Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Two traps challenge

Tonight has been a good night....if you ignore the mosquito bites!

I wanted to see how my trap design fared compared to the Skinner 'clone' I had made so I set up both traps at opposite ends of the garden, it's quite a big garden so they were 35 - 40 feet apart which should suffice. I put the lamps on at 9:30pm and things got busy fairly quickly with a lot of moths fluttering around both traps. Being somewhat impatient I ventured out to check after about 30 minutes and noticed that there were quite a few moths flying round the Buddleia bushes so I grabbed my net and managed to catch 7 or 8 of them and drop them into the traps(not really a good way of checking how well the traps worked but a good way to catch a few extras!). The 'Skinner' trap seemed to be attracting mainly micro moths and a lot of flies but there were a few interesting moths already in there(Riband Wave, 2 Swallowtail) so I was hopeful. My old design trap was faring well too and it had an assortment of...shall we say 'more interesting' moths in it(Blood-Vein, Angle Shades (see photo above and thanks to Ben for identifying this moth), Common Marbled Carpet, Scalloped Oak). I left things for another hour and went out to check again but this time the 'Skinner' was doing much better with about 25 assorted moths in there, my design was just about keeping up but it had mainly filled up with the same species the 'Skinner' had already trapped earlier on with the added bonus of a few Purple or Early Thorn Moths(I still can't tell them apart and they're buggers to get decent photos of!). Third check was at 2:30am and not much had changed apart from my trap had a Small Magpie in it as well as an earwig and 2 Bombardier Beetles. At 3:30 I went out to clear away and get photos of what I could(see my web album - link below), as usual there were a lot I couldn't put names to so if anyone can help please leave a comment under the photo.

Here are the trap vs trap results..round 1

My Trap
2 Riband Wave
1 Angle Shades
1 Blood-Vein
1 Garden Carpet
1 Brimstone
2 Scalloped Oak
2 Swallow-Tail
3 Willow Beauty
1 Small Magpie
5 Early Thorn
15 Unidentified(including duplication)

20+ micro moths

The 'Skinner' Trap
3 Riband Wave
2 Swallow-tail
2 Early Thorn
1 Willow Beauty

11 Unidentified(including duplication)

31 Micro Moths

60 dead flies!!!
Over all I would say that my trap got the better haul but the 'Skinner' trap did well enough and caught a different selection so it's well worth having it out there and it is much more portable and easy to set up. Next time I set them up I will swap their positions over to see if they do as well.


  1. Hiya again

    Well I hope you don't mind me correcting you on a few Moths.

    I've posted comments on your fantatic picasa photo site.

    All the best.


  2. Well I can't seem to post comments on there, so will post on here.


    Lime Hawk? = Angle Shades
    Buff Footman = Common Footman
    Small Scalloped = Riband Wave
    Early Thorn(?) = Yes
    ?1 = Mother of Pearl (a large micro)
    ?2 = Willow Beauty
    ?3 = Bright-line Brown-eye
    ?4 = Garden Pebble (another micro)
    ?5 = Phlyctaenia coronata (micro)
    ???? = Yellow Shell
    ?????? = Snout
    ???????? = Dot Moth
    ??? = Dark Arches
    Light Oak? = Scalloped Oak
    ?? = Double Square-spot
    A poor photo etc = Uncertain ?(yes quite common here too :) )

  3. the change in temperature, different cloud cover etc makes a huge difference to catches. I run four traps and the difference from last night to the night before was down by over 60%. Some times the conditions seem fine but for some reason the moths don't agree!

  4. Thanks Ben, I don't mind you correcting my mistakes at all :0)....I'll amend my web album later today!!
    Tony, it did get a bit nippy as the night went on and the moon emerged from behind some low cloud cover so that probably explains why things started well then stalled a bit.