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!

Thursday, 21 June 2012


Since the beginning of June, I've been eagerly awaiting an appropriate weather window to string up some Clearwing pheromones in the garden, to see if I can repeat last year's success with them.

The opportunity finally arose yesterday morning, with warm temperatures, intermediate sunshine and a noticable wind to carry the pheromones across the adjacent gardens. I put up the 'VES' lure in a small apple tree, with surrounding cultivated 'decorative' plants, and within 15 minutes, 4 Orange-tailed Clearwings were fighting for top spot on the washing bag containing the pheromones. I caught a single individual last year, and assumed it to be a wanderer from distant chalk downland, but its pretty clear that there is now a healthy colony in the area.

The lure went out again later in the evening, and it was nice to catch up with Yellow-legged Clearwing, the other species that this particular pheromone is designed to attract, and usually quite common here in mid-summer. A few more Orange-tailed Clearwings passed through, but didn't stay long.

The undoubted highlight was a surprise visit from a Red-tipped Clearwing, which I only just noticed out the corner of my eye, as it hovered over some flowers a little way from the lure. A new one for the garden, and the third species caught here.

Red-tipped Clearwing...

Yellow-legged Clearwing (left) and Orange-tailed Clearwing (right)

Certainly makes up for the complete lack of night time activity around the trap.


  1. Great stuff Bill.

    I still haven't got round to purchasing some pheromone lures yet. I suppose I should wait till next year now (particularly if the weather stays as it is!).

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