Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Moths Trapping on the Isle of May


On this blog we've always been good at publishing photos of decent moths that we trap on the island but don't go into much detail how we catch them. This is the bright glow of the moth trap. It is a Mercury Vapour lamp which attracts the moth. The get caught in the box and roost in the specially placed egg boxes. This runs from mains electricity and is on a timer so we don't need to set it every night. All of the moths we catch are released unharmed. There is often quite a scrap to be the one who checks the traps when there  are a number of keen mothers on the island!


This small Heath Trap is set int the top garden by the lighthouse. We don't run this trap as often because there are only so many times you can run up and down Palpatation Brae in one day. This one is run off a battery and is not as bright.

We also try to record as many of the moths that we see. Not all moths fly at night. Anything we're not sure about the identity we will try and photograph.. The lower picture is a Yellow Shell. The picture above is of a Silver Y. These are migrant moths. Some of them may come from as far as continental Europe.

Scalloped Oak, Willow Beauty and White-lined Dart

Spot the Puffling! Not just moths attracted to the light. We catch a few in the moth trap shed every year but this one on Monday morning was actually in the trap. It was released unharmed and flew away strongly from the west cliffs.

We will also record every butterfly we see on the island. This Small Tortoiseshell looks fresh and could have newly emerged. All records we get are sent to the appropriate recorders. Last year we collected over 700 records of over 80 moths. We've had a slow few months with the poor weather but it should pick up from now on.

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