Group indoor meeting 9th March 2019.

Just a reminder that it is less than 2 weeks till the indoor meeting. Can all those who haven’t told me already who are thinking of eating in the pub at lunchtime please let me know as I will be contacting them at the end of the week with numbers.
Also, currently I only have 3 people who have committed to giving a presentation. It would be great if there were more, if not it will be a very short day! It’s our day as members of the group to highlight what we have been up to, even garden trap reports will be of interest. If there are difficulties in putting together a digital presentation then members can just bring along a series of photos which can be made into a powerpoint presentation on the day.

Hope you have all been trying trapping in the recent very mild spell when conditions have allowed, although quite a number of nights have been clear and frosty. Most of the common spring species are now on the wing with me and there have even been migrants in some parts of the UK.


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7w UV LED bulbs.

I’ve had a lot of interest from fellow moth-ers about the 7w LED bulb I have been trialing, so many that I’ve decided to put the link up on the blog here to Paul Batty’s web site where you can get them. See below.



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The torch can sometimes be more rewarding.

After the warm spring-like day yesterday I ran a couple of traps for a while after dusk in the woodland, but the temperature dropped off so quickly with clear skies that not much came to the traps. A walk round the woodland with the torch was far more rewarding with Dotted Border seen in abundance. Males perched on twigs were everywhere with a few seen paired up with females. During the hour and half I was there, 15 moths of 4 species came to the 2 traps (1 x actinic & 1 x UV LED). But by torchlight I counted at least 40 Dotted Border, all within 100 meters of the traps and not one came to the lights!


(sorry about the poor quality of the photo, it was taken with my phone camera)


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Just as a follow-up to Neil’s addendum to his post on 13th January. I tried out my new 7w UV LED bulb yesterday evening (5th Feb) in the nearby woodland. I set up 2 traps, my old 40w actinic and the new 7w UV LED about 50 meters apart. The LED performed the best with higher numbers. For example in the 1 and half hours I had them running (5.15 to 6.45) I recorded 37 Pale Brindled Beauty 12 of which came to the actinic and 25 to the LED which also attracted first Dotted Border of the year plus Chestnut and a few Spring Usher and Satellite. So, there were 32 moths at the LED and 17 at the actinic, but strangely enough not a single Tortricodes alternella.


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Suffolk Moth Group Indoor Meeting – Saturday 9th March 2019.


Here are the details for the group’s annual indoor event.

Doors will open at 9.30am for setting up, refreshments and general chat plus looking at exhibits. The meeting will officially start from around 10am. Some of the group will then be lunching in a local pub just down the road from around 12.30pm onwards. Please let me know if you intend to eat at the pub well before the meeting day so I can phone in advance to let them know numbers. Or you can bring your own food along, the hall can be left open for those doing this. The meeting will continue until we have run out of talks etc, possibly around 4.30-5pm.                   

This year the meeting will be slightly different, as we have a guest speaker. Graham Geen from the Norfolk Moth Group will be giving us a talk on Breckland moths. Graham has recently researched and written an article on the breckland moth species for British Wildlife magazine, due to be published in the near future.

Following Graham’s talk there will be the chance for members to show presentations. A digital projector will be available for those with digital presentations or images. This year if members could restrict their talks to 30 minutes duration then that will allow us to show what everyone has produced as well as the chance to ask questions.

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. I hope to do a demonstration of a moth dissection for those who are interested, a technique that is not as hard as it first appears.

Refreshments  (tea, coffee and cake/biscuits) will be provided. Unfortunately the cost of hiring the hall has risen this year so there will be a request for contributions towards this.

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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Early big catch of moths at IGC.

Been seeing a few Spring ushers this week round the security light at work so thought I’d give a trap a go. Was a bit breezy last night but luckily wasn’t too bad at my usual trap site in the woods. Pleased to find the trap had plenty of moths at rest around it this morning! Most of the catch were Spring usher with a few Pale brindled beauty. Final count of Spring usher was 152, beating my previous best of 98 in January 2012 by some margin. There were also 8 Pale brindled beauty. Seems to follow on from the end of last year when there were very good counts of Mottled umber and Winter moth here. Really good mix of colour forms of the ushers, shown in the photo below.


Addendum – Ran my 7w UV LED trap last night (15th) at the same location and beat the record again! 165 Spring usher caught this time, easily the best ever year for the species. My earliest ever record of Dotted border too. Not much else. Sadly with the cold weather now setting in the mothing will come to a halt.

Spring ushers

Spring ushers

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Purdis news December 2018.

Not much to report from my site for December as I didn’t really do much trapping (due to time constraints). Was a lot of Mottled umber around, more so than normal as well as lots of Winter moth, both mainly seen around security lights or flying around in torchlight when starting work at 6am here in the dark. Interestingly saw some female Winter moths round the lights too, did they crawl in themselves or were they carried there whilst attached to males?
My 2019 list has already started with Pale brindled beauty, Winter and a few Mottled umbers and Spring ushers noted on the night of the 1st January.


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December and annual review 2018 Hollesley

Nice to see a post from Matthew. Lets have a few more posts all round..

December was interesting Yellow-line Quaker persisted in the first week and as Matthew points out Dark Arches were caught. These are interesting catches being found around the coast at the end of the year (a few inland) which suggests they could be immigrants. They are often in catches that include other species known to migrate. It has been poor for me with the Umbers but as others have found, Spring Usher and Pale Brindled Beauty appeared late in December. The 31st turned up the last Dark sword-grass of the year and the 30th turned up a micro that I put down as Acleris hastiana but was unusual. I posted it on Facebook and that straightway got a correction from Steve Nash and Paul Kitchener that is was actually Acleris umbrana. Quite a catch. The nearest modern record to Suffolk is East Sussex in 2009. Otherwise it is found in the south west (Hampshire to Monmouthshire).

2018 started slowly and as summer approached catches were low and late so the peak numbers turned up in August rather than July as usual. Catches were reasonable then through to the end of the year. Total species caught in 2018 for me turned out the same as in 2017 and I picked up 35 species new to my home site. This brings my site total to 1075 species. 2013- 745, 2014- 726, 2015- 738, 2016- 751 (35), 2017- 769, (32) and 2018- 769, (35). To me 2018 saw the impact of climate change. I see this as the spread of species to Suffolk from further south, such as Coleophora amethystinella, Acleris schalleriana, Dotted Chestnut. Also establishing resident populations of immigrant species and their range increasing. Caloptilia hemidactylella, Oncocera semirubella, Cydia inquinatana (now reached Ipswich), Catoptria verellus (also at Waveney sites and in Essex), Cydalima perspectalis, Clancy’s Rustic and Clifden Nonpareil. Less clear on residency but look like they will at some stage might include Oak Processionary, White-speck, Oak Rustic and Blair’s Wainscot. Only time will tell! There are others that could be added to the list though proving any listed as being resident is less easy that making rash assumptions!

Happy 2019 to all and good mothing.


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Record beating December mothing at Bawdsey

Mild conditions which prevailed during December resulted in my best ever catch results for that month at Bawdsey.

Good numbers of the regular species put in an appearance; most especially Mottled Umber which was adundant and the not-so-common Scarce Umber.  There were a number of late specimens of Dark Arches recorded during the month.

Early spring species such as Pale-brindled Beauty and Spring Usher were recorded late in the month – the latter not noted here for a few years.

Some recorders thought I was totally crazy operating traps this late in the year.  I was hoping for a Red-headed or Black-spotted Chestnut, or a late Oak Rustic.

Migrants during December included 133 Diamond-back Moth, 3 Silver Y and 30 Dark Sword-grass.  However, the icing on the cake was a fabulous Sword-grass taken on 28 December – a fitting finale to a brilliant mothing year!


This is the first Sword-grass recorded in Suffolk since one at Reydon, Southwold in September 2003 (which was believed to be the first record since Morley et al).

There were eleven additions to the Bawdsey macro-moth list this year including Lesser Treble-bar Aplocera efformata on 13 May, Scarce Merveille du Jour Moma alpium on 31 May, Cream Wave Scopula floslactata on 2 June, Spinach Eulithis mellinata on 29 June, Angle-striped Sallow Enargia paleacea on 3 July, Oak Processionary Thaumetopoea processionea on 24 July, Lace Border Scopula ornata on 25 July, September Thorn Ennomos erosaria on 17 August, Hoary Footman Eilema caniola on 13 September (to be confirmed), Oak Rustic Dryobota labecula on 7 November and the Sword-grass Xylena exsoleta on 28 December.

This brings the number of macro-moths recorded at Bawdsey up to an impressive 520 species.  There are still some common species to target in 2019.  I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a happy new year and good mothing in 2019!

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Moths from November 2018 at Hollesley

In addition to regular autumn species immigrant species have continued intermittently. Dark Sword-grass has been abundant, though it may also be resident. Yellow Line Quaker that seemed to come in during October, along with the Large Wainscot, continued to mid month and White-speck appeared mid month too. Also of interest has been the Dark Arches that has coincided with immigrant peaks during the last couple of months that suggests it too may join the immigrants along with other resident species such as Angle Shades, Turnip, Vine’s Rustic and Setaceous Hebrew Character.

Picked up my first Sprawlers for my home site during November, which really exited me. Have 4 records for it. I have also been doing a few dissections that have been left over from June/July peak catches and recorded another two firsts for me. Coleophora coracipennella from 17th July at home. Looks very similar to C. serratella. Also whilst dissecting Cnephasia species from Abbey Farm, Snape from 19th June, one turned out to be Neoshpaleroptera nubilana. It was a dark very undistinguished specimen with no clear markings.

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