Sunday, 12 February 2017

2017 'January Challenge' - the results

Hello Mothers,

The January challenge has now finished, the data is all in and has been collated in the charts below.

This year 11 mothers took part and between us we recorded 22 species (16 macro and 6 micro) and 554 moths (541 macro and 13 micro), which is an excellent effort on everyone's part.
Only one person achieved the macro part of the challenge, with 10 plus species that was myself with 13 species, Chris Williams was next with 7 species, followed by Sue Southam with 5 species. However, no-one managed to get the 5 species of the micro part of the challenge - the best was again myself with 4 species then Paul Roughley with 3 species.

Now for a more in depth breakdown of what was recorded.

Macros - As can be seen in the chart below the species recorded by the most people was the Pale Brindled Beauty (6 people) , this was followed by the Winter Moth and the Spring Usher (4). Across all recorders the most numerous species was the Spring Usher with a massive 244 moths, incredibly most (219 moths) were recorded by Chris Williams on just two nights. The Mottled Umber came second with 109 moths and the Winter Moth third with 76 moths..
The most moths recorded by individual recorders was Chris Williams 315, Peter Williams 194 and Sue Southam 21.
Of the 16 species recorded, none were totally unexpected, although the Engrailed and Spruce Carpet are always a good January records.

Micros - these were particularly thin on the ground this year with only four recorders trapping anything at all, but the species recorded by the most recorders was Agonopterix heracliana (3 people), followed by Acleris notana (2). No unexpected micro species were recorded this year.

The chart below gives a breakdown of the the top five numerous macro species recorded over the past six years. As can be seen, the Winter Moth (normally in the top two species) has been pushed down into third place this year, with the Spring Usher (not unexpectedly) and Mottled Umber coming first and second.  

Key to recorders who took part:-

DG:      Deborah Griffith        
SS:        Simon Spencer           
PRW:   Peter Williams
JP & MTT:    Julie Pearce & Mark Thomas 
PR:       Paul Roughley 
AT:       Alan Tadman * indicates observations rather than trapping 
GBC:    Gavin Chambers        
JH:        Jeny Heard     
SOS:     Sue Southam  
SAS:     Sarah Anstis-Smith    
CW:      Chris Williams * Indicates that the record shown as an Acleris notana is in fact an Acleris notanat/ferrugana Agg.

Many thanks to everyone who took part in this years 'challenge', especially to Deborah, who as last year ran her trap throughout the month and as last year once again recorded nothing at all - now there's dedication (or madness) for you!



  1. Well done Peter,
    I can't believe the number of individual moths Chris Williams or yourself trapped - incredible!! Interesting to see that Winter Moth has been ousted from the top spots.
    Thanks for all the hard work in making the results understandable and meaningful.

  2. Thanks Sue, that's very kind of you.

    I think that this year's results have been more than a little bit skewed by the incredible numbers of Spring Usher and Mottled Umber that Chris recorded on just two trapping nights, as, if you take these out of the scenario the Winter Moth would once again be top of the list.