Report on Moth Trapping event arranged by David Kirk, Chairman of the Boxmoor Trust - 27.07.2016

Last Thursday we decided to trap at a new site that we had acquired permission to trap at.

Halsey field is a beautiful looking reserve full to the brim with wildflowers and dense scrub this site has huge potential and we shall be re-visiting it...on a warmer night!

Once we got through the access gates we drove our cars to the edge of the lower field where we would setup 6 traps and see what we could turn up.

The day had been quite warm at 23 degrees but upon arrival the sky was still clear and although cloud was visible in the distance, with the wind dropping it was never going to reach us.

In short, we struggled.

We will be back Halsey Field!

Catch Report - 14/07/16 - Halsey Field - Hemel Hempstead - 2x 125w MV Robinson Trap 1x 160w MBT Robinson Trap 1x 40w Actinic Suitcase Trap 1x 80w Actinic Briefcase Trap& 1x 40w Actinic/26w BLB Trap


Macro Moths - 35 Species

Barred Yellow 1

Bordered Sallow 5

Brimstone Moth 2

Brown-line Bright-eye 8

Brown-tail 1

Buff Arches 3

Clay 6

Clouded Border 2

Clouded Brindle 1

Common Footman 4

Dark Arches 4

Double Square-spot 3

Dwarf Cream Wave 1

Engrailed 1

Heart & Dart 2

July Highflyer 1

Large Yellow Underwing 4

Lesser Yellow Underwing 1

Light Arches 1

Light Emerald 1

Maple Prominent 1

Mottled Beauty 2

Mottled Rustic 2

Nut-tree Tussock 1

Peppered Moth 1

Poplar Grey 1

Riband Wave 4

Rustic 2

Scarce Footman 5

Shaded Broad-bar 10

Short-cloaked Moth 2

Shoulder-striped Wainscot 1

Smoky Wainscot 5

Sycamore 1

White Satin Moth 8


Micro Moths - 12 Species

Acentria ephemerella 6

Archips xylosteana 2

Coleophora sp 1

Crambus perlella 1

Eucosma campoliliana 3

Eucosma cana 5

Eudonia pallida 1

Hedya pruniana 1

Hedya nubiferana 1

Pandemis cerasana

Phycitodes binaevella

Scoparia ambigualis




Moth Count on 29th May 2017

The weather was kind to us during our Mothing session last night, with very little wind, no rain and a cloudy sky, resulting in a comfortable temperature of 18C, – much better than our session last July, when the temperature dropped to 7C.


The two moth traps were soon full of activity, and we caught many moths – 32 species which we recognised, and quite a few micro moths which the experts amongst us took home for a closer look the following morning, in order to make a precise identification. In the main there were lots of moths of each species, indicating healthy colonies breeding on the field, the most numerous being the Common Swift moth. Almost all the moths we found were different to those found last July, so this brings our total count for the field to over 80 species so far.


We caught three rather rare moths: – a Nutmeg moth; a Pyrausta despicata moth (a native species which likes to breed on sites with chalky soil and whose caterpillars feed on Ribwort Plantain), and a rare Micro Moth Cochylidia heydeniana, which has never before been recorded in Hertfordshire. Its caterpillars feed on Blue Fleabane, which is quite a common plant in the Halsey Field.


We also trapped a few other insects, including a fierce looking Ichneumon wasp, a Caddis fly with impressively long antennae, a soldier beetle and a Hawthorn Shield bug. All the moths and other insects were released after identification.


A big thank you the Boxmoor Trust for lending us their new battery operated moth traps, to Steve Lings who collected and put up the traps and helped with the moth identification, and to Roger Prue and Ian for their moth identification expertise.



Setaceous Hebrew Character Clouded Silver
Marbled Minor Treble Lines
Nutmeg Angle Shades
Middle-barred Minor Diamond-back Moth
Knot Grass Grey Pug
Green Carpet Common Pug
Maiden’s Blush Freyer’s Pug
Mint Moth Flame Shoulder
Lime Speck Pug Brimstone
The Flame Tawny Marbled Minor
Light Brocade Large Nutmeg
Pyrausta despicata Scoparia ambigualis
Rustic Shoulder-knot Crambus lathoniellus
Common Swift Dichrorampha plumbana
Common Marbled Carpet Bryotropha terrella
Straw Dot Brimstone Moth
Skin Moth Cochylis dubitana.
Eupoecilia angustana Cochylidia heydeniana (the only recording of this moth in Hertfordshire)



Moth Survey on the Halsey field on 12th August 2017 

We set up two battery operated traps - one at the top of the slope, and one in a more sheltered position at the bottom. The  breeze became stronger during the evening, though it remained reasonably warm (about 15C), so the lower trap attracted the most insects, including lots of Caddis flies, a bush cricket etc. as a well as moths.

The good news is that we caught more Cochylidia heydeniana, which means they are in all probability breeding on the site. Their food plant Blue Feabane is certainly flourishing and is in flower all over the field at the moment

Ruby Tiger


Orange Swift

Oak Hook tip

Large Yellow Under-wing

Lesser Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing

Lesser Yellow Underwing

Straw Dot

Vine’s Rustic

Crambid (grass moth)

Flame Shoulder

Scorched Carpet

Lime specked pug

Double striped pug

Tawny Speck Pug

Yellow Shell

Willow Beauty

Nephopterix Angustella

Balstobasis Adustella

Common Wainscot

Dusky Sallow

Setaceous Hebrew Character

Common Rustic

Mottled Beauty

Shaded Broadba

Agriphila selasella

Eucosma campililiana (new for me)

Cochylimorpha straminea

Cochylidia heydeniana (2 more of our star moths plus around another 4 seen last night, though will need checking to be certain)

Endothenia sp

Coleophora sp (both will need checking to confirm species)

Agapeta Zoegana

Eucosma Cana

Cochylis dubitana