Saturday the 15th of May, Phil Rispin, the assistant curator of the Manchester Museum’s Entomology Department, run a moth trapping event for the friends of Victoria park (Stretford, Manchester), as an official part of the National Moth Night. About twenty people turned up, and the event started with a collecting session using beating trays at 7.00pm.
Two species of micro-moths were found. The first was the Lilac Leafminer or Privet Leafminer (Caloptilia syringella), a very small moth of the family Gracillariidae, a common species throughout Britain; the larvae of this moth feed on privet and lilac (this is why its name), and can be a pest in gardens. The second was an even smaller moth which is yet to be identified. A number of spiders, such as long-jawed spiders, and several species of beetles were also collected.
At 9.00pm, the moth trap was switched on (see in the Figure) and left running to10.30pm. Unfortunately, no moth was caught, which was very disappointing, though children and Phil expected something to turn up. The reason was likely to be the clear sky and cold weather conditions, not suitable for flying moths. However, the children had a good night, and they seemed to enjoy running around with the butterfly nets and using the beating trays.