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Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Recording moths in the garden.


These photos are from July 26th.

Angus puts out a moth trap every week of the year, almost always on a Friday as part of the garden moth scheme.

This gives an overview of the numbers of moths in the garden throughout the year.

Moths are a good indicator of biodiversity. Many moths are plant species specific, only feeding on certain plants at the larval stage and then going on to pollinate particular plants. Moths (and caterpillars of) are a food source for many creatures including bats, foxes, badgers, birds, spiders etc...
They can be so varied and beautiful, here is a link to a previous post with some of my favorite moth photos.

As dawn comes, Angus is up before the birds to see what moths have come to rest outside the trap and in the adjacent foliage. If he is late any moths not in the trap will be found by the resident Robin, Wrens and Blackbirds.  In June this means being up at 4am when there is regularly in excess of 100 species. In December it's dark until 8am and while zero counts are regular during cold weather, up to 12 species have been recorded on mild nights in December.

This is one of the egg trays from the moth trap on July 26th.

The moths rest in the trap during the day when Angus can record species and numbers. Then they all fly away that night. This one is an Oak eggar moth.

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