The NHBS Moth Trap is an exciting new lightweight and highly portable Skinner moth trap designed and manufactured onsite at our Devon workshop. It is constructed from lightweight plastic panels covered with a light-coloured nylon material, and is assembled using Velcro. Once assembled the trap container has two panels which help prevent trapped moths escaping. The electrics are added by sliding the light holder into the wall supports. When fully assembled the trap measures approximately 30cm wide x 30cm deep x 50cm tall, it is mains powered and will run a single 20W Blacklight bulb. A benefit of these bulbs is that they will not shatter in contact with rain, however, like with every moth trap we would advise against using it during adverse weather.
The NHBS Moth Trap is designed with portability in mind. It comes supplied with a lightweight carry bag that you can use to transport and store the trap when not in use. This bag measures approximately 30cm wide and 45cm tall when all trap components are included. The complete trap only weighs around 1.6kg; much lighter than the typical solid plastic assemblies of other Skinner traps.
Butterfly Conservation’s review of the trap
In August 2019 we sent our trap to Phil Sterling, one of Butterfly Conservation’s leading moth scientists and author of the ground-breaking “Field Guide to the Micro-Moths of Great Britain and Ireland”. Phil was kind enough to set out our trap over six different nights and offer his feedback on how it fared.
“The trap is very good, and comparably better in my view than equivalent 20W tube traps on the market currently though I haven’t run comparative studies as such. However, I do regularly run a similar sized black plastic trap with a similar 20W bulb, along with a Robinson 125W mercury vapour trap several metres away, as my standard night time trapping in my garden. Using the NHBS trap in an identical position, the NHBS trap has been surprisingly good, consistently catching more moths than I would expect each time, comparing it with the catches in the black plastic trap.
I like the NHBS Moth trap because it is covered with white nylon, which glows with UV light at night when the light is on. I think this helps attract the moths, and critically, by being fairly light inside the trap itself, the moths readily calm down and rest until morning. I also like the portability of the NHBS trap, and particularly that it doesn’t need a rain shield.
I would definitely recommend this trap.”
The NHBS Moth Trap is now available on the NHBS store here. We are grateful to Butterfly Conservation and Phil Sterling for their generosity in reviewing our trap.
To view our full range of entomological equipment please visit www.nhbs.com. If you have any questions on moth traps or would like some advice on the best trap for you then please contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone on 01803 865913.
Many of us delight at butterflies visiting the flowers in our gardens, be it the drunken admirals of autumn or the spritely orange-tips in spring, yet some of us still seem to shudder at the thought of dingy moths bothering our windows at night or worse still munching our clothes to dust in our cupboards. In the middle of June, armed with two moth traps and a couple of trusted field guides, I attended an open garden in Somerset ready to join the #Mothsmatter conversation initiated by Butterfly Conservation to dispel the moth myths and encourage a fascination for these insects.
Setting up a Skinner moth trap in a covered porch over a couple of cold nights, I wasn’t entirely sure what species would be flying, but sure enough in the morning as I lifted the lid and slid the egg boxes out, there were some delightful species to see. Visitors in the garden were suffice to say, in awe of the moths the light brought in; the Poplar Hawk-moth and the Eyed Hawk- moth, the Fox Moth with his rabbit ear antennae and the remarkable Buff-tip.
We are becoming well aware that UK moths are in decline with an overall decrease in numbers by 28% since 1968, and over 60 species becoming extinct in the 20th century. Moths are a key indicator of environmental health and, as vital as they are to other creatures as a food source (their declines are impacting on breeding birds and bats) they are also vital for the pollination of native flora, an essential element to the tapestry of wild life. There is also evidence to suggest that climate change is shifting the habitable ranges of many of the moths that call the UK home, and while this can produce some spectacular species visiting from continental Europe, many of the species that have relied on the temperate climate in the UK are being forced out northward.
With a recent trend in wildlife gardening and more strict rules on chemicals used in agriculture, there is hope however that we can retain and rebuild some of the moth populations that are so vital in our countryside. Butterfly Conservation have a wealth of information available on their website about the trends of moth populations and, very importantly, what you can do to take action, join the conversation and promote moths at https://butterfly-conservation.org/moths/why-moths-matter
If you are interested in learning about which moth species are visiting your garden or local wild places, light trapping is simple and loads of fun. At NHBS we supply a range of moth traps suited for a number of habitats and a wide selection of amazing field guides to aid in identifying the moths you find. Below we have listed some of our favourite traps and provided a little more information on the differences between them, however if you wish to see our full selection of moth traps please visit our website.
Robinson Moth Traps
These large traps are renowned among lepidopterists because they offer the highest attraction and retention rates available. These traps are fitted with either mercury vapour or actinic electrics. Mercury vapour bulbs offer greater brightness than actinic bulbs and consequently they will often attract more moths. However actinic electrics may be favourable in areas where the brighter bulbs may cause disturbance; they also run cold and do not need to be shielded from rain, unlike mercury bulbs which are likely to shatter when used without a rain guard.
These traps are precursors to the Robinson, and as well as being a more economic choice, they allow the catch to be accessed while the trap is running. They feature a plastic or wooden box with a light fitted to a cross member above a long slit through which moths fall and become trapped. A highlight of this box are the transparent panels that make up the trap lid. These can be removed to access the catch while the trap is running, which is great for real-time surveys and demonstrations. These traps can be easily collapsed down for easy storage and transport.
Compact 20W Skinner Moth Trap (240V)
* Price: £179.00 inc VAT
* Dimensions: 32 (h) x 35 (w) x 35 (d) cm
* Weight: 3kg
* Electrics: 240V mains electric
* Alternative battery-operated units also available.
Heath Moth Traps
These traps are favoured for their lower cost and compact design which makes them highly portable (excellent for use in remote areas) and easy to store; some are even small enough to fit into a rucksack. They are usually battery powered and feature a low wattage light source of between 6 and 20 Watts (however some mains operated traps can reach 40 Watts), and consequently these traps have lower catch sizes and retention rates than Skinner or Robinson models.
Field Guide to the Moths of Great Britain and Ireland
Paperback | Nov 2018| £27.99 £34.99 A comprehensive guide with full colour illustrations and up-to-date information on the taxonomy, ecology and distributions of the UK’s macro-moths.
Concise Guide to the Moths of Great Britain and Ireland Paperback | Oct 2018| £13.99 £16.99
This compact guide features full colour illustrations and concise descriptions for almost all British and Irish species of macro-moths
Emperors, Admirals & Chimney Sweepers | The Weird and Wonderful Names of Butterflies and Moths Hardback | May 2019| £24.99 £29.99 A beautifully written book that seeks to explore the origins and meanings of the names of our butterflies and moths.
The Moth Snowstorm | Nature and Joy Paperback | Apr 2016| £9.99 Drawing on a wealth of memorable experiences from a lifetime of watching and thinking about wildlife and natural landscapes Michael McCarthy presents a new way of looking at the world around us.
Please note that prices stated in this blog post are correct at the time of publishing and are subject to change at any time.
This complete butterfly net set includes a 47cm (18 inch) diameter frame, a deep net bag, and a 60cm extension handle. The extension handle can be removed from the frame for transport, or to use the net frame/bag without the extension where extra length is not required. The net bag is constructed from soft Terylene material that will minimise damage to insect wings and stand up well to UV degradation. Available in both white and black netting. This large, strong portable net is also suitable for catching bats.
This complete butterfly net set includes a 37cm (14 inch) diameter frame, a deep net bag, and a 60cm extension handle. The extension handle can be removed from the frame for transport, or to use the net frame/bag without the extension where extra length is not required. The net bag is constructed from soft Terylene material that will minimise damage to insect wings and stand up well to UV degradation. Available in both white and black netting.
A lightweight butterfly net well suited for children and educational use. The wooden handle provides good grip and reach. The net bag is constructed from soft Terylene material that will minimise damage to insect wings and stand up well to UV degradation.
The net handle is black moulded plastic on a black plastic coated aluminium frame. There is a hook on elastic in the end of the handle to hang the net from a belt or rucksack. The net is attached by velcro and can be easily removed to wash. It is very light fitting a “spoon shaped” frame 38 x 28 cms. and 50 cms deep. The net material is olive green (camouflage colour) mosquito size mesh.
The Lightweight Folding Butterfly Net can be used with its telescopic handle half extended for close sweeps, and fully extended to lengthen your reach to over 1m. The net is highly portable and folds down into its own bag for carrying (it’s small enough to fit into a typical rucksack). The frame is robust and designed to withstand years of field use.
A butterfly net with a spring steel frame which twists up, allowing the net to be collapsed and folded to a pocket size (instructions provided). The net is supplied with a short brass handle for general use; this can quickly be extended by inserting a stick or a piece of wood to into the handle.