Distant memories of summer moths may have been been displaced by more recent memories of autumn migrants but we did hold a county moth night on 20th August and I’ve finally managed to process the results.
It’s been several years since we last had a county moth night and we could probably have picked a better year to start again with as the summer of 2011 turned out to be a rather damp squib in the main. On the night the moth group ran a public event at Purdis Heath to help raise some publicity for this site where Butterfly Conservation are doing some work to help revive the Silver-studded Blue populations. On the day of the county moth night weather conditions looked reasonable but some showers in the afternoon damped things down and moths were on the low side in the evening. This seemed particularly true at Purdis Heath where moth activity was quite low for the season, although the members of public who turned up seemed to be reasonably happy with what they saw.
Records were received from eight sites
- Purdis Heath – Suffolk Moth Group event
- Ipswich Golf Course – Neil Sherman
- Ipswich – Tony Prichard
- Grundisburgh – Martin Hough
- Raydon – Graham Bull
- Hen Reed-beds – John Everson
- Woolpit – Paul Bryant
- Martlesham Heath – Steve Goddard
The map below shows the distribution of these recording sites across the county, showing a distinctly south-eastern bias to the recording.
The number of species recorded at each site varied from a low count of 23 to the highest of 45 at Martlesham Heath. 260 records were submitted with a total of 112 species recorded across the eight sites. A fair proportion of the moth flying at this time of year with just over 580 species having been recorded in recent years in the county at this particular time of year. On a typical moth group event at this time of year we might expect to see between forty to eighty species, so it would appear that the effects of the poor season and conditions on the day kept the species totals lower than normal.
Migrant activity during this time was rather patchy and it is not surprising that no discernible migrant activity could be seen amongst the records for the night. The award for best migrant will have to remain unclaimed for this year.
There were a few species recorded at all the sites and these were Agriphila tristella, Turnip Moth, Setaceous Hebrew Character, Vine’s Rustic and Large Yellow Underwing. A little surprising was White-point with it being recorded at seven out of the eight sites although given its recent spread across the county maybe this should haven’t been too much of a surprise.
Award for record of most conservation interest I will have to award to myself , with my record of Lunar Yellow Underwing- the only BAP species recorded on the night. Other records of interest included Evergestis extimalis in Ipswich, Pyla fusca and Ambliptilia acanthadactyla at Martlesham Heath, Satin Wave at Purdis Heath, Small Wainscot at Hen Reedbeds, Red Underwing in Ipswich and finally Pinion-streaked Snout at both Martlesham Heath and Hen Reedbeds.
I hope those that took part found it rewarding and interesting. If there’s enough interest we can always hold a further county moth night next year.
The following is a complete list of the species recorded at the various sites
|Scientific||Woolpit||Raydon||Ipswich||Ipswich Golf Course||Purdis Heath||Grundisburgh||Martlesham Heath||Hen Reedbeds|
|Small Fan-footed Wave||X||X|
|Treble Brown Spot||X|
|Small Waved Umber||X|
|Tawny Speckled Pug||X|
|Lesser Swallow Prominent||X||X||X|
|Large Yellow Underwing||X||X||X||X||X||X||X||X|
|Lunar Yellow Underwing||X|
|Lesser Yellow Underwing||X||X|
|Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing||X||X||X||X||X||X||X|
|True Lover’s Knot||X||X|
|Setaceous Hebrew Character||X||X||X||X||X||X||X||X|
|Svensson’s Copper Underwing||X|
|Common Rustic agg.||X||X|