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My database for Leverington Moths Wisbech Cambridgeshire
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When the darkness falls, the moths will come out to play. We often see moths at night, but how many of you have taken the time to look at these beautiful creatures close up?
Living in the Cambridgeshire Fens, I hardly see moths, even in the summer months and in winter they are a rare sight, yet after watching a few YouTube video showing live moth catching where there be hundreds found in just a few hours.
The Fens for those who have never heard of this place. Its the Uk's most substantial and lowest countryside, where 98% of the land has been set aside for agriculture. The use of pesticides and natural habitat loss must be the highest in the UK. There's no woods, no forests, no meadows. The only places where insects can breed are grass verges and ditches, but these are cut often. There are hardly any trees too, So when I took on this moth challenge, I didn't know what to expect.
The live moth trap is a homemade skinner type.
Firstly all moths are not harmed, nor frozen or chilled the fridge, which seems to be the most popular way, for me this isn't right, and if you are a photographer doing this then you are a sick person, killing creatures just for photos in my eyes makes you not an artist nor photographer!.
The trap is a simple wooden box, with two posts cut and glued to hold the fluorescent bulb. You want to be looking for a box that sort of fits the length of the lamps. The bulb I'm using is just 18 inches long.
Inside the trap, you can try all kinds of things, and you will find that different types of moths will like different places too. Some will like the bottom of the box in the darkest place, and others will sit directly out on the open. I've found many even sleeping on the outside of the trap which is kind of funny, they have a chance to escape but can't be bothered haha.
The guides I use to direct the moths into the trap are clear plastic perspex and used to leave it uncovered. Meaning I could look inside, but this caused the moths not to settle and also when the sun came up caused the temperatures to rise inside the box. With the white paper cover, it helps to darken the box inside and keep the temperatures lower.
The underside of the guides, I have tried different ways to stop the moths running up and down them and found that folded paper to work exceptionally well, stuck merely at angles which helps guide the moths upwards.
The bulb is a standard YVB plus 10% and can be bought from most reptile shops. I'm not into spending tons of money on what I think is crazy prices for moth traps when you can make your own and mine cost £28 unlike some that costs upwards of £300 or more.
A word of warning if you care for the moths. In hot weather, they will need feeding just like the rest of us, (see picture at the top), sugar water works well but please don't place any liquid on them. Keep them out of the heat of the day If you are putting them in a jam jar or something else.
I do not and never will place moths in the fridge or freezer to slow them down. Working with fully active moths is hugely time-consuming. But when you get to know certain moths, you will know what they like to do. It can be fun and rewarding to see what they do. I use my mother's gazebo which has nets that zip up around the sides so turns the gazebo into a large netted area. Moths will then either fly and land or sit in the trap and move onto the item you wish to use to photograph them on.
Moths are stunning and fun to photograph, if like me you are also interested in how our nature is doing in your local area then a moth trap is a brilliant way to find out. There are several other websites out there with information regarding the issues these creatures are up against but my database is for my area only, and that's the key. What I have been seeing is worrying for the future of the moths in my local area. After speaking to a moth specialist, he did state the fens is one of the worse places for moths due to overuse of pesticide.
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