Monday, 22 May 2017

Good News Bad News Scenario

Rustic Shoulder-knot

The good news is that last night was my first opportunity to run the moth trap for a full night - and it worked. Nothing caught fire, or floated away, and no-one nicked the trap, p*ssed in it or took a cr*p in it (always a potential hazard in urban areas). The bad news? Well moths are pretty thin on the ground, one micro, three Light Brown Apple Moths and a Rustic Shoulder-knot. On the one hand, this proves that the trap works - it is capable of catching moths - if there are any moths to catch. Conditions last night were pretty good, but I'm not the only moth trapper getting very poor results this year. I wish that I had started trapping 10 years ago so that I would have a good dataset to look at across the introduction of LED street lighting here two years ago. The scientific data is very clear that LED street lights are bad for moth populations (and hence for bats and birds). However, there are also very few butterflies in the garden and it's hard to put that onto LED street lights.

All of this points to a very worrying underlying malaise. To paraphrase E.O. Wilson, "If the insects collapse, we're all f*cked". I can't turn the clock back, I can only build a dataset from this point forwards, and hope that catches improve next month. Sorry this has been a bit sweary.

Rustic Shoulder-knot, Apamea sordens.

Nikon D7200
Tokina 100mm f/2.8
f11 1/160 ISO 110