Genuine question moth-trappers get from passers-by... 'Is that for aliens?'
Ok, so maybe moths are not everyone's cup of tea, but you could change your mind after meeting Jacob Everitt; local countryside warden and fellow moth-appreciator. Last Friday Jake brought his large moth trap to Gatwick along with mercury vapour bulb, generator, collecting pots and bags of knowledge and enthusiasm. We picked our site carefully, setting up in the North West Zone on the path between the River Mole and Brockley Wood.
Common Toad which was passing by, possibly also wondering what was going on
It was a pretty successful night for trapping; warm with virtually no breeze. Many different moth species were drawn in from the bordering scrub, woodland and wetland habitats, along with every biting midge and mosquito within a 2 mile radius. No one actually knows for sure why the moths are attracted to the light; the theories range from them being attracted to the warmth, them believing it is the moon (which they might navigate by), or simply to make adult people scream in bathrooms.
Trappings of success - Moths can be put in the fridge overnight to settle them down. I prefer taking amateur pics of wildlife in-situ but the light of day does these guys most justice.
Close-up of a Peppered moth - all were re-released close by to where they were collected
Riband Wave (ab. remutata)