A warm February week.

Warmest day here at Hollesley was 20th with 17 C, 15.6 C at dusk and down to 10.4 C at dawn then continued to fall as the drizzle started to set in. Weather forecasts for the next week doesn’t look good though, strong winds, heavy rain or cold. Take your pick.

Not been away from home as I have been busy on projects whilst the weather lasts so all moths from my garden. General improvement as the period 14th to 20th progressed with 11 species on 2oth. Late winter species have been Pale Brindled Beauty, March, Spring Usher a Tortricodes alternella on 20th and quite a few Early Moth which is unusual for my site as I am normally lucky if I just get one a year. Species out from hibernation  have been Ypsolopha ustella, Agonopterix heracliana, A. alstromeriana, Acleris ferrugana, A. cristana and A. logiana for the micros. Satellite, Chestnut and Dark Chestnut for the larger moths. Nothing exceptional but nice to get them in February. No Dotted Border or Small Brindled Beauty yet though.


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A Rewarding Sunday Evening

Ideal conditions here in the Waveney Valley last night. In 2 hours between 6pm and 8pm, around 130 moths recorded in woodland. The bulk of these were Tortricodes alternella (80) Spring Usher (22) and Pale Brindled Beauty (13). Numbers of March Moth beginning to increase (10) and the first (2) Dotted Border of the season along with a brightly coloured Acleris cristana were additions to the 2017 list. Early moth and Chestnut made up the rest of the catch.
Hoping to respond soon to Neil’s request on 15th January for 2016 results from other areas of the county. I haven’t quite finished updating my records for last year, but will post the results as soon as I do.


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New Season

Very slow here in Carlton Colville only 3 species so far Pale Brindled Beauty frequent, 1Early Moth and 1 Epiphyas postvittana. A little disappointing to say the least

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2017 moth season finally underway.

Mild conditions last night so the traps were out here at IGC. 7sp caught, 55 moths. Nothing unexpected but nice to see a number of Spring usher, Pale brindled beauty and March moth. First Small brindled beauty for the year too.


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Annual indoor meeting – Bucklesham Village Hall – Saturday 11th March 2017 – 10.30am onwards.

Doors will open at 10.30am for setting up, refreshments and general chat and looking at exhibits. We can then start with a few talks if there is time. Some of the group will then be lunching in a local pub close by from 12.30pm onwards.  The meeting will continue until we have run out of talks etc, possibly around 5pm.
The day’s entertainment is entirely dependent on members bringing along items of interest or being prepared to give a short/long talk. A digital projector will be available for those with digital presentations or images. If anyone would like to show ‘old style’ slides hopefully we can arrange a slide projector if needed, please let me know on this. Tables will also be provided for those with exhibits. It would be useful if you are intending on giving a presentation to let me know. Refreshments will be provided.

If you are doing a Powerpoint presentation then you should save it in OpenOffice format or if you use Microsoft Office then Office 2007 format or earlier.

Bucklesham Village Hall is not far from the Nacton A12/A14 roundabout to the east of Ipswich. From the A12/A14 roundabout take the minor exit after the A12 exit but before the A14 Felixstowe exit. This exit is signposted to Bucklesham and leads via a single track road to Bucklesham Village. At the end of this road you will reach the village, at the T junction turn right into Bucklesham Road. Take the next right turn into Levington Lane and the village hall is a short distance down the lane on the right.

A map of the location can be viewed by following this link. The OS Grid Reference for the hall is TM242417. If you need any more detailed instructions in how to get there then do get in contact with myself.


Hopefully see you there!


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Web site hosting upgrade

The web site hosting is being upgraded currently, so there may be a slight interruption in service. Currently things like ‘Flying tonight’ and the new moth guide are broken and with the new hosting it should be easier for me to fix this. It will also make it easier for me to add some new features that I’ve had planned for a while.

At some stage I will temporarily stop the ability to post to the blog while it is transferred over to the new site. The transfer is unlikely to take long.


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Was 2016 a poor year at IGC?

Following on from Raymond’s message, thought I’d have a look at my results for the same period. I have run lights for around 20 years at 2 regular sites that haven’t changed, supplemented with additional trapping in the summer at other spots on the site to cover different habitats.
Here are my species totals:
2012 – 649
2013 – 746
2014 – 710
2015 – 738
2016 – 689 (with just a small number to add once confirmed).

Looking at these figures, 2016 looks just slightly below average here. 2012 was a cold wet summer so no surprise the total is the worst for the period. I don’t think this tells the whole story though, so now here is a list of the total number of moths caught for the same period:
2012 – 27876
2013 – 31477
2014 – 31423
2015 – 35114
2016 – 27471

Again, it can be seen that 2012 was poor, but then 2016 was slightly worse for numbers compared to a more average figure of over 3000 here. I think also the number of trap nights will add more to the picture, as I don’t trap every night but just pick the better ones.
I trapped on 124 nights in 2016 and have just compared this to 2015 when I trapped on 113 nights. I was away on holiday for a week in May and June plus 10 days in July in 2016 so I know I put in more effort once I returned in July and also in the autumn when migration was taking place. But even putting in this extra effort didn’t boost numbers of moths trapped. I do go on holiday every summer for a few weeks so I don’t think me being absent would make a lot of difference to the 2016 totals (especially in May and June that year).
My feeling on 2016 was that it wasn’t too bad for the variety of moths seen but certainly the actual numbers trapped were down, especially so with the common moths like the underwings. The first 6 months were terrible, with very poor numbers of quakers and the only moth in numbers being the migrant Plutella xylostella. I put the blame mainly on the mild winter. At least this year we have been getting cold snaps so it will be interesting to see if things are better than 2016.

Anyone else able to add information on their trap results? Be good to see some figures from other parts of Suffolk.


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2017 list started.

4 species on my list so far for this year, starting with Mottled umber and Red-green carpet on the 3rd January, both flushed by day at work. Have also run a trap, on the 8th. 5 moths caught – 2 Spring usher and 3 Mottled umber. Also had Winter moth at the kitchen window. Not expecting to see much more for a short while now with cold coming.

Good luck to all over the coming year, let’s hope it’s a good one.




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2016 a poor year for moths?

It was often said during 2016 that it was a poor year. A number of expected species didn’t turn up or moths were low in number. The year was later than average after a poor spring. However, after gathering all my records together and toting up the list for my garden with the 2016 records I found that the 38 species new to the list had pushed my total over the 1000 mark. So I investigated further by looking at the annual totals for the 5 years since I started trapping in Suffolk.

2012…680 species. 2013…745 species. 2014…726 species. 2015…738 species. 2016…751 species.

To all intents and purposes the trapping in my garden has been much the same over the 5 years, with two Robinson type traps with MV bulbs except for 2012 when I started with just one trap. It has varied a little in location and sometimes other traps have also been used but not (in my opinion) to significantly affect the overall annual totals. My conclusion is that perhaps there was nothing wrong with 2016 and we may have just been expecting too much. Can anyone else add to this conclusion or refute it?

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Down Under Crambid

Just back from a few weeks in Australia. As well as wombats and Koalas and a lot of birds I was keen to see some moths. So I inspected motel lights etc. Didn’t see any bat-sized mega-moths, but there were lots of dinky little creatures, of odd shapes and forms, often very beautiful. Good examples of geographical isolation and parallel evolution. Best of all were the Crambids. I enclose a Yuletide picture of one – an Acentropine species but I suppose I’ll never be able to give it an exact name. There are 22,000 species of moths in Australia, of which nearly half have never been named, and there are no textbooks or field guides (unbelievable!). At least when we catch a moth we have a fighting chance of putting a name to it!

Happy Christmas to all, and good mothing for 2017!

Tony H.

Acentropinae sp.

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