Tales From The Trap - January 2013 Week 2

Hawk Moth

Regretfully nothing to report from the Butterfly Conservation moth trap for this week. Not entirely unexpected as the outside air temperature has decreased quite dramatically and with the forecast of snow very little if anything is expected. It seems the same dearth of moths is experienced throught the country.

I recently mentioned about the possibility of mercury vapour bulbs (MV) not being manufactured after 2015. I’m reliably informed it remains unclear and confused as to what will or may happen after 2015. Incidentally, myself and a colleague, Mark Parsons, Head of Moth Conservation, are going to test another type of UV actinic lamp this year that doesn’t require anything more than a 240V 50Hz AC source.

On 29 December 2012, my mentor George E. Higgs of Milton Keynes died after a short illness. George was instrumental in cementing my interest in moths during the early 1990’s when I lived in Milton Keynes. George referred to me as “that young whipper-snapper!” having recorded both Bedstraw Hawk-moth and Striped Hawk-moth in a very short space of time; jokingly saying if it wasn’t for my trap in the south of Milton Keynes, those very specimens would’ve ended up in his moth trap in the north of Milton Keynes! George contributed very many specimens from Buckinghamshire for the moth recorders’ bible that is Bernard Skinner’s Colour Identification Guide to Moths of the British Isles.

Les Hill

Senior Data Manager, National Moth Recording Scheme and Dorset County Macro-moth Recorder

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