Sunday 20 November 2022

2022 Garden Moth review: Jan-Jun.

Well that came around quick!

It's now mid-November. The woodburner is in full swing while the temperature outside has slid down to 0°C. The fallen leaves are already frosting up under a crystal clear sky, so what better time to look back at the Mothing year.

As before, these aren't all necessarily mega UK rares, Western Paleartic firsts or species new to Science, but all listed have some significance to me and my garden, here in mid-Norfolk. There are some notable County records though.. Any grade 4 species were confirmed by dissection but I'll probably add a 3rd part to this post once caught up on the rest of the years dissections.

The garden faired better than I expected and - not including those I'm yet to confirm by dissection - added 25 new species, taking the total to 781 in the 6yrs we've lived here.

Maybe some false advertising in the title though, as Jan and Feb didn't actually produce anything noteworthy and ticked over VERY slowly to start the year. It'd be well into March before anything noteworthy would appear, so here we go:


13/03: Yellow Horned (Achlya flavicornis). 

Gets the first shout out as a species with a sporadic history here:

2017 = 9 (with 5 in one night)

2018 = 1

2019 = nil

2020 = 1

2021 = nil

2022 = 1

Yellow Horned (Achlya flavicornis)

15/03: Phyllonorycter oxyacanthae (Common Thorn Midget) 

Only the 2nd garden record. Both adults. The only other record for Litcham is a leafmine found 20yrs earlier by the Norfolk Moth Group, led by the late Dr J.R. Langmaid. (R.I.P.)

Phyllonorycter oxyacanthae (Common Thorn Midget)

16/03: Tineola bisselliella (Common Clothes Moth).

Not a species that most would welcome anywhere near them. Of the 6 that I've had here, only the singleton this year was actually found indoors (and kinda thankfully not followed by 00's more!) The other 5 all attracted to the MV trap. Again, rather sporadic in their appearances:

2017 = nil

2018 = nil

2019 = 3

2020 = 2

2021 = nil

2022 = 1

Tineola bisselliella (Common Clothes Moth)

21/03: Red Chestnut (Cerastis rubricosa)

A common species and good numbers most years, apart from complete no-shows in 2019 & 2021, so was nice to see 3 individuals back this year. Sporadic and random will be used a lot in this, me thinks!

Red Chestnut (Cerastis rubricosa)

21/03: Caloptilia elongella (Pale Red Slender) 

 NFG (new for garden) and new for 10ksq. The one and only I saw this year.

Caloptilia elongella (Pale Red Slender)

23/03: Small Quaker (Orthosia cruda)

Never a shortage of these but a new highest count of Small Quaker on this night, with 74 in total!


23/03: Lead-coloured Drab (Orthosia populeti)

A species I saw regularly when we first moved here but after disappearing the last couple of years, it was great to see one again:

2017 = 3

2018 = 4

2019 = 7

2020 = nil

2021 = nil

2022 = 1

Lead-coloured Drab (Orthosia populeti)

Just as the Moths started to come to life in March, April saw another quiet Month with not a lot happening. Not Moth-wise anyway!..

12/04: Brown Long-eared Bat. Yep. In the trap. Not actually the first time this has happened and later in the year we had another appear inside the house! Both were released and flew off unharmed.

Brown Long-eared Bat

30/04: Phaneta pauperana (Scarce Rose Bell)

A subtle little micro, formerly known as Eucosma pauperana, this was NFG, new for 10ksq, new for me and only the 9th record for Norfolk. A very welcome visitor!

Phaneta pauperana (Scarce Rose Bell)

01/05: May Highflyer (Hydriomena impluviata)

As if it were waiting for the first day of the Month to arrive, the first May Highflyer arrived on this night. Seemingly a good year here for the species, it was to be the first of 3 in total for the year. I've only recorded 2 others here, in 2017 & 2021, respectively, before this 'bumper' year.

May Highflyer (Hydriomena impluviata)

09/05: Mompha epilobiella (Common Mompha)

This Mompha has had a decent showing over the years but worth a mention as yet another which shows a two-year absence in 2019-20 to then reappear more than once this year. Little tip: when worn, these can be hard to tell from the similar ochraceella. If you look at the legs though, they are dark ringed/banded on epilobiella but plain/pale ochreous on ochraceella. Worth bookmarking THIS from Chris Lewis's brilliant, British lepidoptera website, to keep note.

Mompha epilobiella (Common Mompha)

09/05: Rhyacionia pinivorana (Spotted Shoot)

Apart from 2020, I've recorded just 1 a year. This one my earliest by a good couple of weeks.

Rhyacionia pinivorana (Spotted Shoot)

09/05: Cream Wave (Scopula floslactata)

Only the 4th for garden. M.I.A. during 2019-2020 and then only 1 a year for the other 3 years.

Cream Wave (Scopula floslactata)

10/05: Eulia ministrana (Brassy Tortrix)

Now we're talking. Sleek micros are were it's at and this was NFG. I've recorded in the area only once before, in the village a few years ago, netted by day in a rough, roadside hedge. One I always enjoy seeing though. t'is rather nice..

Eulia ministrana (Brassy Tortrix)

12/05: Birch Mocha (Cyclophora albipunctata)

2nd ever for garden, with the first back in 2020. For a "common" species, there are hardly any records immediately around not just my 10ksq but almost 30ksq. Unbeknown to me at the time, this WOULDN'T be the Cyclophora highlight of the year...

Birch Mocha (Cyclophora albipunctata)

16/05: Seraphim (Lobophora halterata)

Another species with an irregular history in the garden:

2017 = nil

2018 = 1

2019 = nil

2020 = 2

2021 = nil

2022 = 2

Seraphim (Lobophora halterata)

22/05: Broad-bordered Bee Hawk-moth (Hemaris fuciformis)

These are great Moths. How could anyone not enjoy watching these?! I've had a few of these little wonders in the garden over the years but this was a good year and we enjoyed 3 individuals in all. Like many of the dayflyers though, how many more probably went unseen?

(old pic) Broad-bordered Bee Hawk-moth (Hemaris fuciformis)

22/05: Callisto denticulella (Garden Apple Slender)

NFG. New for 10ksq as an adult but the larval spinnings were recorded here c20yrs ago, again, by Dr Langmaid and the group he was leading. This tiny little pocket-rocket would not sit still for love nor money and evaded before I could manage to grab a pic!

02/06: Eucosma hohenwartiana (Bright Bell)

2nd for garden after the first in 2021.

Eucosma hohenwartiana (Bright Bell)

07/06: Pale-shouldered Brocade (Lacanobia thalassina)

Another nomad! Graced the garden with it's presence once each in 2017-18 and never returned until now. Just the single but hopefully the sign of it now being back in town.

Pale-shouldered Brocade (Lacanobia thalassina)

07/06: Teleiodes luculella (Crescent Groundling)

I do likes me a nice 'Gele' and this is exactly that. Only the 2nd for garden, first was exactly a month later but in 2018.

Teleiodes luculella (Crescent Groundling)

09/06: Sharp-angled Carpet (Euphyia unangulata)

Always amuses me how these 'common' species can still be nowhere to be seen over such an area. There're no shortage of Norfolk records but the vast majority are from a broad band, running North to South across the county. Being in the middle of this band doesn't entitle me regular views however. I've recorded only 1 before, in 2020, before I then trapped 2 this year.

Sharp-angled Carpet (Euphyia unangulata)

10/06: Neocochylis molliculana (Ox-tongue Conch)

NFG and 10ksq. I remember seeing that Lynnette Nicholson & Mark Golley, of the world famous 'Cley Moth Obs' had trapped one of these the night before. Not a species I've seen much of at all, so it was great to catch my own the very next night.

Neocochylis molliculana (Ox-tongue Conch)

12/06: Tawny Wave (Scopula rubiginata)

I've realised before now that I tend to pick up more of the Breckland specialities at mine when the wind is a keen SW'ly and distinctly remember wondering if another Tawny Wave would be on the cards. Well if only I had the same foresight with lottery numbers, because low and behold one turned up. This is a Moth that still makes me smile, no matter how many I see. Only 2nd for garden, the first in 2019.

Tawny Wave (Scopula rubiginata)

12/06: Phtheochroa sodaliana (Buckthorn Conch)

Really happy to get add this nationally scarce B species to the garden list. NFG. New for 10ksq (and some!) and as you can see from the distribution map, almost in the middle of nowhere when it turned up in little ol' Litcham. Lightning struck twice when I trapped another one 4 days later, on the 16th!

Phtheochroa sodaliana (Buckthorn Conch)

Map from the exceptional, NorfolkMoths website with thanks to Jim Wheeler, our CMR.

Phtheochroa sodaliana distribution

12/06: Shark (Cucullia umbratica)

Everyone likes a success story - and a Moth with a punk rocker hair do - so I included Shark onto the post. One that has gone from being absent to (hopefully) now on the rise here. Slow and steady wins the race and all that...

2017 = nil

2018 = nil

2019 = 1

2020 = 1

2021 = 1

2022 = 3

Shark (Cucullia umbratica)

16/06: Archips crataegana (Brown Oak Tortrix)

2nd for garden. The one other record for crataegana, in 2020. 

Archips crataegana (Brown Oak Tortrix)

16/06: Batia lunaris (Lesser Tawny Tubic)

Just the 3rd garden record of this stunning little gem, 2019-20 for the first 2. Fast forward a couple of months and the 4th for garden turned up as well.

Batia lunaris (Lesser Tawny Tubic)

16/06: Eupoecilia angustana (Marbled Conch)

NFG & 10ksq.

Eupoecilia angustana (Marbled Conch)

16/06: Purple Clay (Diarsia brunnea)

Puuurrrple Clay, Puuuuuurrrrrrppple Clay (in your best Prince impression) was only the 2nd here. 1st in 2020 but local status for Norfolk so a joy to see another fresh out the box. Nice..

Purple Clay (Diarsia brunnea)

17/06: Argyresthia brockeella (Gold-ribbon Argent)

This night, June 17th, was a cracking night and probably the best of the year so far, with quite a few species making it to the annual review. A.brockeella was one I thought I'd seen a lot more of than I actually had. Turns out I've only ever trapped one other (2018) before this one. Should definitely makes those who "don't do" micros reconsider. Just look at it!

Argyresthia brockeella (Gold-ribbon Argent)

17/06: Elophila nymphaeata (Brown China-mark)

As default I tend to thank a neighbours established pond for the 'China-marks' and 'Water Veneer' that I find in the trap. Just a quick side step: had my highest count for Water Veneer this year as well, with 250 (Aug 8th). But back to the other and again, I hadn't realised how much more scarce Brown China-mark was in the garden, compared to the others. This was only the 3rd, while the other 2 were back in 2017 & 2020. No pic this time - it was really rather worn.


17/06: Epinotia abbreviana (Brown Elm Bell)

Common but spread quite thinly over the County, I never saw abbreviana here until I trapped 3 in 2019. Just the single this year since though.

Epinotia abbreviana (Brown Elm Bell)

17/06: Ethmia dodecea (Dotted Ermel)

Love these! I mean, what's not to like?! Only in recent years have I been seeing dodecea but it's always a joy. None in 2017/18/19 and then 2 in 2020 and 1 a year for 2021/22.

Ethmia dodecea (Dotted Ermel)

17/06: Monopis fenestratella (Brown Timber Clothes Moth)

Now we're talking. The first 'yeah baby' Moth of the year, the first big gun of 2022. Well, not big in stature at just mm's in size but packs a punch for significance. I distinctly remember looking through the dust and 'shrapnel' at the bottom of a busy MV Robinson trap and amongst all of it, seeing this little Tineid zooming around at 100mph! In the split second it stood still I could make out enough of the markings to tell it needed potting for a closer look. Seeing the first glass like 'porthole' on one side I though must be wear, but when the exact same was visible on the other side, it confirmed it was a Monopis I'd not seen before. Monopis fenestratella it was and a great catch! NFG, 10ksq, me and a VC28 first, with only a handful of records nationally!

Monopis fenestratella (Brown Timber Clothes Moth)

Monopis fenestratella (Brown Timber Clothes Moth)

17/06: Pammene regiana (Regal Piercer)

I love this little Pammene group with their big blotch markings. This was 2nd for garden. The first was just a day earlier, in 2021.

Pammene regiana (Regal Piercer)

17/06: Argyresthia retinella (Netted Argent)

Had to wait until 2020 to first record retinella. Had 2 that year and another wait for this one, the third. 

Argyresthia retinella (Netted Argent)

22/06: Phtheochroa rugosana (Rough-winged Conch)

NFG. The 2nd Phtheochroa (if you can pronounce that genus without spitting or dribbling, you're doing well!) worthy of a mention. Get an eyepiece on rugosana and you wont be disappointed. A mixed bag of colours and shapes. Really is a cool looking Moth.

Phtheochroa rugosana (Rough-winged Conch)

23/06: Lunar-spotted Pinion (Cosmia pyralina)

NFG. Like busses, I ended up with 2 this year. There's something about these 'Pinions' that I love. Really refined yet far from boring:

Lunar-spotted Pinion (Cosmia pyralina)

27/06: Lozotaenia forsterana (Large Ivy Tortrix)

A beast of a Tort and again, as common as it might be, this was only the 2nd I've had. First back in 2018.

Lozotaenia forsterana (Large Ivy Tortrix)

28/06: Helcystogramma rufescens (Orange Crest)

I was kindly shown my first ever of these over in the broads, by Ben Lewis a few years ago. A couple years later and it makes an appearance in the garden. This individual was the garden 3rd. The previous 2 in 2019/21

Helcystogramma rufescens (Orange Crest)

28/06: Opostega salaciella (Sorrel Bent-wing)

Back down to the titchy end of the scale for this one. Absent in the garden for 2017/18/19, I then managed 1 a year for 2020/21/22, all within the same 12day span so far: June 16th-28th.

Opostega salaciella (Sorrel Bent-wing)

If you're still with me - well done, and thanks! That rounds up Jan-Jun. Another year that felt like it didn't really get going, with the exception of a few ridiculously busy nights, but keeping notes and pics throughout the year to do this review shows it was actually goind ok and ticking over just fine.

Jul-Dec has no shortage of goodies after a cracking year for migrants and wont be far behind. 



  1. A most enjoyable read, Keith. Some moths mentioned appeared in my garden too so it's interesting to see the similarities or differences.

    1. Thanks very much, I'm glad you enjoyed it. It's always nice looking back through the year and interesting to compare to other parts of the country. Part 2 is on it's way.