Using my LED moth trap

Gepubliceerd op 12 november 2023 om 13:21

Six weeks ago I got a LED light trap to catch night moths. But since then, there has not been a dry night, and the trap is not waterproof. Last night the weather was finally good enough and I set it up. I was really surprised to find 25 moths of five different species, none of which I had seen before.


A December Moth, Mottled Umber, and The Sprawler


A light trap is an easy way to find many night moths. It consist of a bucket with a funnel in it, some egg cartons in the bucket, and an UV LED light above it, surrounded by some pieces of plexiglass. The moths are attracted by the light, hit the glass, fall through the funnel into the bucket, and rest among the egg cartons. You can leave it outside the whole night. In the morning you carefully open it, inspect and photograph the moths, and put them in some bushes where they are protected from birds. I got mine from the Dutch Butterfly Conservation for which I now also record my observations of moths. I did though add a stronger UV LED light to attract the moths from a further distance.

I had mine already for six weeks, but I could not use it up to now. It is not fully waterproof, and the weather in the Netherlands has been pretty bad the last six seeks with some rain every day and night. But yesterday the predictions were finally good. It was though a bit cold, around 6 degrees Celsius during the night, which is said to be a bit too low to catch many moths. But that turned out not to be the case. 

To my surprise, in the morning there were 25 moths resting in the bucket. Most of them where December Moths (while it is still early November). They look really nice with all the hair. There where also a number of The Sprawler moths. Most of them though were not in the bucket but were sitting at places near to it. You must always check the area around the bucket as well. And then there was a Mottled Umber (which is called the winter butterfly in Dutch), a The Brick, and what most likely was an Autumnal Moth, but the identification app was not sure.

None of these five moth species I had seen before. These are all species that fly in autumn or winter. I added all of them to my page on night moths. I might try again tonight, but after that, again a lot of rain is predicted.

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