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Large moth


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mothman
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
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Joined: 13 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2014 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sive wrote:
Thank you Tagwex ! You've got me interested in moths now.....I like the look of that Moths Ireland website. And we have far more species of moths than we do butterflies, so there's more to study and learn about.
You may have started something !

Be careful, rather addictive

About 1,400 moth species vs less than 40 butterflies.

Plenty of day flying moths as well. Though very few would be regular to gardens.
http://www.mothsireland.com/gallery3/index.php/Day-Flying-Moths

As for submitting sightings, what is important is location, the photos are not important except for verification.
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tagwex
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Joined: 23 Feb 2010
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Location: Co. Wexford

PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2014 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There ye go, wings spread out revealing the telltale red spots.


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Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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Greengage
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2014 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At least i was honest, do I not even get honorable mention as I had to do the research Laughing
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2014 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok ok you can have a commendation!
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Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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Sive
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2014 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mothman, is there a simple ( amateur's ) way of attracting moths to see what is actually out there ? I seem to remember seeing ( on TV ) some contraption that has a light to attract the moths at night. 1,400 moth species sounds really exciting...does it make identification very tricky though ?
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mothman
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2014 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

UV lights are used, same as the light in bug zappers that Butchers and the like have, though we don't to the killing part. The light is over a box with a funnel. The moths go in settle among the cardboard egg trays and few get out. We go through the contents in morning, egg tray at a time.

This time of year the can be 100s of moths in a trap, perhaps more than 100 species and yes identifying them is tricky, especially for someone in their first year.

There's a lot of online help providing you take reasonable photos.

For the traps, many of us DIY the box and buy electrics form a specialist supplier, though one of my traps just uses a standard flourescent light.

One doesn't need a trap. There are regular moth recorders inspecting their outside light each night. Some just leave a light on inside and the moths come to the window. Some even leave their window open on purpose and see what's inside in the morning!
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Greengage
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is where you need to go for entomology supplies,
http://www.watdon.co.uk/acatalog/Moth_traps.html
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tippben
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mothman, correct me if I'm wrong, but I always thought that touching the wing surface of a moth or butterfly severely damaged them, and essentially ensured their death. (TAGWEX!!!!) Is this true? Also, what would be the most useful guide for identification? I own a x50 hand lens, and am used to using keys.
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ehhh Mrs Tagwex, not my hands, and she has very delicate hands.
It flew away no problem after the photo session.

_________________
Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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Sive
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the information mothman, I will explore the whole topic a bit more in the autumn, when life quietens down a little; far too much going on right now ! Is there a good book I could buy about Irish Moths ? I have Collins' Complete Irish Wildlife which has a few pages of moths and maybe they are the commoner ones I might come across ? Is that a good starting point ?
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mothman
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tippben wrote:
Mothman, correct me if I'm wrong, but I always thought that touching the wing surface of a moth or butterfly severely damaged them, and essentially ensured their death. (TAGWEX!!!!) Is this true?

On the wholeno,
The wings are a reasonably strong membrane. On this membrane are masses of scales, each scale a particular colour, somewhat like pixels in a digital photo.
It is these scales that are easily rubbed off. The moth (or butterfly) will still be able to fly though it has lost its colour which may let predators see it more easily.
So handling the moth such as Mrs Tagwex is to be discouraged, but its not fatal as many believe.

Moths like the Poplar Hawk-moth can be easily handled by encouraging them to walk forward onto a stick or a finger. They do have little hooks at end of feet and hence its very hard to pull them off, hence getting them to walk.

Poplar Hawk-moth flashes its hindwings in a frightening defence display. They do this quite readily. Most large moths need to warm up before flying. They will shiver for a while (perhaps 5 minutes or more) before taking off. This takes a lot of energy and once they start they usually go through with the whole process though Poplar Hawk-moth usually settles quite close by.



tippben wrote:
Also, what would be the most useful guide for identification? I own a x50 hand lens, and am used to using keys.

With so many species there is no catch all guide. We use UK guides as we only have about 3 species not in UK.
Moths are divided in macro (larger moths) and micro (smaller moths) the division is by family so there are some quite large micros and some relative small macros. There are quite a few guides for macro and until recently one needed a number of expensive guides for the micros, but a fairly comprehensive micro guide was published last year.

My recommendation for macro guide is Field Guide to the Moths of great Britain and Ireland, by Waring, Townsend & Lewington c35

There is a concise version c20 for real field use. Its lacks detailed text which is often important in determination. About 800 species are covered by macro guides of which about 560 have been recorded in Ireland.

The micro guide is Field Guide to the Micro Moths of Great Britain and Ireland.
Sterling, Parsons & Lewington. More than 1000 species are described in this book.

Identifying moths when starting out is very time consuming as you essentially need to go through every page, going through 800 species to find your moth and even then because of variations in colour you may not find it, but as you gain experience then you recognise what family it belongs to and so you can narrow down your search very quickly. We generally don't use keys for the macro moths and these popular guides don't contain keys though certain aspects such as whether the eyes are hairy or have lashes are sometimes useful features

The MothsIreland links page has links to most of the entomological supplies
http://www.mothsireland.com/?page_id=17#3

One of them has some useful guides
http://www.angleps.com/guides.php
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mothman
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sive wrote:
Is there a good book I could buy about Irish Moths ? I have Collins' Complete Irish Wildlife which has a few pages of moths and maybe they are the commoner ones I might come across ? Is that a good starting point ?

I have made suggestions for book in my previous post, but its worth making the point that beginners are not immune to see rare moths and once you start looking at moths you may find many not in the Collins guide.

Online resources are very useful and there are plenty of us in MothsIreland who will provide online help and we launched the Ask an Expert service a few weeks ago.
http://www.mothsireland.com/?page_id=265

Though if you've got a casual sighting from your wanderings, weeding etc then have a look at this page.
http://www.mothsireland.com/?page_id=635.

By the way Hummingbird Hawk-moth in my garden yesterday nectaring at the Runner Beans
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