View Full Version : Caithness Moths - Ghost Moth

14-Jun-09, 14:52
Male Ghost Moths have a characteristic dusk flight when they sway and hover over one spot. The spot can be a patch on a lawn or other grasses or over trees and shrubs and more than one male can be involved at the same spot. They release a goat-like smell which attracts the female. A summer species which is flying now and will be with us until into August.


lynne duncan
26-Jun-09, 08:17
yes definately found one of these last night, also saw some big brown! moths bu they wouldn't stay long enough to be identified, is there a way to attract them of catch them (without harming them), was planning letting the kids try this during the holidays.
thanks for the photos of these moths, its making us appreciate our moths

26-Jun-09, 09:41
Hi Lynne

On of the best ways of attracting moths without harming them is to put out what is called "sugar". This attracts those species that feed on nectar (but of course will not attract those species like Ghost Moth that do not feed as adult moths) and they can be observed without disturbing them.

The the basic recipe for "sugar" is as follows (you can reduce ingredients to produce smaller quantities is you wish):

Simmer 500ml of Newcastle Brown Ale in a large pan to burn off the alcohol and CO2. Add 1kg of dark muscavado sugar and disolve in the ale, the pour in one tin (454 grms) of black treacle, bring back to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Allow to cool and pour into containers for storage.

Warnings: Use a large pan as the mixture can overflow if you are not careful. Do not use glass containers for storage - in hot weather there is a remote possiblity of fermenation - use metal or plastic containers with loose lids.

You then daub the mixture on fence posts or similar with a paint brush, leave for 30 minutes and then examine at regular intervals to see what has turned up. At this time of year I am putting out sugar at about 11.15 and the first moths are feeding by 11.45.

As an example of what can be seen, last night I had the following species on sugar: Bright-line Brown-eye, Clouded-bordered Brindle, Flame Shoulder, Small Angle Shades, Rustic, Silver-ground Carpet, Udea olivis, Blastobasis lacticolella, and two species yet to be identified.

I find that when moths initially arrive they can be flighty and easily disturbed but once they have settled and are feeding well they will stand greater disturbance. Be careful about shining a torch directly on them.

I hope that helps - good luck!

26-Jun-09, 11:06
Pterodroma I am finding this moth stuff very absorbing - never knew there were so many types and how beautiful they are. Thank you very much for posting. :)