6 recorders met up for this daytime meeting at Groton wood to look for moths, larvae and leaf mines. It was a hot, dry afternoon so we soon headed into the shady wood where the temperature was much more pleasant. Pity about the mosquitoes however!
Searching around the rides through the wood produced a list of just over 40 species, not too bad given that it is still early for a lot of leaf mines. It was hoped by having this meeting we could obtain some first brood mines to breed adults out of. Unfortunately the warm weather had pushed the season on further than we would have liked as we found most mines had already emerged.
Species of possible note found included: Stigmella aceris (mines on Field maple), Ectoedemia loisella (mines on Field maple keys), Euspilapteryx auroguttella (cones on St John’s wort), Antispila metallella (mine with cut out case hole on Dogwood), Stigmella tiliae (common on the abundant Small-leaved lime in the wood), Heliozella sericiella (cut out case on Oak) and Roeslerstammia erxlebella (early mine in tip of Lime leaf).
I did try a bit of beating for larvae but this was unsuccessful in obtaining any records, and Paul tried using some clearwing pheromones again to no avail.
Overall an enjoyable survey, just a pity that the planned night-time trapping didn’t take place due to other commitments for the 2 keyholders.
It’s been a long time since I’ve had a chance to write a report on the moths seen at the golf course, simply because I’ve had limited time. Various work, home and other commitments plus a couple of holidays has kept me very busy but a recent slight let-up has given me a bit of time.
This summer so far has been pretty poor for moths in my opinion, with only a few nights with what I would call good catches. With high pressure being dominant this summer, the days have been warm and sunny but the nights have been clear, not good for decent catches especially when the moon starts to get bright. Coupled with the drought affecting flowers and moth food-plants I can’t see things improving and I even think 2019 could be bad as the larvae of next year’s moths have very little to eat!
There have been a few highlights seen here however, including new species. First, I found a Phyllonorycter emberizaepenella on the outside of my kitchen window on 9th May. Not too far away is a large clump of Honeysuckle, the foodplant, so I guess it came from there. Probably an overlooked resident species. Then, on one of the only really good moth nights this summer on the 1st June I found a superb Agrotera nemoralis amongst the hordes of common species. Just slightly worn, was a most welcome record. Coincided with another record away from the breeding areas in the UK so could have been a migrant or dispersive individual. On 1st July found the final new species for the period covered here, an Obscure wainscot. Again, could be a migrant or dispersive individual, following on from Matthew’s sighting in June.
Due to the large period covered I’ll only list a few other interesting observations (there haven’t been many anyway). Dog’s tooth (11th May, less than annual here), Broom-tip (15th May), White colon (3 records in June, all different ones – only 3 previous records in 3 different years so best year ever), Cream-spot tiger (rare here so good to get 2 records), Nemophora fasciella (male found dead in greenhouse in June), Red-belted clearwing (2 to pheromone on 23rd June), Garden dart (28th June), Plain pug (1st July, second site record). Caught a strange form of Heart and Dart too with all the dark scales colourless (see photo). Also has been regular sightings of Evergestis limbata so probably breeding and OK numbers of Shaded fan-foot and Vitula biviella.
With the lack of much moth news (apart from Matthew who always seems to do well compared to the rest of us!) I’m guessing other people have been struggling too.
Hopefully the rest of the summer will buck the recent trend of poor catches and we will get some rain, we are certainly pretty desperate for it now at the site.
Weird Heart & Dart
Back on the 5th of July I decided to trap the small but special site of the old Brick-works at Somerleyton. Allan Eaton joined me and I ran just three traps which were all fairly close together. This was the site where I found O. semirubella last year and they came to light very early, and on this occasion the first were in just 8 minutes after switch on. Plenty of moths seen, highlights as last year being the semirubella 6 and G. ochrodactyla ( Tansy Plume) this time around an impressive 3. Perhaps overshadowed by the capture of a Scarce Black Arches, however the former two species much better on the eye. 132 total species. Back home where I ran my fourth trap the outstanding moth for me was a Pristine Black-neck which I have rarely seen ever, and a home first.
Herringfleet Hills 17th July; Brian and I joined by Allan again. I’d promised him 220+ species but for the 2nd time my target at this site not met, with 195 species recorded and nothing outstanding. Lots of Triple-spotted Clay a site specialIty, and high numbers of P. alpinella. Best moth probably the locally common White-mantled Wainscot with a single recorded.
Unfortunately as the 2 main leaders with keys to the site cannot make the evening meeting regrettably it has been decided to cancel this part of the recording session. The afternoon leaf mine and larval hunt will continue as planned however.
Here is a reminder for this weekend’s meeting. Note it is a daytime and night recording event. I can only attend the afternoon recording session – I have to be at work very early on the Sunday morning so cannot stay up late, so someone else will be leading this part of the meeting.
21st July. Groton wood SWT reserve (daytime for leaf mines and larvae followed by night trapping)
Meet in car park along road at TL976428 at 2pm for daytime recording followed by 9pm for trapping.
Our follow-up visit to North Cove told us nothing about the interesting moths we found there in July 2017 as none of them were recorded even though there was just 7 days difference in the dates. Six of us with 10 traps met up on a clear evening which felt chilly out on the marsh with a thin mist making it quite damp.
These conditions no doubt contributed to the slow trickle of moths that came to the traps and the sheet light, so that by the time we packed up with the thermometer showing 11 degrees we had only recorded around 160 species which was well down on last year’s bumper numbers. Those recorded were typical for the time of year. Most interesting was Catoptria verellus (3) which is now appearing regularly in the Waveney Valley and must be considered as resident but was a ‘first’ for several present. Anclis baddiella, Ypsolopha nemorella, Stathmopoda pedella , Monochroa palustrellus and Phtheochroa inopiana were the only other micros of note with a Phalonidia that looked interesting turning out to be manniana and not the rarer udana.
Of the macros, Muslin Footman (3) was probably the most interesting and none of the others came in any great numbers. An unusually marked Clouded Bordered Brindle was the only macro we had to deliberate over.
It illustrates well how much we rely on the right weather conditions even on a prime site such as North Cove.
I lent my Skinner actinic to a non-mothing friend who lives in the village of Barking (SW of Needham Market) to use last night and went through the catch this morning, finding a Toadflax Brochade – see attached pics.
The web-site suggests that this is an unusual record, especially inland, but I am aware that they have been expanding their range over recent years.
What is the current status of this spp in the county?
I’ve just had a report and photo of Forester moth from North Warren courtesy of Richard Perryman. This is the first record that I’m aware of for this species in the east of the county for a very long time. Well worth keeping your eyes open for this moth if you’re in the area.
This coming weekend it’s the SMG event at North Cove the Waveney Valley site of SWT. We have the option to trap Friday or Saturday. At the moment Saturday looks the better choice with higher night-time temperature forecast. So at this moment with no rain forecast we will say meet in the car park next to the railway line (TM471905) at 9pm on Saturday 14th July. Last year’s visit was very rewarding; this one should be interesting too.
Hello again. I have not been particularly active in mothing outside of my village during the month. Partly owing to poor weather and also a slow recovery of fitness following illness earlier in the year I placed three traps on one of the National Moth Nights on a friend’s land at Clopton. He had bought a field adjacent to the property some years ago and planted areas with trees, British and non-British species as well as fruit trees and grape vines. There is also a large are of unimproved dry grassland and hedgerows. It was a good night for moths on 15th. The 149 species in total did not show a woodland selection of moths as a whole. The trap placed inside the wooded area was the poorest served. The Large Nutmeg was common but species were mostly those of open country, hedge-row and garden. A rampant growth of the common Bird’s Foot Trefoil in the orchard area produced a Syncopacma larseniella that seemed to trigger a spate of them which I also caught at Abbey Farm, Snape and at home. A good record for home where I introduced the trefoil a couple of years ago. The Clopton site produced two moths that were new to me; a Pretty Chalk Carpet and Triaxomera parasitella. Cochylis molliculana was also quite abundant.
My escapades to Abbey Farm, Snape this June have been aimed at the hope of proving the identity of a Monochroa species. I managed to disprove my belief that they were M. arundinetella, but were M. suffusella. This was achieved by the dissection of a captured female. It is not known what the species feeds on as larvae in southern and eastern Britain. On my two visits in June I placed 4 traps in differing habitats. I expected high numbers , but typical of the month, they were not as good as they might have been, 176 on 1st June and 188 on 19th. The reed-bed trap on 1st June was inundated by midges and Coleophora caespititiella, there were also a lot of Brachmia inornatella. Bactra species were common, mainly B. lancealana but also furfurana and lacteana. There was a Glyphipterix thrasonella and a single Nascia cilialis on 1st but several N. cilialis on the 19th when I also found Sitochoa verticalis and as a first for me, two Blacknecks and an Archips crataegana. Also common on 19th were Dotted Fan-foot. The Lackey was captured again. I have yet to see that at home where I get the Ground Lackey. Also a couple of Nematopogon metaxella. I have this occassionally at home where I usually catch N. schwarziellus. I have yet to find N. swammerdamella in Suffolk.