Friday, 5 January 2018

A good steady mothing year at Commins Coch

During 2017 I maintained a good average for both macro and micro moths, although my butterfly count was slightly down on recent years.   

The highlight for me was a NCR of the micro species Cedestis gysseleniella – a species which hadn’t been recorded in North Wales before.

Cedestis gysseleniella
One of the more outstanding trapping periods was during December with massive numbers of Mottled Umber I recorded. A grand total of 835 were recorded during the month which peaked on 21st with 222 moths (counting was as manic as a good night's trapping in the summer). Although these massive numbers were during a milder spell of weather the curious thing was that I didn’t have overly large numbers of any other species (apart from slightly inflated Winter Moth numbers), I don’t really know what to put it down to.

My overall figures for the year were:-

Macro = 313 species recorded. This includes 3 new species for my site (details below); 18828 moths.

Small Argent & Sable; 1 recorded on 20th June. 
Orange Footman; four recorded between 27th May to 15th June. 
Beautiful Brocade; 1 recorded on 21st June.

Micro = 140 species recorded. This includes 8 new species for my site (details below); one of which is a NCR; 2324 moths. 

Phyllonorycter harrisella - 1 on 22nd May  
Cedestis gysseleniella - 1 on 2nd August  - New county record
Ypsolopha sequella – 1 on 28th August 
Teleiodes vulgella – I on 23rd July                                 
Cochylis nana – 1 on 26th May 
Eana osseana – 1 on 25th July                                   
Acleris caledoniana – 16 between 28th August and 2nd October  
Schreckensteinia festaliella – 1 on 30th March

Butterflies = 16 species recorded. 717 butterflies (no new species).

Hopefully, 2018 will be a good season for us all, which as usual I'm very much looking forwards to.



  1. Now that's what I call a moth report,

  2. Interesting re Mottled Umber. I've seen a few pictures of vast numbers on single nights, e.g.:
    Quite incredible!

    I wonder how your year totals for macro and micro species compare with the average over previous years?


    1. Ok, here are my yearly totals of both Macro and Micro species since 2010. The totals don't include aggregates, forms or sub species. As you can see, they are pretty constant.

      Year Macro Micro
      2010 307 155
      2011 317 156
      2012 295 150
      2013 311 165
      2014 297 166
      2015 292 145
      2016* 229 99
      2017 313 140

      The above figures are from using only one 125w Robinson trap in the same situ outside my house.

      * The figures for this year are lower than normal because I was testing out various alternative bulbs for the trap throughout the whole year.


  3. Remarkably consistent really - interesting. Thanks, Peter.

  4. Well done Peter. Really interesting to see someone else's year. It felt like we didn't do as well in the summer as we should have done, & our species totals for year were 243 macros & 58 micros which bears that out. Then again we don't trap every night. And we aren't very good at micros! And it was still our best year yet!! Julie

  5. Thanks Julie - although it's a big learning curve, I'm sure your id work with micros will improve as time goes by and therefore your yearly species list will get bigger.