Identification can be fraught when there's so much variation and the only obvious markings are the ubiquitous one or two darker blobs on each wing. The way to be certain is to examine the moths' genitals, but they'd have to be dead for you to fiddle with their bits and we don't fancy that.
So our identification procedure is:
Our moth pictures were originally taken using a Nikon CoolPix 4300 on the standard macro setting and latterly with the wonderful Canon G9 on standard macro setting. You can view the pictures in two ways:
Moth traps are straightforward to build - basically a square wooden box with an open top into which two pieces of Perspex are placed in a "V" shape with a gap at the bottom of the V. A mercury vapour lamp is placed on top of all this, the moths are attracted, they fall down the slippery Perspex sides and end up in the trap where egg boxes have been placed for them to nestle in. This is called a Skinner moth trap. Set the trap up before dusk, switch the lamp on and go to bed. In the morning you should find dozens and dozens of moths hiding under the egg boxes in the trap. They will all be fairly sleepy, so don't be too concerned about them flying off before you have a chance to look at them. A digital camera with good macro facilities is an excellent investment to record your catches. Pictures of moths we've caught are above.
The moths are not harmed by trapping, but when you release them from the trap make sure you scatter them across a largish area of long vegetation as otherwise you're setting up lunch for all your garden birds.
|This design for a
moth trap is borrowed from the BBC web site. It's
since been deleted from there, so I reckoned no-one would
mind me propagating it here as it's a very generic
design. The finished moth trap is shown opposite.
What You Need