May is often seen as a month symbolic of growth, prosperity, abundance and most importantly new life. From baby birds to extensive families of rabbits, May is a time in which the exploration of new life can be vastly appreciated.
In the world of insects this is no different, as more species take to the air and the water. From butterflies and bees to beetles and wasps, they all have a part to play, perhaps none more so than the Moths which populate the varying habitats within Northumberland.
Despite common belief, Moths are not solely creatures of the night: in fact there are more species of Moth flying during the day, than there are butterflies, and they have a very important role within our ecosystems. As some of the best plant pollinators, they are one of hardest working creatures in the Spring, alongside the many species of bees which can seen as well. Interestingly, Day-flying and Night-flying Moths have been found to pollinate a different variety of plants, leading to a greater seed production. This is especially important within agriculture as Moths are one of the greatest pollinators of crop plants.
Not only is the extent of their pollinating role often overlooked, Moths also play a vital role as indicators of the overall health of the habitat they live in. Moths are highly sensitive to any changes in an environment, and therefore by observing them, it is possible to determine what the changes to a habitat are and the impacts said changes will have, for example the consequences of insecticides and climate change.
Last year, my trapping throughout May was rather fragmented, however with the lockdown in place, I have been very lucky to be able to witness the activities of these creatures, which I have missed on other occasions.
I have also discovered a whole range of new species, which have been an absolute delight to observe and I hope you enjoy this snapshot into their world as much as I have!