Sunday, 26 February 2012


Can anyone please tell me why most split moth lists into macros and micros?

They are all the same, just some are bigger than others. You wouldn't keep a bird list split into passerines and non passerines, (or big mammals and little mammals or large butterflies and small butterflies for that matter) so why on earth do it for moths.

They are ALL just moths and thats that. There's not a separate code to record the little'uns on, the numbers run consecutively. I've never understood it.

Phew, sorry about that. You know that OCD thing that we all get sometimes? Well this is mine...


  1. What so you're saying my list shouldn't be split 'gulls' and 'the rest' - yeah right.

  2. Call them all Maicros mate, btw, did you catch any last night ? (^_*

  3. Yeah - fully agree. And why spilt leps into moths and butterflies; the numbers run consecutively with the more primitive moths [micros] before the 'butterflies' and the more developed moths [macros] afterwards ...... ;-)

    In all honesty, there is no reason to split them into separate lists, although once you have a big one its easier to manage.

  4. You're quite right Stewart, although it's a habit I find hard to break. I blame the lack of micro ID back in the mid 80s which meant a lot of people just didn't look at them, hence the macro-micro divide. I might even drop my division of them just for you - a blog headline IN CAPITAL LETTERS means that the author is fuming!!!

  5. Hello all,

    Alan - well thats fair enough I suppose - Gulls / Real Birds.

    Trent - Didn't trap last night, a bit breezy and cool / clear. I might take your advice....

    Mark - I'm pleased you see the logic. Imagine having a separate list for Swans and wildfowl, one for Divers to Gannets then one for the rest...tsh....

    Steve - Oops sorry Steve, I didnt know you were 'one of them' :)

    Not quite fuming. Mildly irritated, like an eyelash in your eye. I can see the difficulty in identifying them, but does that not just mean that you miss them off and keep the ones you can sort out?

    I think you should join them. What am I saying, they aren't apart in the first place.... oh dear..... Oh and no more CAPITALS I promise....

  6. I can cope with the artificial micro/macro split more than I can with, for example, the ever-changing bird systematics and the invention of vernaculars for the small moths formerly referred to as micros.
    If you refer to taking a Small Magpie for example, I reckon virtually 100% of UK moth recorders know what you are on about. If you refer to having got a Cock's-head Bell everyone thinks you are talking about some jingling adournment you bought from an online porn shop.
    For the latest Bird Report I suggested, only half-jokingly, that we just run the species in alphabetical order which makes as much sense to most readers as the latest lists.

  7. A Cocks Bell what? I told you they were a laugh. Yes Small Magpie is a good example as is Mother of Pearl. Micros big enough to be classed as 'honorary' macros -WTF! Now they are just making it up....

    I just nicely got used to Pseudargyrotoza conwagana, now its....