impressed. Now you know the answers can you even work out what those who named them could actually see?
Recently the “Atlas of Britain and Ireland’s Larger Moths” has been published”. It contains about 25 million records of moths, mainly from amateur naturalists like Alan and others in our RSPB group. The Atlas covers almost 900 species of moth. These records, during the collection phase and now are providing the data to identify moths in decline and helping to support appropriate conservation measures.
Like the majority of “mothers” Alan takes photographs and releases the moths in dense cover to fly again the next night.
Sorry if this post looks a bit of a mess in the email version. I can’t control that. It looks OK on the website.