As of March 2015, an official website for Surrey Moths has been set-up here. There you'll find information on everything to do with the Surrey Branch of Butterfly Conservation, including the updated events calender for 2015. Hope to see you there!

Sunday, 29 May 2011

A Minor increase

The cloud cover finally came last night, although it was not a particularly warm day. None the less, the results were encouraging. Nothing new for the garden amongst 42 moths of 16 species, but a load of new for the years. Best was probably a Freyer's Pug, a worn Yellow-barred Brindle, and a couple of striking Minors. Interestingly, I got the same number of Heart and Darts as two days ago.

May 28th:
22 Heart and Dart
3 Treble Lines
2 Common Marbled Carpet NFY
2 Dark Arches NFY
2 Minor sp. NFY
1 Flame NFY
1 May Highflyer
1 Ingrailed Clay
1 Vine's Rustic NFY
1 Pale Tussock NFY
1 Pale Mottled Willow NFY
1 Brown Silver-line NFY
1 Turnip NFY
1 Yellow-barred Brindle NFY

1 Small Phoenix NFY

Minor sp. (perhaps good examples of Tawny Marbled and Marbled?)

Pale Tussock


Brown Silver-line

Freyer's Pug

As an aside, the council have recently installed a load of new street lighting around the town, including down my road. All the lamps are strong white light, which I can't help but think will have an effect on local moth populations. I just don't know why they can't just have the usual yellow filters!

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Improving weather...and moths

After a gap of a month, I was back trapping in the garden last night. The weather still looked clear, and when I tended the trap in the morning, the light was out (probably a loose connection). Despite these setbacks, I still managed 35 moths of 10 species, all but one of which were new for the year! The best one was probably only my second ever Pale-shouldered Brocade. Lets hope the weather is on the change for the better.

25th May:

22 Heart and Dart

3 Treble Line

2 Grey Pine Carpet

2 Rustic

1 Bird's Wing

1 Lesser Swallow Prominent

1 Shuttle-shaped Dart

1 Ingrailed Clay

1 Pale-shouldered Brocade

1 May Highflyer

Lesser Swallow Promient (I only ever seem to get Lesser in the garden)

Pale-shouldered Brocade

P.S. Sorry Ken, but there appears to be some sort of glitch, meaning I can't reply to comments. Yes, I am still using your trusty trap in the garden! There appears to be a loose connection in the plug at the moment, hopefully easily fixed.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

An Umber of Great moths

I have not trapped in the garden for some time, mainly due to the appalling clear weather we have had! I needed a mothing fix, so I went to Oaken Wood last night with Derek Coleman. Conditions were again poor, so I was quite surprised at the number of species we got by 23:30. The best from my point of view was the new species of Barred Umber, but we got a number of scarce species too, such as Great Oak Beauty, Four-dotted Footman, and Orange Moths.

21st May, Oaken Wood:

Green Carpet

Little Emerald

Common Swift

Orange Moth

Birch Mocha

Silver-ground Carpet

Purple Bar

Cream Wave


Pale Tussock

Brown Silver-lines

Treble Lines

Common Marbled Carpet

Maiden's Blush

Four-dotted Footman

Pale Prominent

Scalloped Hazel

Barred Umber*

Green Silver-lines

Small White Wave

Great Oak Beauty

Marbled Brown

Light Emerald

Clouded Silver

Broken-barred Carpet

Blood Vein

Orange Footman

Treble Brown-spot

Buff Ermine

Oak Hook-tip

White Pinion-spotted

Flame Shoulder

Heart and Dart

Ingrailed Clay


Common Pug

Alder Moth

Lobster Moth

Scorched Wing

Poplar Grey

White Ermine

Small Seraphim

Small Dotted Buff

Pale Oak Beauty

Foxglove Pug

Vine's Rustic

Total: 46

Cream Wave (none of us were sure, but thats the decision we came to)

Marbled Brown

Alder Moth

Orange Moth

Birch Mocha

Green Silver-lines

Great Oak Beauty

Barred Umber

Sorry for going off topic again, but I just have to share this shot I got of a Cream-spot Tiger in Brittany last week (There were lots of lepidopteran highlights there, but this was the only one I photographed):

Them bones, them bones.

I visited Bones Wood again, where the green hairstreaks were as numerous as ever (though rather worn). I picked up a couple of other sightings, too, including some orchids and a froghopper. The 'long-horn' moth is well named!

common spotted orchid

red-and-black froghopper
green hairstreak

Cochylimorpha straminea

Nemophora degeerella

common blue

A better night

I had quite a good selection on 20th night, though most are ones already featured previously (orange footman, spectacle, pale oak beauty etc). But here are a couple of photos... (Amazingly we don't seem to have common footman before!)

great prominent

scorched wing

small dusty wave

common wainscot

Friday, 20 May 2011

Odonata more interesting than moths lately!

I've not been doing much mothing in the last week or two... which is a pity as people seem to be getting some interesting catches (a friend in Nutfield caught a splendid brocade!). But I've managed to photograph a few. The female common swift seemed to be a slightly unusual colour. bilunana was a new species for me. And I was quite chuffed when a downy emerald decided to perch on our trellis in almost exactly the same spot as last year's brilliant emerald. I think I'm up to c19 species of Odonata in the garden now. Today I found an enormous exuvia on a rush - it can only have come from an emerging emperor dragonfly as it was almost two inches long. I finally managed to catch a pic of a speckled yellow - a diurnal, fast-moving species that I first tried (unsuccessfully) to photo about five years ago. Pity it's rather faded - or is it a dull female?

Teleiodes luculella

Nemapogon cloacella (cork moth)

common swift

Epinotia bilunana

downy emerald

speckled yellow

middle-barred minor

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

6th-7th May.. Button down the Hatches!

Last weekend's perfect warm, cloudy and moist weather (wouldn't it be good if every weekend was like that?) were conditions no self-respecting moth would not be flying in, so I had the trap out on the Friday and the Saturday hoping for a bit more variety.

I was rewarded with a huge range of species, most of them micro moths- taking the garden year list passed the big 100.  I've given myself the task of identifying and recording every single micro I catch, for the 'Smaller Moths of Surrey' atlas to be published in early 2012 (I'm starting to regret this decision!). There are some rewards to doing it, and I've already made a few interesting discoveries as a result of paying more attention to them, but I'll post some micro photos in another post.

First off, a few macro moths caught in the garden last weekend...

Buttoned Snout...

It's not called a Buttoned Snout for nothing...

Yellow-barred Brindle...

Mottled Pug- one of the easier pugs to identify thanks to the pale colouring, and visible dagger projections behind the forewing spot...


Maiden's Blush thats probably had a run in with a bird...

 Currant Pug...

Broken-barred Carpet...

Heart & Dart...

Pebble Prominent, a real stunner...

I'll most a few micro moth images in the near future once I've sorted through them all.

Happy mothing!

Monday, 9 May 2011

butty phase II

I couldn't resist another visit to the green hairstreak site. There were a few burnet companions there, too.
orange tip

green hairstreak

green-veined white

burnet companion

Sunday, 1 May 2011

butty bonus

I was doing some Bird atlas work today (a Timed Tetrad Visit in TQ34L) when I noticed some green hairstreaks - a new species for me. I decided to return in the p.m. to get some photos. It turned out to be a good spot. My photos aren't all wonderful but the real bonus was that I found some dingy skippers there, too - my second butty tick of the day!

small copper


green hairstreak

dingy skipper