Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘make a moth trap’

This year Moth Night takes place over 3 nights 9th-11th June, if you missed it last night you can still take part tonight or tomorrow night. Moth Night is organised by Atropos and Butterfly Conservation and is an annual celebration of moth recording throughout Britain and Ireland by enthusiasts with local events being held to raise awareness of moths.

Every year Moth Night has a theme, although recorders are always welcome and encouraged to do their own thing, this year’s theme is Hawk-moths.

Hawk-moths are spectacular, their name reflects their size and their powerful flight, in Britain there are 17 species of Hawk-moths, 9 are residents and 8 are migrants which fly from as far away as North Africa and the Canary Islands, not all of these moths fly at night the Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk, the Broad-bordered Bee Hawk (which both resemble Bees) and the Hummingbird Hawk-Moth (which hovers to feed from nectar plants and looks and sounds like a humming-bird) fly during the day.

Hawk-moth caterpillars are just as spectacular as the moths, you might even call them slightly frightening, with spots, stripes and a spike like a tail at the back, they vary in size from 4.5cm (Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk) to an alarming 12cm (Death’s head Hawk-moth) they overwinter as pupae in the ground below their food plant.

This picture shows an Elephant Hawk-moth caterpillar that we found in our garden in July 2014.

Elephant Hawk Moth Caterpillar July 14

This is what the caterpillar transformed into – a tropical looking Elephant Hawk-moth.

Elephant Hawk Moth

Last night we caught this Poplar Hawk-moth in our trap.

Poplar Hawk 10.6.16

This stunning Lime Hawk-moth was caught in the trap on Tuesday night it is a new species for us and we were very excited.

Lime Hawk 2 8.6.16 crop

If you want to read more on the Gardening With Children website about the moths that we have caught in our garden and how to make a simple moth trap click here.

You can take part in Moth Night in any way you choose, this might involve having a moth-trap in your garden or in the countryside, looking for moths at your kitchen window or at blossom, attending a public event, or travelling further afield to search for unusual species. You can still record a variety of species at light without a moth-trap by leaving outside and porch lights on after dark, check lighted windows and lit walls and fences for moths during the first two hours of darkness and again in the morning. Moth Night is a great opportunity to raise awareness about moths, so why not get family and friends involved in whatever you do?

Weather permitting let’s hope its a good weekend for Moths.

Gill

Read Full Post »

Thank you to everyone who entered our Family Zone June/July Competition, it sounds like you all had lots of fun on your Bug Hunts, you found some wonderful creatures:

Wood Lice, Worms, Slugs, Millipedes, Bees, Painted Lady Butterflies, a big furry caterpillar, a Slow Worm, Buff Tip Moth Caterpillars, Ants, Spiders, hoverflies, Ladybirds.

It was difficult to choose a winner and unfortunately there can be only one, the winning entry was from Jake Andrews aged 5 from Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire he found a Grasshopper and sent in a lovely picture of it that he had drawn himself ‘well done Jake’, Jake wins a Ladybird and Insect Tower and a Field Guide to Ladybirds.

grasshopper

Grasshopper by Jake Andrews, age 5

The School Zone Competition was won by Halstead Preparatory School for Girls, Woking, Surrey the winning entry was by Maddie Robson aged 8 who answered all the Insect Questions correctly they will receive a Solar Insect Theatre and a Minibeast Identification Guide – well done.

I hope that they enjoy their prizes and that they will attract lots of insects into their gardens which they can identify with their guides.

You never know what you will find in your garden!

A couple of weeks ago, as I was pegging out the washing, something caught my eye, I had a closer look I couldn’t believe what I saw it was a huge fat green caterpillar about 8cm long, there were actually two of them the second was slightly smaller about 6cm long.

Elephant Hawk Moth Caterpillar July 14

Elephant Hawk Moth Caterpillar

I quickly searched through the Books of Moths, Butterflies and Caterpillars that we have and found a perfect match it was the caterpillar of the Elephant Hawk Moth. Elephant Hawk Moths are resident in the UK and commonly found throughout England, Wales and Southern Scotland the adult moths feed at night on Honeysuckle and other tubular flowers and are attracted to light. The caterpillars also feed at night their preferred food plants are Willowherb, Fuchsia and Bedstraw the ones in my garden were feeding on the Bog Bean at the edge of my pond, on fine days in the late afternoon they rest on stems. The caterpillar spends the winter as a pupa in a flimsy cocoon amongst plant debris on the ground or just below the surface this means that I will have to be very careful when I am tidying up the garden in the Autumn.

Elephant Hawk Moth

Elephant Hawk Moth

The caterpillars were amazing, I have only seen one of them again since, we have caught the Elephant Haw Moths in our moth trap before, they are stunning you would never think they are flying around in the UK at night they look tropical.

Why not make a moth trap and find out what is flying about in your garden at night – click here for more information.

Congratulations to our winners – have fun.

Gill

Read Full Post »