Sunday, 7 June 2015

June 6th Mousehold Heath

Moth Night at Mousehold Heath
It is moth night at Mousehold Heath, the first of the year. My friend and warden Will Stewart sets up his moth trap on the heath in hope of catching something good. Only a small group of people has turned up to see what arrives. They are all regulars to these events, but only a few can identify them using the aid of ID books to help Will out. It is not a warm night though. In fact it was a rather chilly evening with temperatures as low as 8°C. We had a long wait until the trap started to draw the moths in. These cold conditions meant only a small number was entering the trap than on warmer nights, but even still we had quite a few species to study and show around.

My camera struggles in the dark and even with the bright light that attracts the moths, it is hard to get a sharp shot to show the amazing details of the moth's wing patterns. So Will has kindly brought them over to my flat the next day for me to get the photos I wanted.  Here are just some of the things we caught last night...

Treble Lines
Peppered Moth
Brown Rustic
Scalloped Hazel
Scalloped Hazel (wings closed)
Light Emerald
Pale Tussock
Orange Footman
Heart and Dart
Common Marbled Carpet
Pebble Hook-tip
Brown Silver-line
 As you can see, these moths are not all brown and boring and the ones that are brown are certainly not boring! We also had other things in the trap last night like a caddisfly, a cockchafer beetle and several Ichneumon wasps, but neither of them were brought over for me to photograph. Shame, that cockchafer was quite impressive looking.

If you live in Norwich and want to come to the next moth night at Mousehold Heath, the next one will be on June 20th over the road from the car park (not the one at Zaks) at 10pm. See you there!

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