Insect Survey Resources

The Rothamsted Insect Survey operates two national networks for monitoring insect populations in the UK. The light trap network, run with the help of volunteers at about 80 sites in the UK, is used to monitor the larger (macro) moths. Daily samples are taken throughout the year, and altogether over 430 sites have been sampled. The earliest moth records date back to 1933 from a trap on Rothamsted Farm and a national network was in full operation by 1968.

This blog is for the use of our volunteer operators and identifiers to share their questions, news and knowledge.


Links to the organisations that support the Rothamsted Insect Survey

New Rhododendron Aphids on the Move.

A species of aphid new to the UK and only known from RIS suction-traps appears to be spreading and should be looked for on rhododendrons and related species of plant.

RIS 50th Anniversary

Photos and presentations from the RIS 50th Anniversary event

The State of Britain's Larger Moths

The 2013 publication of the State of Britain's Larger Moths, in collaboration with Butterfly Conservation, highlighted the negative trend in moth populations in the UK but painted a mixed picture for individual species. 

Wheldrake: 601 species in two years

RIS light-traps don't just catch moths. Julian Small at Wheldrake (Yorkshire) has been identifying as much of the catch as possible and, in two years, has notched up 600 species of insect and a spider.

Aphid species

We have compiled key data on important species of aphid in the UK. Each of the listed aphids below contains a description of: appearance, host plants/life cycles, pest status/damage.