12 July 2015


Last weekend I met Mr Harris who was on a mission.  A mission to try out his new pheromone kit on some unsuspecting, and randy, Six-banded Clearwing Moth. Having read of such enterprise on Steve Gale's exemplary blog (North Downs and beyond), I was intrigued to see how a rubber bung in a green mesh bag was going to draw in moths.  Moths, I presumed, that would be new to me. I considered the whole thing a great way for making a quick buck, seeing how his 5 ampules had cost in the region of £35, but as I was on my way to doing nothing, I went along for the ride.

Within minutes of the said bag being placed in a Hawthorn near a patch of Birds-foot Trefoil, things began to happen.  What looked like a good number of small bees or wasps suddenly went for the bag like it was the best thing in the world.  Thing is, closer inspection of the insects showed prawn like features on their tails. These were the Six-banded Clearwings and they were quite beautiful. I realise now I have seen these  before and were oblivious to what they were. After about ten minutes the moths had clearly realised they were being duped, but that didn't stop some or others coming back.  I was impressed at the power of the pheromone.

Turns out Rose S had borrowed some of the special stuff to lure a Red-banded Clearwing to an apple tree, a very smart individual that one. All in all we were all quite chuffed at how it had turned out, however it appears there are birds out there who don't have to resort to chemical warfare to find these little moths....


  1. Hi Nick, glad the lures worked. I've been successful with Red-tipped Clearwing this summer but failed in my attempts to get Yellow-legged. The latter must be around close to you - I read somewhere about a moth-er luring 30+ in Greenwich Park. I must admit to feeling a bit of a tit standing by a lure as people wander past wondering what on earth I'm up to...

    1. Luckily we always look like twats looking at bushes, so no one bats an eyelid. Tim has 5 varieties of the pheromones so I will ask he if he has those flavours...