Nature Notes

LED Moth Trap part 2.

A simple and inexpensive LED light trap for moth recording continued (from Part 1). Since posting details of my initial experiments with LED moth traps I have been able to use the traps on many nights and also to compare the catches with those of a 12v 8w Actinic 'Heath'

Lasius platythorax workers attacking a Formica sanguinea worker.

In June 2017 I stopped at Iping Common, West Sussex with the intention of photographing Silver-studded Blue butterflies (Plebejus argus). But I also payed a visit to a colony of the slave-making ant Formica sanguinea which live in a small Aculeate-friendly sand quarry at the edge of the common. As

Bee Hotel

Three years after I first wrote about the 'bee hotel' I thought it was time to produce an update. The 'bee hotel' is a construction, actually several, that I have built in order to attract and provide nesting sites for a variety of bees (and also wasps) that nest in

LED Moth Trap

Building a simple and inexpensive LED light trap for moth recording using 12v ultra-violet LED tape. (for an update on this see Part 2) A few years ago I looked into building a light trap using LEDs which were just starting to become available with outputs in the ultra-violet (UV)

Nature Notes

While the evenings are still dark and cold I have been looking back through some ant specimens I took last year. Looking at a supposedly male Myrmica sabuleti I found under a stone a Roundton Hill I was surprised to see it had some characteristics of a female, as well

Nature Notes

A few days ago we went to the RSPB reserve of Ynys Hir, not many miles as the Raven flies, but a trip over the Cambrian Mountains to a different habitat, and to what can be a quite different climate. This time the visit was a bit disappointing, though we

Nature Notes

Mid-winter with few signs of any seasonal change, apart from the catkins on a few hazel trees opening. These mainly seem to be from plantings, with genetics unsuited to the local climate, the native hazels, with a few exceptions, wait a few weeks until the days are definitely lengthening. The

Carnivorous Mellinus

Recently I was attempting to photograph Aculeates around an area of flowering Heather (Calluna vulgaris).It was sunny and warm and several female Mellinus arvensis wasps were around the heather, apparently hunting the many flies feeding on the flowers. These are a species that provision the nest cells with various


I recently spent a few days taking photographs on the Causse de Gramat in the Lot region of France. The area is a superb site for flowers of limestone area and the insects that depend on them, especially butterflies. For once I had warm weather and the butterflies were taking

Wood Ants

We recently went to Blakeridge Wood near Craven Arms to try and photograph the Hairy wood ants (Formica lugubris) which are found there. These are a northern relative of the Red wood ant (Formica rufa) and are on the southern edge of their range on a few sites in the