Sunday, 15 May 2016

Moth May-nia

Last week, due to the warmer weather, I thought it would be a great opportunity to get my first proper moth trapping session of the year in. It had been 23 degrees plus in the day and at least 17 degrees over the course of the evening, which is a great temperature for moth tapping. The overnight cloud cover made it even better, as the brightest light around was the moth trap, rather than the moon. 

The first moth in the trap that really caught my attention was this striking Chocolate Tip. I caught my first back in 2014, a lovely species.

Chocolate Tip

Certainly the largest moth of the session was the Poplar Hawk-moth (and the first Hawk-moth of the year). I am looking forward to elephants appearing soon though. Poplar Hawk-moths are quite common, but always great to study up close. So much power in those sturdy wings.

Poplar Hawk-moth

The highlight of the mothing session had to be this new species for the garden; the Mullein. Quite a big moth and highly distinctive.


The final moth, and probably most eye catching was another new species for me; the Sallow Kitten. Last year we caught a similar species from the same family, Poplar Kitten. Although very similar, look how much more wavy the line at the end of the black band of the Sallow Kitten is.

Sallow Kitten

Poplar Kitten from last year

A great session and I can't wait for what's to come. And if you are busy planting your gardens at the moment, remember to create those B-Lines and plant something for these important pollinators.


  1. A super catch there Findlay, puts my Light Brown Apple Moths to shame.
    And now you're hoping for elephants...blimey! big is your trap?...[;o{

  2. Do did very well catch these Moths. I am not into Moths howver I do love seeing what bloggers find in their traps.

  3. Great moth photography, Fin! Elephants? ;-} Biggest thing I get in my garden is Fox (no, I don't mean Fox Moth!).

    Actually I'm a bit concerned about the Foxes. Had three in the garden last night (caught on camera). Sadly one seems to be in an advanced state of mange (virtually no hair, and a lactating female), a second is losing the hair on its tail, and the third seems OK. Don't know if I should contact someone about the foxes with mange?

    Best wishes - - - Richard

  4. Great set of shots - I wonder what I would get with a trap in my garden - to too many species in common with yours I guess!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  5. Lovely moth pix... very clear.
    The Mullein is a particular favourite of looks like a bit of rotten wood. Excellent camoflage!

  6. Great catch Findlay. Love the Mullein