Whilst few in number we had a very interesting and ‘hands on’ evening with the moths which surrounded Burlinson House.

Bryan had left the moth trap out the day before in the side garden and the ultraviolet light had attracted in the region of some 30 moths.

The moth trap consisted of a black basin (about 12” depth) containing egg boxes (for the moths to nestle in comfortably) with a plastic cover so they couldn’t escape once they had entered. The cover with a large hole in the middle allowed an ultraviolet light to be placed in it and on top of this was a square plastic ‘roof’ about 8” square to shield the contents of the basin from rain.

The covered petri dishes were numbered and a corresponding sheet was on the table together with books and photos of moths of various shapes, sizes and colours. They were all very beautiful in their own way. Some were iridescent, others had really interesting patterns and shapes of wings and would sit very still on your hands. As soon as they were identified, we let them go so as not to cause too much stress. All in all, we identified 9 various types but there many more which we couldn’t find in the books available to us.

It certainly gave us an incentive to set up some moth traps of our own to catch and identify these papillons de nuit!

Over 50 moths collected as well as other insects and arachnids

Butterfly and Moth ID



Poplar Hawk Laothoe populi About 6 specimens captured. L: 28mm WS: 70mm. Grey-brown sculptured wings. Diagnostic red patches on hind wings.
Peppered Biston insularia 2 specimens captured. L: 20mm WS: 42mm. Intermediate form identified.
Buff Ermine (F) Spilosoma lutea About 5 specimenns captured. L: 16mm WS: 40mm. Males have more feathery antennae than females.
Yellow Underwing Noctua pronuba About 5 specimens captured. L: 25mm WS: 57mm. Front wings dark brown - male. (Female front wings - light brown) Diagnostic yellow hind wings with black bar along edge.
Mother of Pearl Pleuroptya ruralis One specimen. L: 20mm WS: 40mm. Rests with hind wings displayed. Common wherever nettles grow.
Grass Veneer Agriphila tristella One specimen. L: 14mm WS: 28mm
Buff Arches Habrosyne pyritoides One specimen. L: 16mm WS: 40mm. Edge of front wings marked with bold buff/orange "arches"
Silver Y (?) Autographia gamma One specimen. L: 17mm WS: 42mm. Front wings contain distinctive Y-shaped white mark.
Common Wainscot Mythimna pallens One specimen. L: 15mm WS: 35mm. Plain streaky front wings. Pale hind wings.
Buff Tailed Bumble Bee Bombus terrestis One specimen. L: 25mm WS: 42mm. Queen. Hairy black body with two dull yellow bands around body and dull yellow "tail"
Daddy Long Legs Spider Pholeus phalangiodes One specimen. L: 10mm. Very long legs compared to body length.