Insects like butterflies and moths are indicators of the health of our environment because they are very sensitive to change.
In the last 30 years there has been a catastrophic decline in numbers of butterflies and moths.
For a report on the state of Britain’s moths click here
To identify a butterfly or day-flying moth, click here
Butterflies and moths are quite similar to look at but there are some tell-tale differences:
Butterflies seek the sun and are day fliers. Although most moths fly at night some also fly during the day and that can be confusing but there is a sure way to tell them apart.
Butterflies have antennae that have little knobs or ‘clubs’ on the tips.
On the left the small tortoiseshell demonstrates the typical antennae of a butterfly. Moths on the other hand have antennae that are either very feathery in the case of the males, or very thin ending in a fine tip in the case of females. The day-flying burnet moth on the right demonstrates a different type, but it is clear to see that there are no club tips, just a feathery hook.
Moth trapping on YACWAG reserves helps us to understand what moths are there and how to manage the land in a way that does not harm them.
A moth trap is basically a very bright light (ultra violet) with a device so that when moths fly to it they drop down into a container where they remain quietly in the trap until examined and released. This form of live trapping does not harm the moths.
Click here to let us know if you are interested in joining in some moth trapping sessions.
To report butterflies and moths you have seen click here to BRERC’s single record page.
For information about the butterflies and moths of YACWAG’s nature reserves click here.
For information about the butterflies of Cadbury Hill and the Strawberry Line click here.
You can help butterflies and moths in your garden – please see YACWAG’s Wildlife Gardening page.