As this is now my second year of trapping moths in my garden, I can actually make some comparisons. Obviously, I’ve not got nearly enough information to establish trends or anything like that – that would take several years – but I can compare 2011 with 2010.
So… has March been any better this year, compared to last in terms of moths?
Last year I put the trap out 6 times in March, this year 5 times.
Last year, I had 6 species, which were:Pale Brindled Beauty Chestnut March Moth Hebrew Character Clouded Drab Common Quaker
This year, I’ve also had 6 species – but different species. This year, I’ve had:Dotted Border Chestnut Hebrew Character Clouded Drab Common Quaker Early Grey
Dotted Border was the only species that was new to me and my garden, compared to last year. Early Grey was recorded last year, but not until April.
As for species numbers, the best night last year totalled 5 moths of 2 species (4 Chestnut, 1 Pale Brindled Beauty). This year, the best night totalled 51 moths of 2 species (31 Hebrew Character, 20 Common Quaker). The highest number of species on a single night was 5.
What conclusions can we draw from that?
Not a lot, really. I think it’s reasonably safe to assume that as it was quite mild towards the end of March, it resulted in earlier hatchings of some species – namely the Hebrew Character and Common Quaker (both pictured below). Are there more of them, though? Well, I’ve definitely had more on any given night this year compared with last year, so I guess that this year could be a good year – at least for the earlier moths of the year!