/ in Challenges, Know Your Moths by Marek
Face fronting photo of a Caddis Fly
80 shots split in two for stacking and stitched together

This post has nothing whatsoever to do with my sons coding ability but focuses entirely on other insects and lifeforms attracted to our moth trap at night.

One of the frequent and sometimes numerous visitors to the trap are caddis flies of which there are thousands of different species.

Most of the larger caddis flies, like the one illustrated, are easily recognisable by the length of their antennae which is normally comparable to their body size.

Some of the micro varieties however can easily be mistaken for moths and it is only when you have taken pictures and produced the final image that they can then be disregarded.

The small pond situated next to the moth house is almost certainly the culprit for the visits but at some of the locations we have trapped away from home the numbers have been much larger due to the proximity of rivers and lakes.

Another frequent visitor is the Lacewing which we don’t normally find in the trap itself but on the inside of the moth house.

It is only when you look at them in detail that you realise how appropriate their name really is.

Close up side shot of a Green Lacewing
Well laced

Most insects attracted to the trap such as flies, beetles etc are easily identifiable so are removed and released during normal trap investigation.

It is the micro insects where we must take a much closer look as it is impossible to initially determine what exactly they are with the naked eye.

This is where macro photography comes into its own and introduces you to a world where tiny creatures suddenly begin to take form in a myriad of shape and colour.

Although our focus is primarily on moths it is difficult not to spend time on some of these amazing life forms.

Close up side shot of a Caddis Fly
You always could see straight through me.

Although most visitors to the trap are innocuous there are a few that make you think twice about touching them in any way.

There are of course wasps which hidden in the recesses of an egg box incautiously removed for inspection could easily give one a nasty sting.

Spiders are another frequent visitor regardless of how diligent you are to remove them and their webs each morning from the trap and moth house.

The trouble with spiders is that they don’t really care if their prey is a rare migrant as they seem quite partial to foreign food.

The list of visitors is quite large and would exceed my page limit but some others worth mentioning are drain flies, lady birds and parasitic wasps.

Parasitic wasps although harmless to humans are not a friend to moths as the females lay their eggs inside a live insect's body cavity their favourite host being caterpillars.

Either way harmless of not I don’t much like the looks of them so handle them with care when releasing.

Close up top down shot of a parasitic wasp
How’s that for a sting in the tail