Early March Moths

After a slow January and February in which just a handful of moths and a couple of species were recorded, things have really picked up in the past couple of weeks with an early flurry of night-flying lepidoptera here at Woldgarth. Many of these moths have come at our new mothing location in a small neighbouring woodland, the 15W Actinic Skinner utilised at this location at the very least equaling the number of moths drawn to the 125W MV Skinner we currently operate in the walled garden. Indeed I have high hopes for this new trap in the coming weeks and months, and it just goes to show that you can still get excellent results with a relatively low-powered bulb and a trusty old ‘Skinner’ (the utilitarian in me still prefers the basic Skinner design over the expensive and ‘professional’ Robinson).

In total 84 moths of 17 species have been recorded since the beginning of March, three of which have been new additions to the Woldgarth list, whilst a few others have only been recorded in the garden once or twice before. The new additions have included Early Moth (Theria primaria), Pale Brindled Beauty (Phigalia pilosaria) andΒ Agonopterix ocellana, whilst other ‘good’ moths have included Pale Pinion (Lithophane socia), Shoulder Stripe (Earophila badiata), Red-green Carpet (Chloroclysta siterata) and a very early Pale Mottled Willow (Caradrina clavipalpis). The Agonopterix ocellanaΒ (or Red-letter Flat-body) was a particularly interesting observation with just 12 previous records in VC61 (prior to 2012), whilst Pale Pinion has also been recorded fewer than a 100 times here in East Yorkshire. Interestingly I recorded Pale Pinion last spring as well (22.04.16).

TOTAL MOTHS RECORDED (1st-17th March 2017)
29.001 March Tubic (Diurnea fagella) x4
32.007 Red-letter Flat-body (Agonopterix ocellana) x1
32.018 Common Flat-body (Agonopterix heracliana) x1
45.010 Beautiful Plume (Amblyptilia acanthadactyla) x1
45.044 Common Plume (Emmelina monodactyla) x1
70.066 Shoulder Stripe (Earophila badiata) x2
70.095 Red-green Carpet (Chloroclysta siterata) x1
70.245 March Moth (Alsophila aescularia) x3
70.247 Pale Brindled Beauty (Phigalia pilosaria) x1
70.255 Dotted Border (Agriopis marginaria) x1
70.282 Early Moth (Theria primaria) x1
73.069 Early Grey (Xylocampa areola) x10
73.095 Pale Mottled Willow (Caradrina clavipalpis) x1
73.201 Pale Pinion (Lithophane socia) x1
73.242 Clouded Drab (Orthosia incerta) x22
73.244 Common Quaker (Orthosia cerasi) x26
73.249 Hebrew Character (Orthosia gothica) x7


6 thoughts on “Early March Moths

  1. A wonderful post and photos David. It is so interesting to read of the species you have trapped so far – more than me!! πŸ™‚ Also good to read of how well your new 15W Actinic Skinner trap is doing as that is the moth trap I use here in the garden. Let us hope that the rest of March and April are as good for moths πŸ™‚


    • Thank you Caroline πŸ™‚ The weather forecast for the end of March and into early April is looking pretty settled, though cold nights and north-easterly winds may be a bit of an issue as regards mothing, at least up here anyway.

      Hope you are well and my kindest regards to you and your family πŸ™‚


  2. Lovely to see what’s about so early in the year David, for me their names are incredibly interesting too. I’m really hoping to catch a glimpse of the hawk moths we have here in Torbay and this year I’ll be really looking out for them.


    • Really hope you manage to see a Hawkmoth this year, they are such a striking and impressive group of moths. If you are really lucky you may get to see a Death’s-head Hawkmoth, one of those species I think that all moth-ers would love to record at least once in their lifetime !

      Thanks for taking the time to comment and my kindest regards to all πŸ™‚


  3. Great post and nice to see the difference moths you have caught, nice and clear image, which i could use when trapping picks up. Happy to have got my first moth, weather very up and down now we are back from Edinburgh. Wind seems to be more of a problem this year so far. Rain no to far away. On a plus note it is warmer.
    Amanda x


    • Thanks Amanda and I hope you had a wonderful time in Edinburgh πŸ™‚ It has certainly been pretty breezy this weekend, and today has been unexpectedly wet here, but considering it is still only March we can’t really complain. I hope you get some more moths soon πŸ™‚

      All the best and my kindest regards to all.


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