Monday, 18 November 2019


I don't normally like straying from the straight and narrow of Lepidoptera on the blog but this is a good example of what you might be missing if other orders of insect which come to light-traps are completely ignored.  Showing that bird-poo mimicry isn't confined to tortrix moths, this is Pogonocherus hispidus (or Lesser Thorn-tipped Long-horn Beetle for those who need a vernacular name) which came to last night's garden actinic trap alongside 24 moths of seven species.  At barely 6mm from head to tail it is very small and easily overlooked when it wraps itself up but seems to be fairly widespread and this is the third occasion I've seen it here (the last one was actually found indoors at the beginning of October this year).

Pogonocherus hispidus, Westcott 17th November

I've also had its close relative Pogonocherus hispidulus (or Greater Thorn-tipped Long-horn Beetle) once in the garden - it looks fairly similar although there are differences in their markings.  It might seem late in the year now to be getting anything other than crane-flies, winter gnats and earwigs but I'm still seeing the occasional caddis fly too.

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks 


  1. That's an interesting looking beetle Dave. Do you keep a record of your light-trap "by-catch" during the year? And are there people to pass the information on to, such as a county beetle recorder?

  2. Hi Steve,

    Yes indeed, I do keep a record of what I can safely identify (or more often than not what others who are far more knowledgeable have identified for me!). Needless to say this doesn't include every single invertebrate that appears in the trap or gets found in the garden but I do try to make the effort where I can, especially if something looks particularly interesting.

    Long-horn beetles are actually very rare in my garden trap but I do get some on a fairly regular basis when trapping away from home, especially in woodland, and being a fairly manageable group with some very distinctive species they are a good "way in" to encouraging a greater general interest in beetles. The same is true of the Sexton beetles and allies which I'm sure you will get on a regular basis - another manageable group with some quite distinctive species. Yet another one is the Ladybirds, again most of them fairly easy to recognize. Each has its own recording schemes so if you take a photo and use iRecord then the sighting ends up being verified as well as going somewhere useful. Take a look at the BRC web-site:
    and you'll see just how many different invertebrate recording schemes there are! I personally haven't yet made much use of iRecord but I do ensure that all my records go annually to my local county environmental records centre (this would be TVERC in your case).

  3. Many thanks Dave. I will definitely have a go at recording some of the non-moths in future.

  4. Out here in the wilds I put all of my non moth records directly into iRecord either via the phone app or on my PC. As Dave says, most get verified sooner or later. These include butterfly sightings, plants, fungi and anything else I can identify and I always try to add a photo as people have no idea of your expertise level outside of moths. And it's very easy to use.

  5. I compiled some information on non-moths in light traps for a workshop a year or two ago, see:

    There's also a very helpful Facebook group for "moth-trap invaders":


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.