Coalbrookdale Arboretum Moth Night

The night of Friday, September 3rd was a great night with lots of positive feedback from everyone who turned up for the event

Youngsters particularly enjoy moth nights, it gives them the chance to get up close and personal to many of the fascinating species that abound. I brought along a few of the previous night’s garden trappings to start the evening off before the stars of the show arrived as darkness drew in.

Coalbrookdale Arboretum

That’s a Common Wainscot taking a fancy to a nose!

The light soon faded and the moths slowly started to arrive in the 3 traps we’d set up.

Although moth numbers were low there were nevertheless some interesting species including a new one for both myself and Graham – Feathered Gothic which was one of the first to arrive.  We had a male and female in 2 different traps (3 traps total) and the female later laid around 150 eggs!

The Brimstone Moth was amongst the brightest coloured of the night

Two more colourful species were Green Carpet and Centre-barred Sallow

The Top Ten were

Large Yellow Underwing     Noctua pronuba   15
Square-spot Rustic     Xestia xanthographa   10
Blastobasis lignea   8
Green Carpet     Colostygia pectinataria   7
Mother of Pearl     Pleuroptya ruralis   7
Setaceous Hebrew Character     Xestia c-nigrum   7
Brimstone Moth     Opisthograptis luteolata   4
Flame Shoulder     Ochropleura plecta   3
Centre-barred Sallow     Atethmia centrago   3
Blastobasis decolorella   3

I know what you’re thinking… how did this compare to my Top 10 prediction on the Flying Tonight sheets?

Poor… very poor. I only got 3 of the 10. Must try harder! The 3 out of the 10 that I predicted would turn up were:-

Large Yellow Underwing
Setaceous Hebrew Character
Brimstone Moth

So a great night all round. It was all good fun! By the way, does anyone remember how to say Setaceous Hebrew Character? After everyone left Graham and I got down to some serious recording well into the night and then again in the early hours of the morning. We trapped, identified and recorded 94 individuals across 31 species. All moths released unharmed back into their environment.

There’s a great website for looking at moths – it’s the best outthere for UK moths – micro’s and macro’s.  Take a look  http://UKmoths.org.uk Just type in the first few letters of a moth into the search box and click GO! Try it – not only do you get a pic but a few details about the species too.

Thanks go to Tamzin Jones for inviting the moth crew along and for ensuring everything went with a swing. Special thanks go to Graham Statham for bringing along his Heath Trap and generally helping with the event. Also thanks to fellow Wrekin Forest Volunteers Nigel and Penny who popped in to see what was happening.

If anyone would like to get involved in moth recording we’re very keen to attract more Shropshire records, even if it’s just what flies through your bathroom window. Please contact me for more information. You can also email me pics of moths you find for identification. Plus The Garden Moth Scheme is also a great way to get involved

Kind Regards

Paul Watts

Enjoy the slideshow… ↓

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