Tales From The Trap - December 2012 Week 3


The weather has been less than festive but we’ve dodged enough showers to keep the moth trap running with just a handful of December Moth (Poecilocampa populi) and a single Yellow-line Quaker (Agrochola macilenta) putting in appearance.

The Winter Moth (Operophtera brumata) is also on-the-wing and is often seen while driving. Down here in South Dorset we also get the Northern Winter Moth (Operophtera fagata) which is distinguished from Winter Moth by being slightly larger and paler. It’s also less common and only flies from October to December unlike Winter Moth which flies well into the New Year.

Angie Seymour commented on the Butterfly Conservation Facebook page asking whether I would recommend the Robinson-type moth trap. I’m sure Angie will be happy for me to post my reply here.

The Robinson trap typically retains more moths than the Skinner-type moth trap but is three times the price. Both types of trap will support either a mercury vapour (MV) lamp or an actinic tube. MV light generally attracts far more individuals than an actinic.

Beginners who don't want to be overwhelmed with moths during the summer months would go for the actinic; however, after a few years would probably want to upgrade to an MV. Do beware; I believe MV bulbs will not be manufactured from 2015.

The moth trap is being switched off the festive season until we return early next year. Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to all and let’s hope for an improvement in the weather for 2013.