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I don’t have a garden so I can’t have a moth trap, and I admit to getting the teensiest bit envious of friends who do have traps. But I get to see their finds on Facebook, and I will also readily admit that learning to identify the 2500 species of moth found in Britain might just do my head in, so perhaps not having a moth trap is really a good thing! And, anyway, I seem to have discovered a very convenient place to find the occasional moth, a tall alleyway between local houses that has its very own street lamp.

I walk this way often but hadn’t noticed moths until the day before yesterday – perhaps it hasn’t been warm enough before. And, as you can see from the head of this first moth (photo below), it was a damp, foggy morning and the moth was still to warm up so couldn’t fly away. This is one of the first of two generations of Early thorn (Selenia dentaria) to breed throughout much of Britain each year. (To find out more about the Early thorn, click here).


The second moth on the alley wall was this dapper delight, an Early grey (Xylocampa areola), another common and widespread moth, whose caterpillars feed on Honeysuckle. (More on the Early grey here.)