Monday, 20 May 2013

The curious art of the "Moth trapper"!

A Great Prominent
As we finally seem to have some slightly warmer night temperatures at present, I decided to run the moth trap over the weekend, to see what was about in my garden. So far this year I have only put it out a couple of times and catches were poor, with very few moths caught. Other “Mothers” also seem to have emerged from the long winter too, as the local “Moth chat site” has started to splutter into action, with reports of improved catches.
Whenever moth trapping happens to come up in a conversation – maybe because people have heard that there is this strange guy in their midst, you nearly always get the same reaction - “you do what – trap moths?! This is often followed by “aren’t they all brown and rather boring?” My answer is quite well practised now as I tell them that in fact many moths are really beautiful and that there are around 2,400+ to choose from in Britain, whereas only about 58 butterfly species are found here! I usually add that I catch them in a specially designed light trap, record them, sometimes photograph them and then let them go un-harmed.
If you can ever get these “doubting Thomas’s” along to look at the morning contents of a trap that has run over-night, they are often spectacularly surprised. Children too, absolutely love to peer at the catch and it is wonderful to watch their faces as they marvel at a large, brightly coloured Hawkmoth perched on their hand!
As for this weekend’s catch, well I got 15 different species including two “Prominents” - a Great Prominent and a Lesser Swallow Prominent. I will up-date you on future interesting catches as the summer progresses!      

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