FSC Moth Course & Homemade Trap

Hi all!

Well this is my first post on my shiny new blog! It’s taking me a while to figure out how everything works, I have to admit I am not the best with technology (understatement!)!

I just wanted to share a few photos from the FSC moth course I went on about a month ago now (a birthday present from my lovely mum) and show you my new and exciting contraption! You can probably guess what this is from the title… 

For those of you who don’t know, FSC, or Field Studies Council is a environmental education charity. I would definitely recommend their fold out ID charts! They do a number of courses for different levels at several centres around the UK. One of these centres, The Stockyard, happens to be just down the road from me in Bushy Park (a brilliant place for wildlife watching!).

The course was 1 day long and started with a introduction to moth identification. Considering there are around 2,400 UK moths this is not easy to compact down in to 1 hour so we just focused on the main families. Then we ventured excitedly outside to have a look at the catch from the trap set out the night before.

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This is a Robinson moth trap. There are three main types of moth trap; Skinner, Robison and Heath but I’ll talk about them in more detail in a different post.

Now on the the catch….. These are just a few of my favourite macros moths from the day, there were also lots of micros but my camera isn’t high-tech enough for them!

Blood vein

Blood-vein Timandra comae – I have been longing to see this moth in the flesh ever since I saw it in my book. It didn’t disappoint!

Brimstone

Brimstone Moth Opisthograptis luteolata 

Early thorn

Early Thorn Selenia dentaria

September thorn

September Thorn Ennomos erosaria

Septmeber thorn

September Thorn face shot – as cute as a duckling!

Iron and Swallow prominent

Iron Prominent Notodonta dromedarius (left) and Swallow Prominent Pheosia tremula (right)

Iron and Swallow 2

Iron Prominent Notodonta dromedarius (left) and Swallow Prominent Pheosia tremula (right)

Flame shoulder

Flame Shoulder Ochropleura plecta

Ear moth 2

Ear Moth Amphipoea oculea

LBBYU

Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing Noctua Janthe – probably my favourite of the day, such beautiful colouring! From silvery purple, to velvety maroon, to the pastel lime green frontal area of the thorax. Like other underwing moths is has bright yellow-orange hindwings; this species has relatively broad black hindwing bands (see this photo), hence it’s common name.

Lesser broad bordered yellow underwing

Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing again – beauty!

Straw underwing

Straw Underwing Thalpophila matura – another underwing, same family (Noctuidae) but different genus

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And last but most definitely not least the stunning Ruby Tiger Phragmatobia fuliginosa – this is a day flying moth (although still attracted to night time moth traps) and the most common of the tiger moths, which were the theme for this years National Moth Night.

So all in all it was a brilliant day and definitely sparked my enthusiasm for moths! So much so I had a look at purchasing a moth trap. After seeing the prices I decided that building my own would be the cheapest option – or more enlisting my lovely boyfriend to build it for me (to reduce the risk of injury/explosions).

£40 or so later (buying this sort of Skinner moth trap will set you back more than £100) and here is a sneak preview of the result!

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All I need now is some egg crates to put inside! These provide shelter and somewhere for the moths to hide and rest. Going to ask at the local green grocers tomorrow. Very excited to try it out! 

More information, photos and a step by step guide on how to make your own moth trap coming soon….