The minimum information required to turn your sighting of a moth into a useful record for the National Moth Recording Scheme is:
- What? The names of the moths that you have seen (English and scientific names). The most important thing about any record is that the identification of the species is correct. If you are in any doubt about which moth you have seen, it is best not to submit the record.
- Where? A 100m resolution map grid reference (based on the Ordnance Survey national grid for Great Britain and the Isle of Man, the Irish Ordnance Survey national grid for Northern Ireland or the UTM grid for the Channel Islands) combined with the name of the nearest town / village as stated on an Ordnance Survey map. Our Moth Recorder's Handbook provides more information about grid references.
- When? The date of the sighting. When moths have been caught in moth traps overnight then the date of the record should be that on which the trap was switched on, irrespective of when the moths arrived or when you checked.
- Who? Your name and contact details. If the identification was verified by someone else, record their name too. This is important so that you can be contacted if the record needs to be checked.
In addition, we would be very keen to know:
- How many? Ideally you should count the number (abundance) of each species of moth recorded. This provides valuable information that can be used to assess trends and determine conservation priorities.
Additional desirable information that adds value to your moth records includes the following:
- Vice-county number
- Trapping method (e.g. daytime observation, attracted to a lighted window, type of moth trap etc.)
- Life-cycle stage (i.e. adult moth, egg, larva/caterpillar, pupa)
- Habitat type
It is advisable to contact your County Moth Recorder to discuss any specific recording requirements they might have.