Flight periods of macro-moths

We have over 1,000,000 records in the Devon Moth Group database and this wealth of data enables us to explore moth phenology (i.e. the timing of moth flight periods) across the county.

Apart from pure interest, information on moth flight periods can be useful in determining which moths you’re likely to see in your trap throughout the year and, thereby, help with identification. Three analyses have been carried out and are available below – two use modern records to show the flight seasons for each macro-moth species and which species are likely to be flying each month. The third presents a comparison of how flight periods have changed (or not) over the past 50 years.

You can access the information in pdf format here:
Flight Seasons for each species
Species flying each month
Changes to phenology of Devon moths over 50 years

The first two analyses (using modern data only) were generated using the following rules:

  • Only macro-moths are shown. Micro-moth analyses may follow in the future.
  • The tables use data from the period 2000 to 2016. This was done to reflect current flight seasons while also ensuring sufficient data to give robust results.
  • The tables are intended to show recorded flight seasons rather than the presence of rare migrants. Therefore, species are shown only if there were more than 10 records from 2000 to 2016. For example, Waved Black Parascotia fuliginaria was only recorded four times over this period and so is omitted.
  • Also, if there was just a single record in a given month this was also omitted. For example, Four-spotted Footman Lithosia quadra was recorded just once in November from 2000 to 2016 and so is omitted from the table although it’s indicated as present in June (18 records) to October (25 records).
  • The tables show the number of records for each species and month. The first table also shows the number of tetrads where the species was recorded (out of a total of 1859 across Devon).

If you have any questions or comments please contact Phil Dean.

Antler Moth (Iain Leach)

Antler Moth (Iain Leach)