Moth Night 2019

As the East Anglian regional representative for Moth Night 2019, I am pleased to invite fellow moth enthusiasts to Bawdsey Hall, on the night of Saturday 28th September.  It is the twentieth anniversary of Moth Night (formerly National Moth Night).

Bawdsey Hall is hosting an event and all interested recorders are invited.  I would appreciate as much support as possible, especially as Bawdsey Hall and I personally have put a lot of effort into this night and recording throughout the year.

This year the theme is Clifden Nonpareil and migrant moths.   A Clifden Nonpareil was taken at light here last night (16 September) but I can’t promise any on the night!  However, Bawdsey is a good site for migrants and hopefully a good selection will be trapped.

The evening will start at 7pm with a tour of the grounds followed by deployment of moth traps. Please let me know how many traps you will be bringing?

If people let me know in advance then we can better plan for refreshments.  In previous years last minute arrangements have meant this has been tricky to organise.

Only supporters of the event will be entitled to view future rare moths trapped at the Hall.

Many thanks.

Matthew – matthewjdeans@yahoo.co.uk Telephone 07912 859747

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Suffolk Moth Group leaf miner recording day – Sunday 13th October 2019.

The annual end of season leaf miner recording day for the group has now been arranged. It will be on Sunday 13th October, meeting at Rampart’s Field picnic site car park (TL788715) at 10.30am. We will then move off in convoy the short distance to a small parking area just off the A1101 to do our recording on West stow country park. This is a spot we haven’t tried before. After either a pub lunch (if there is interest, could be tricky to get in a pub for food on a Sunday lunchtime) or your own picnic lunch, we will then move on to a second site for more recording in the afternoon. This is likely to be Mildenhall woods, another site that hasn’t had much survey work done before.
All are welcome. It’s a good chance to learn about this interesting form of moth recording from some of us that have been doing it for a number of years. At least 50-60 species are likely to be seen, depending on the variety of trees.

Neil

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August 2019 moths Hollesley

This month has not been especially exciting, though there have been a few highlights. The month started reasonably well following a hot July but most of the summery moths disappeared following the rain and wind during the second and third weeks of the month. There has been a slow trickle of routine immigrants plus some highlights amongst them too.

On the local species I had two Butterbur early in the month which is a good sign for the local population. A Rest Harrow on 8th suggesting they are resident now. A Brick on 29th was my first of what I call the true autumn species to start the autumn off. I had an unusual number of Eucosma tripoliana around the middle of the month. It is quite late for them. I was out on a PoMs trip on the Butley Estuary around then and was paddling the high tide over the salt-marsh so that made me think that perhaps they wander inland when high tides force them off the salt-marsh. Moths of interest included a Hellinsia carphodactyla on 18th which was not my first at home as I caught one several years ago. A dark form of Elophila nymphaeata that had me struggling for an identity for a while and a very small dark Caryocolum which dissected as alsinella but lacked any clear white patches quite unlike others I have seen. A few second broods have turned up. White Ermine on 27th, Chrysoteuchia culmella on 27th and the first of a number of Evergestis limbata on 24th.

Immigrants have been regular at a low level. There have been four highlights from my point of view. A Three-humped Prominent on 1st was a new species for me. I have taken three Beautiful Marbled this year and whilst it has been having a very good year as an immigrant Matthew is of the opinion that it is also resident locally. I took a Tuta absoluta on 7th. I did not take one last year and on 31st I had an Apomyelois bistriatella in perfect condition. I have seen this species in the Tangham Forest in mid-June. Sterling, Parsons and Lewington express the view that late examples of this species may be immigrants and I support this view for my specimen as the suitable habitat is not local to my home and it was caught in the front garden trap that faces the coast. In this Painted Lady year I have also had two Painted Ladys and one Red Admiral in the traps.

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The ‘Unrivalled’ …

This year see’s the 20th anniversary of National Moth Night, a celebration of all the things we love and enjoy about this hobby of ours. One of the themes is Clifden Nonpareil (Catocola fraxini) - aka the ‘Blue Underwing’. Despite a much welcome resurgence of this species across the southern counties of the UK it is a species I have only been lucky enough to see on four previous occasions. My first two were courtesy of a moth twitch Matthew and I made to Stiffkey, Norfolk in Sept’ 2001. I then had to wait almost twelve years to the day before seeing one in Kent. My last was back in August 2017, from Hen Reed-beds. The thought of actual catching my own, and in the garden, seemed more fiction than fact but this morning was one of those rare moments when the moth gods finally decided to smile on my trap once again. As I type this post I’m not ashamed to admit that l’m still  buzzing from the excitement of turning over the egg tray and seeing this large pale grey/brown moth sat there, and then the panic that sets in when you think don’t fly before I can pot you up. It’s also interesting to note that the nearest poplar plantation I can think of is approx. 4km due south of me (near Rattlesden) !!

And don’t forget to check out: http://www.mothnight.info/home

C.fraxini (Woolpit) 30 Aug 2019

C.fraxini (Woolpit) 30 Aug 2019

 

 

 

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A Duo of Gypsy Moths

A surprise this morning with not one but 2 male Gypsy Moths in the garden trap. Not sure of the origin of these 2 moths – are they likely immigrants or wanderers from the expanding London population?

Mark

Gypsy Moth 1(1)

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July 2019 Moths Hollesley plus Snape

July was an interesting month. Following the chaos of underwings at the end of June things settled somewhat and much of the month was dry with some good moth nights. The temperatures rose towards the end of the month with a dramatic break-down here on the night of 25th. July is now acknowledged as the warmest ever worldwide. The end of the month saw a significant increase in immigrant species but they also trickled in over the month as a whole. The underwings came back again but not so devastating as at the end of June

In general the usual moths for July were caught except for an absence of Brimstone and Nutmeg though they did appear at the end of the month. The Bordered Pug continued to be caught throughout. My first two Lackey moths for my home site were caught on the 13th and 22nd, a second Goat on 25th and the Svensson’s Copper Underwing on 22nd and 24th with one also at Abbey Farm Snape on 25th. I was pleased to catch Merrifieldia baliodactylus on 24th confirming the species is hanging on and also the return of Carycolum viscariella and Gelechia scotinella, 8th and 16th. Endothenia marginana has also appeared in the garden and E. gentianaeana also turned up so along with the regular E. oblongana these need very careful examination now when they appear. The most exceptional find during July however was a specimen of Caryocolum blandulella. It had damaged wing tips but was clearly one of the pale Caryocolum species so I carried out a dissection expecting to confirm C. blandella so the ID was a surprise.  It last occurred in Kent in 1983 but has since been found in Carmarthenshire. There are no confirmed records elsewhere. The larvae feed on the Little Mouse-ear in sandy locations. That plant occurs in the Sandlings and Breckland so the species is probably resident.

For the immigrants; however some of these species are also resident so it cannot be clear that for example the Four-spotted Footman, Oncocera semirubella and Catoptria verellus that have turned up through the month are either. The Blackneck was captured on 13th and 16th as elsewhere on the coast and were suggested as possible immigrants. I got a third Sciota hostilis on 24th. The hot weather began to breakdown here on at dusk on 25th with a spectacular thunderstorm, it and subsequent air streams promoted immigrant moths. A large number of Tree-lichen Beauty appeared that night with the variant photographed being common among them. Silver Y, Bordered Straw and Cydalima perspectalis at Snape. From that date to the end of the month at home I have taken, Plutella xylostella (lots), Udea ferrugalis, Nomophila noctuella, Silver Y, Dark Swordgrass and my first Beautiful Marbled.

My trip out to Abbey Farm, Snape was primarily aimed at finding the White-mantled Wainscot there, otherwise I would not have set up with the storm that was forecasted. It was spectacular setting up with ground strikes all around but the downpour did not start in ernest until I left the site. It was a good catch. In addition to those already mentioned I had a Metalampra italica, Acrobasis marmorea,  Lesser Common Rustic and Burnet Companion in the trap. I got two possible White-mantled that were too weather worn for confirmation from the moth so dissection became necessary. That proved surprisingly difficult with only one on the web site and no Brown-veined and my dissections conflicting with Pierce. To make matters worse, when I went to my collection for a Brown-veined that also turned out to be  White-mantled. Eventual conclusion was all were indeed White-mantled. Have I ever seen a Brown-veined?

Finally but not a moth, a spectacular Longhorned Beetle, male Prionus coriarius arrived on 29th.

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Lyonetia sp’ in Woolpit –

This gallery contains 1 photo.

There are two Lyonetia species on the British list, with clerkella being the one most of us are familiar with. As it happens, even this is an uncommon visitor to my garden trap so I’m in the habit of potting … Continue reading

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Africa Alive moth night

The moth night at Africa Alive, Kessingland is this Saturday 20th July. Meeting at 20.00. Drive down main entrance to gates on the right 1/3 of way down track.

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Thanks.

Thanks to all recorders who have been putting their news up on this blog, great to see. Keep the posts coming!

Neil

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June moths at IGC.

Like others have reported, the first half of June at IGC was poor for moth numbers, although there were still a few interesting records. The second half was much better with the warmer conditions producing some big catches of moths, nice to see after the worry that numbers would be down following the drought in 2018.

Some species had a very good year here. These included Puss moth (a few seen, normally odd ones), Festoon, Blotched emerald (over 20 one night), Eana incanana and the tree canopy feeding tortrix species (1000+ Tortrix viridana, 500+ Aleimma loeflingiana and 500+ Archips xylosteana all on the warm night of the 29th for example). However there have been some losers like Cinnabar that has hardly been seen at all.

Starting with the macros, the following have been of note here. Netted pug (seen at dusk on both the 8th and 11th flying over the patch of Bladder campion in my garden, the first sighting of the adult moth here following larval records a few years ago), Obscure wainscot (17th and 24th, the second and third site records after the first last year, has it colonized perhaps?), Cypress carpet (first record of the first brood here), Tawny wave (9th, first since 2011), Lunar yellow underwing, Dog’s tooth (23rd), Plain pug (third site record), Shaded fan-foot (2nd, an early record), Gothic (25th), Red-necked footman (29th, good to see again after none last year) and a spectacular Goat moth on the 3rd (known to breed on site).

The micros, as is usual, provided more interest. The best of these were three new site records: Isotrias rectifasciana (17th, in garden trap), Dichrorampha sequana (seen in the greenhouse in my garden on the 20th) and Argyresthia pygmaeella (29th, in garden trap). Other species of interest included Argyresthia glabratella (2nd), Endothenia ustulana (in greenhouse on the 20th, the second site and county record), Caloptilia hemidactylella (24th), Cosmopterix lienigiella (24th), Dioryctria schuetzeella (29th), Anarsia inoxiella (29th), Evergestis limbata (2 on 29th), Cydalima perspectalis (Box-tree moth, a black form on the 29th) plus Phyllonorycter scopariella and ulicicolella (a few of each).

Not too many migrants in my traps, only small numbers of the commoner species and Large yellow underwings compared to what was being reported at the coastal recording stations. Best migrant for me was a Splendid brocade on the 25th. It was quite damaged and worn so it certainly wasn’t splendid! Luckily I’ve seen the species before in much better condition so have good photos. Begs the question – did it migrate at all, or did it emerge locally from an unknown local colony? Time will tell.

Also caught in the trap on the very warm night of the 29th were 2 Purple hairstreak butterflies, something that has happened here before in those sort of conditions.

Neil

Isotrias rectifasciana

Isotrias rectifasciana

Argyresthia pygmaeella

Argyresthia pygmaeella

Gothic

Gothic

Obscure wainscot

Obscure wainscot

Netted pug

Netted pug

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