DavidHowdon's picture

Early year moths 2013

Does any one else think that many of the early year moth species are scarce this year. A trap (in moderately decent conditions in woodland) last night produced 0 Orthoisa species and no diurnea fagella, whereas in previous years there would be decent numbers of these.

I had speculated that with bud burst on trees being late last year (due to the very dry conditions early on) that these species which have caterpillars feeding on early growth would suffer.

But I'm conscious of confirmation bias, so has anyone else noted this pattern this year?



chrisbrooks's picture

Early season moths

Hi David, moth trapping has been a disaster for me this year mainly because there have been very few occasions where the weather has allowed the moth trap to be put out. When I have got the trap out overnight it has generally produced nothing. Last year at this time I was getting numerous moths every night.

I also think that spring is several weeks behind, can you remember when you last saw snowdrops flowering in late March. This must be having an impact as well.

ophrys's picture


Everything is about a month behind where I am (nr York). No moths, no hoverflies, no flowering sallows, no daffodils. Snow on the ground again, today, and everywhere remains cold and very flooded. Looking at the long-range forecast, I think it could be the second week of April before anything much flowers here and before any hoverflies at all appear. I normally record masses of Diurnea fagella in water troughs on local reserves, but not one seen, yet. Let's hope the summer is not a washout again!


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WS159's picture

Same in Leeds. Very different

Same in Leeds. Very different from last year when ladybirds and butterflies were well out of hibernation, and the new lambs were sunning themselves in the fields.

Maybe by mid to end of April we'll see a spectactular burst into Spring as everything catches up.