Moth Trapping

Insects are declining at an alarming rate, e.g. a study based on German Nature Reserves suggested a 75% decrease over 27 years (Hallmann et al 2017). Whilst other studies have reported a more nuanced picture, ( Kilnk 2020 et al), there is no doubt that insects are reducing in abundance. Therefore building a record of one Group of insect species in our area would be of value. The society has therefore purchased a Moth trap and is running a series of events in members gardens over the summer.

See the monthly updates or the events page for further details of 2022 dates,
Please contact Christian at or 07802 925555 (on the day) if any questions. 



Moth Summary for Spring/Summer 2023

The CHINATS moth season got off to a disappointing start at Baffles Cottage, during May, where compared with July 2021, we trapped a staggering 112 moths. It’s not all about numbers, and as a Moth Group it is important to find out what is flying each month. There were some nice moths among the 6 recorded at Baffles, including the Buff-tip, “the moth that resembles a twig” and the most popular, Poplar Hawkmoth, happy to sit on your hand all day.

Next on the agenda, was the garden of our esteemed Chairman, where in July 2021 we trapped 35 moths, then in August 2022 we trapped 19 moths, while July 2023, we only had 4 moths, including a Box Moth, A Beautiful Elder Pearl, a Common Yellow Conch found residing in the Gazebo and an Ermine moth “Possibly Apple Ermine” found the next day hiding in the Box Hedge. Enthusiastic members began collecting insects from the garden, including a loncheid Fly, a Spider Wasp “Pompilidae Sp” and the lovely but plentiful Marmalade Hoverfly.

For the finale of the moth season, a great morning at Rummers, with near perfect weather conditions, in a lovely setting. Highlights started with an escapee, a Silver Y fleeing towards reeds, and attaching itself to the one brown leaf blown there.  The moth became invisible to all but the keen eye of Chris; adept at recapture techniques, the Silver Y was potted, leaf and all. Three striking red and black Jersey Tiger Moths made a show, two were kind enough to pose for photographers on the buddleia. Other nice moths included the spectacular Black Arches, beautiful Rosy Footman, a little green V-Pug, Ruby Tiger, Heart & Dart, plus the ever popular, Poplar Hawkmoth. 35 moths recorded of which 21 were individual species.

Many thanks to all those who turned up and contributed to the moth sessions, and a big thanks to Chris Harvey, Linda Kelsall-Barnett, Plus Chris and Gill Hance for hosting these events, and allowing us into your lovely wildlife gardens.
Tony Burnand.

2021 Mothing Reports

North Bersted on July 1st 2021

The first event was held in North Bersted on July 1st. The Moth trap had been set up in the garden overnight and the morning dawned bright and clear. Led by Tony Burnand, 8 members of the society had an enjoyable and informative time unpacking the trap. Numerous species were observed ranging from the diminutive Mint Moth, to a glorious Hawk Moth and, unfortunately, several invasive Box Moths !  In total 19 species were observed. This definitely wet the appetite of those present for the next event, which is scheduled for July 22nd. 

Please contact Christian Hance , if you would like to attend any of these events, as numbers of attendees are restricted.

Riband Wave

Dark Arches

Buff Tip

Whyke Road on 21 July

Many thanks to Chris who delivered and set up the moth trap in our garden last evening 21st July, ready to attract our population of night fliers by morning.
The weather was ideal, warm and dry with no more than a gentle breeze.
The trap did its job magnificently, and with Chris acting as main recovery operative, Tony was able to identify 23 species, which we were all able to examine and admire. There were twelve of us in attendance, so it took a while for the specimens to do the rounds, and it was almost noon by the time the trap was emptied. I, and I suspect several others of us, were delighted and astonished at the variety of moths in one small garden over the period of a single night.
Thanks to all who attended and helped to make this a highly successful event.
Stephanie Carn

Easthampnett on 30 July

The moth trap was set up in Easthampnett on the evening of Thursday 29th July by Tony Burnard and Christian, albeit with only one bulb. At 10:00 the following, rather damp and windy day, the trap was examined. Four members and two friends who were staying attended. 115 specimens and 42 species/types were identified which stretched our containers somewhat, but Tony was able to identify most of the specimens which kept him busy for over two hours. Thanks to Tony for his identification skills, Christian and others for retrieving the moths from the trap and to our friend Babs for recording all the specimens.
Chris Harvey


Runcton 5/8/21

Nine members gathered on a fine summer morning in Runcton to inspect the day’s catch.  This time, we all had to take turns removing a moth from the moth trap and then attempt our own identification before conferring with Tony. This led to a few escaped moths and plenty of detective work in the books and some brave guesses at identification.  Our final list contained 35 moth speciments with  20 species moths and 7 micromoths. We were delighted to see a Poplar Hawkmoth, unfortunately we also found a Box moth.  Thank you to Colin for hosting the morning, and Tony for his endless patience as we attempted our identifications.
Helen Dignum

Chidham 13th August

Friday 13th maybe regarded as an unlucky date, but not so for those who participated in yesterday's Moth Reveal and Identification.  We were fortunate that the night before was warm and little or no precipitation, the day was dull and overcast, temp 17 - 19 degrees , harvest had started in neighbouring fields and we were in close proximity to Maybush Copse.  Chris and Anthony arrived around 9.30 to start to examine the trap and around 10.00 several members of CNHS arrived to assist with the reveal and identification.  It was so special to meet up with friends again and so uplifting to see Groups scattered round the garden with reference books, moths in pots coffee and cake chatting and laughing as the morning progressed.  It was an excellent result - 44 pots were gathered in all and our sincere thanks go to Anthony Burnand for his endless patience and wealth of knowledge in assisting us with the identification of the moths caught and to Chris and Jill for all their support and input in staging this enjoyable and informative Moth Trap Morning.
Denise Bowerman

Aldwick Fields 18 August

Julia and I welcomed 7 members into our back garden in Aldwick Fields for the latest in the Moth Trapping events.  Tony Burnard, CNHS’s moth expert placed his moth trap in the garden the night before.  He thought the count might be disappointing due to the grey clouds and expected wind overnight.  How wrong could he be!
Thanks to Christian’s dexterity at retrieving the moths from the trap, Tony’s moth ID skills and our team of dedicated moth inspectors, we had well over 70 moths (we ran out of inspection bottles and had to improvise) and over 50 species.  Our rarest was a Toadflax Brocade, which only appears near toadflax and snapdragons.  Our largest moths, by size and number, were the large yellow underwings. We really enjoyed hosting this event and so lucky to have Tony and others on hand to help us to find out more about our night time visitors.
Bruce & Julia MacFarlane


Moth Trapping 2021

I would like to thank all those members that took the time and trouble to host the moth trapping, making us all feel welcome and providing a memorable and educational learning curve for me The sessions would not have been so rewarding were it not for the intrepid enthusiastic members who attended during these anxious times.
When I was asked to hold these moth-trapping sessions, I was absolutely thrilled but under no illusion about the demand imposed identifying the moths. Identifying during the session sometimes two or three at a time through a plastic pot is just the tip of the iceberg; an expression coined by a colleague of mine "Mothed Out"  kicks-in when the tally reaches thirty or above, and I have to say all the sessions exceeded this bench-mark.
Next comes the sorting through the photo's and double-checking the species into the early hours, but all in a days work.
I was not only stunned but pleasantly reassured by the rich biodiversity of flora and fauna of the hosts gardens, where nature has been given a helping hand by like-minded people that encourage wildlife
Thank you Chris for organizing this series of events, I hope attendees enjoyed it as much as I have, and looking forward to more next year.
 Tony Burnand

A collage of all the moths seen on 18 August

Chichester, West Sussex

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