Well it’s been a busy few weeks in and around the Hampshire Wildlife Trust Headquarters moth trap recently. With the very mild winter (if you can call it that), late winter and spring moth species have been having a great time.
The first night I caught something in the light trap was on the 19th Feb. All I caught was a single Chestnut. Interestingly this was the same species which was my first moth of 2013. Numbers didn’t start increasing until a week later where I put the trap out on the 24th Feb. It was a slow start with only 6 moths over 3 species but I put the trap out for the next two nights each time getting different species and increasing numbers of moths. Highlights of that week were Grey shoulder knot, Oak beauty, Dotted border, Satellite and a locally distributed micro; Acleris literana.
Over the first few weeks of March Common quaker numbers went through the roof peaking on the 18th with 51 in a single trap. On the same evening we had 76 moths of 14 species, the best night of the year so far. Early March highlights have been Twin-spot quaker, Early thorn, Brindled pug, Acleris Literana (most defiantly the same moth caught in Feb) and 2 Pine beautys.
Unlike the spring of 2013, this year we have been experiencing incredibly warm night time temperatures, averaging around 4.5°C. Great news for any sort of invertebrate! As many of you may have noticed now we are heading into spring, butterfly numbers are also on the increase in the county with Small tortoiseshell out in high abundance (a much needed warm spring for their recent decline). Brimstones have put in a solid appearance and even the first Orange- tip in the country was spotted in Hampshire this week.