It might not exactly have been the plan on what should have been my ‘Meet a Moth’ morning, but it wasn’t exactly unexpected either.
The last couple of moth traps I’ve set have seen more hornets than moths finding their way in. For that reason I’d decided that having members of the public join me to open the box and see what I’d caught before releasing them might not be the best idea. And it’s just as well. This morning this spectacular specimen was just one of over 30 hornets that had spent the night in my trap getting very grumpy. Whilst the particular types of light bulb used in moth traps are great for attracting many species of moth, wasps, hornets and all sorts of little biting insects also find them irresistible.
I’d checked the box a couple of hours after dark to see if it was worth leaving the light on and there was hardly a moth is sight, but plenty of hornets. I decided at that point that in fairness to the moths, I should turn it off so they weren’t all drawn to the trap and the hoard of hungry hornets. Otherwise they would not so much be visiting moths to be studied and recorded as an all-you-can-eat buffet, and that just seems impolite. Last week lots of moths made it ’til morning but there was also quite a large pile of wings, the leftovers of what had clearly been a midnight snack.
If you love bugs as I do you, you have to appreciate and love all of them however sting-y or bite-y they might be. Don’t get me wrong I’m a big fan of hornets (even if I’ve been stung a couple of times recently) but I had hoped to provide a little more data to the national moth survey this weekend. Never mind.