moths are great! (Julie Stoneman)



There are more species of micro-moths in Britain and Ireland than larger (macro-) moths.

Some are very small and difficult to indentify (hindered further by a lack of identification guides for some groups) and are the preserve of experts. However, many micro-moths are distinctive and can be readily identified even by novice moth recorders.

Don't be put off by the general perception that 'micros' are difficult! You will probably find some distinctive micro-moths regularly in your moth trap so why not identify and record them. Examples might include:Pyrausta aurata (Mark Parsons)

  • Diamond-back Moth Plutella xylostella
  • Carcina quercana
  • Light-brown Apple Moth Epiphyas postvittana
  • Green Oak Tortrix Tortrix viridana
  • Mother of Pearl Pleuroptya ruralis
  • Small Magpie Eurrhypara hortulata
  • Pyrausta aurata
  • Rush Veneer Nomophila noctuella
  • Rusty-dot Pearl Udea ferrugalis
  • Bee Moth Aphomia sociella
  • Twenty-plume Moth Alucita hexadactyla

As with the larger moths, it is most important that you only record moths if you are certain of their identification. The Field Guide to the Micro-moths of Great Britain and Ireland by Phil Sterling, Mark Parsons and Richard Lewington is a great resource. British Moths and Butterflies by Chris Manley and British Pyralid Moths by Barry Goater are good 'starting point' identification books for micro-moths, and internet sites can also be very useful.

We have produced verification guidance for micro-moths, these can be found on the Guidance notes page of this website.

From 1st April 2016 the National Moth Recording Scheme started to accept records of micro-moths, County Moth Recorders will be very grateful for your records.