Moths - lack of

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Colin Miles
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Moths - lack of

Postby Colin Miles » Wed Jun 21, 2017 4:18 pm

Despite having the windows wide open during this very hot weather and various lights no Moths have come in. I mentioned this to a number of friends over quite a wide area and their experience is the same. 20 years ago we would have been inundated with them.

But the birds and bats seem to be finding insects and our Moth trap people seem to be getting the usual numbers.

Also a little worried about the pollinating insects generally. My early peas don't seem to be terribly well-filled. Hoping the others will be ok.
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John
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Re: Moths - lack of

Postby John » Wed Jun 21, 2017 5:05 pm

Hi Colin
Very few moths here as well.
Also a noticeable lack of butterflies. This is surprising considering the relatively mild winter and spring we have just had.
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PLUMPUDDING
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Re: Moths - lack of

Postby PLUMPUDDING » Wed Jun 21, 2017 7:29 pm

Plenty of moths here but more of the small to medium than the large ones. There are quite a few nice fresh speckled wood butterflies, red admirals and large whites. Not seen much else this week apart from red damsel flies and one Burnett moth.

No shortage of pollinators, I've never seen so many bumble bees, solitary bees and hover flies too.
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Re: Moths - lack of

Postby Monika » Wed Jun 21, 2017 7:37 pm

Colin and John, I so agree with you. We have lived in this village for 36 years, there have been very few changes and those have been to the benefit to wildlife, but the insect life and therefore the number of swallows, house martins, swifts and bats has dropped dramatically. I have mentioned this before on this forum but I really can't think of a reason.
There is virtually no agricultural spraying in this area.
Luckily, bumble bee numbers have increased, I think.
We have seen a few orange tip, small tortoiseshell, red admiral, wall brown, small, large and green-veined white this year and, lately, speckled wood, though nothing like the numbers we used to get. The lack of some butterflies could in part be BECAUSE of the mild winters because the chrysales survive better in dry and cold than in damp and mild, but that would still not explain the lack of other insects!
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robo
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Re: Moths - lack of

Postby robo » Wed Jun 21, 2017 9:17 pm

It's a strange year, we normally have cabbage whites coming over in flocks anything up to 50 to 60 at a time this near I've seen around ten up to now ,we are surrounded by wild fields but the new plots on the end of our allotment means the grass and weeds have been controlled but not the rest of the fields
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Re: Moths - lack of

Postby tigerburnie » Wed Jun 21, 2017 9:40 pm

Early yet for us, but I am seeing moths and butterflies, huge numbers of bumble bees around
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PLUMPUDDING
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Re: Moths - lack of

Postby PLUMPUDDING » Wed Jun 21, 2017 10:59 pm

Cat is continuing his eradication of wildlife tonight by charging through the veg beds catching - moths - and eating them. He seems to be keeping up with the posts on the forum.
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PLUMPUDDING
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Re: Moths - lack of

Postby PLUMPUDDING » Thu Jun 22, 2017 6:09 am

Walking round the garden last night it was really noticeable how beautiful it smelt. I've let honeysuckle grow through the shrubs and hedges and there's jasmine on a couple of arches. Perhaps if we provided more night scented plants we would encourage an increase in night flying creatures. I've been looking in garden centres for some good scented nicotiana but a lot of it is just unscented bedding plants. There are quite a few evening primroses almost ready to flower so there is something to follow on.

I know it's only one garden but if we all do it it might make a small difference.
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Monika
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Re: Moths - lack of

Postby Monika » Thu Jun 22, 2017 7:57 am

We grow mostly open and wild flowers in the garden, especially to attract butterflies and moths (one of our sons is a very experienced moth identifier for nature organisations) but even our red valerian, night-scented stock, night phlox, mignonette and honeysuckle which are all in full flower now, are not attracting the number of moths they used to though we have seen one hummingbird hawkmoth!
Our evening primrose, which has seeded itself all over the place, will be another fortnight or so before it flowers.
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PLUMPUDDING
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Re: Moths - lack of

Postby PLUMPUDDING » Thu Jun 22, 2017 8:12 am

It is worrying isn't it. Agriculture has spent decades wiping out wild flowers, removing hedges and spraying insecticides about, then cars have played a huge part in wiping out slow moving or low flying insects. Let's hope we can reverse the decline.
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Colin Miles
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Re: Moths - lack of

Postby Colin Miles » Thu Jun 22, 2017 5:56 pm

I have been helping with a research project regarding honey bee pollination for the last 3 years. One of the results so far stresses the importance of hedgerows rather than meadows, brambles especially and native trees and shrubs . In my patch, which is essentially grasslands, I haven't managed to spot one bee!

Last year the cabbage whites were way down and so far they are also conspicuous by the their absence. And very few other butterflies at a time of year when I would expect to see more. We did see some blues a month or two ago but a few years ago they were swarming everywhere in the grasslands. Perhaps the warm weather will result in plagues later on!
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Geoff
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Re: Moths - lack of

Postby Geoff » Thu Jun 22, 2017 7:53 pm

I might not have seen any cabbage white but I squished a brood of their just hatched caterpillars on calabrese (under netting!) tonight with a couple of bright green ones, not sure if they were small white or cabbage moth.
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Westi
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Re: Moths - lack of

Postby Westi » Fri Jun 23, 2017 9:30 pm

Not quite on topic but I have a bumble bee nest in my compost bin at home! Well exciting!
No moths, very limited butterflies either home or lottie even cabbage whites! BUT they will come! Loads of whitefly - do they count?
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Primrose
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Re: Moths - lack of

Postby Primrose » Sat Jun 24, 2017 6:40 am

Sometimes sit out on the patio in the dark on warm evenings and see bats flying around but particularly noticed during this recent heatwave that I only spotted one bat. Wonder if that is due to general reduction in the insect population.
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Colin Miles
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Re: Moths - lack of

Postby Colin Miles » Sat Jun 24, 2017 10:04 am

Primrose - tonight I do my annual bat count at the National Botanic Garden of Wales. Numbers do vary widely. Two years ago only 61, last year 282. Will let you know tomorrow. Could be a good indication of insect numbers, or maybe not.
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