Moths of Aston Lodge Park
"Moths; they are dirty brown things that eat your clothes, aren't they?" That is a response I often hear but, did you know that there are over 2500 different moths in the UK and over 1400 species in Staffordshire? Of those, only a handful eat your clothes, or rather, their larvae do – though that is decreasing with more artificial fibres being used.
As for being dirty brown, yes, a lot are, but far more are incredibly coloured or patterned and outshine many of our butterflies.
Moths are important pollinators and many provide food for growing bird chicks and for bats. Without moths, we would be in trouble. They are useful indicators of the state of the environment. Many species are increasing their range and spreading north as the climate warms, but the overall numbers of individuals are falling. How often do you see them in your headlights these days?
To date, we have recorded 473 moth species in our Leacroft garden, using a special light trap to attract them (they are released after counting), compared to just 20 butterflies. There is no reason why your garden should not be host to over 300 species!
So, check lighted windows at night, or the wall beneath an outside security light in the early morning. Check the flowers that attracted butterflies during the day – they may attract moths at night. Also, a number of moths only fly by day, so look out for Burnets, say, on thistles on the Grassy Patch and of course, Hummingbird Hawk-moths on flowers like Agapanthus, Honeysuckle and Nicotiana in your garden.
Some Moths Found in Dave & Sue's Garden
Below is a gallery of some of the more spectacular species recorded in our garden. Enjoy!
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Copyright © - November 2021. Unless otherwise stated, images and text: David Emley. All rights reserved.