Tag Archive: Butterfly Conservation

Mompha subbistrigella (Garden Cosmet), at home, 20 Feb 2013

The Garden Cosmet (Mompha subbistrigella) – only 6mm long, a very welcome harbringer of spring, in our upstairs loo!

Omitting details of my activity when I discovered it (in the upstairs toilet), I will say that I was very, very pleased to see this little chap.

A Garden Cosmet, Mompha subbistrigella, my first adult moth of 2013!

Hey, it is the year of release (relief?)! (Wee inside joke for the DP team :))

Mompha subbistrigella (Garden Cosmet), at home, 20 Feb 2013

Blending in with the sparkling reflections from the obscured-glass

After a tricky (but successful) photo shoot involving a torch – and a magnifying glass blu-tacked to my camera lens – I released him in the back yard.

Going to a talk by Don Hodgers on the insect life of County Louth and further afield, tomorrow night on the Malone Road, Belfast, at 7:15 pm. For anyone interested, check out the Butterfly Conservation Northern Ireland facebook page or their website – anyone is welcome to come along!

Mompha subbistrigella makes the year list…
2013 MOTHS: 1, 1e, 1t 

(that’s 1 as adult [M. subbistrigella], 1 in early stage [S. aurella], 1 as trace [S. anomalella])


The usual moth craic

Endrosis sarcitrella, 5 Apr 2012


Due to a run of cold or wet nights recently, I haven’t been putting my moth trap out. But last night didn’t seem too bad, so I decided to give it a whizz. As I was finishing setting up, I looked at the lit kitchen window and found two White-shouldered House Moths, Endrosis sarcitrella (this photo from my trapping session on 5-6 Apr). Now, I realise most people are not fond of clothes moths (even some moth enthusiasts squish them) and I can understand why. But even though it’s like counting feral pigeons on your bird transect, I record all the WSHMs anyway. It gives a more accurate picture of how frequently I see different species.

I realised just now that I haven’t actually taken time to explain my rationale behind moth trapping. In fact, I haven’t actually explained how it works!

The key thing is, insects, including most moths, are attracted to light, especially UV light. (Why that doesn’t make them fly towards the sun all the time is beyond me. Furthermore, scientists don’t have a definitive answer to why they are attracted to light at all.) So if you want to find out what moths are in your garden, you can set up a UV lamp with some kind of container that the moths will fall into when they bump into the lamp.

The moth trap I built was based on a design by a local Butterfly Conservation branch member. Instructions for building it can be found on the BCNI Resources page.

Oh yes. What did I find in the trap this morning?


Sorry if the suspense is killing you, because all there was was…

Hebrew Character: 1!

Hebrew Character, 29 Apr 2012

If I don't be creative with these Hebrew Character photographs they will take over the blog.

Peatlands Park, Dungannon, Co. Armagh

Peatlands Park

Today my mum and dad took me to Peatlands Park for the Butterfly Conservation NI Recorders’ Day. The speakers were brilliant, the seats were gluteus-numbing, and the news was positive: conservation efforts are having measurable impacts, halting declines of several rare species, especially in the south of England. It gives us up here in Nornia some motivation to expand and expand and expand.

It was great to meet and talk to people too.

The weather was entirely non-lepidopterous: the Emperor Moths which should be around on every bog in the country were nowhere to be seen, and a walk with Ian Rippey after the meeting yielded no Holly Blues or Green Hairstreaks.

But we did see extraordinary pitcher plants…

Pitcher plants, Peatlands Park

Feed me, Seamour! FEED ME!

…a flock of mallard chicks that was completely off the cute scale…

Mallard chicks, Peatlands Park, 21 Apr 2012

Innocence incarnate.

Mallard chicks, Peatlands Park, 21 Apr 2012

Beyond cute.

…and of course the usual: several old Stigmella aurella leaf mines, which I won’t show a photo of.