Havergate Island 14th August 2017

I managed to get transport out to Havergate Island on a good night for estuarine moths. It is always a pleasure to be there. In part because the weather will be calm when I request the opportunity and allows me to enjoy the hares and this time also a Chinese Water Deer that are relatively unconcerned by the human presence. The diversity of moth species is not high but the interest is. Species count of 94. In addition to salt-marsh and vegetated shingle the island also has gorse so Pempelia genistella and Epinotia ulicetana were captured. Coleophora albicosta has been captured earlier in the year. Yellow Belle is generally common and amongst the macros on this occasion the Sandhill Rustic was abundant. Also spotted one Flounced Rustic. The Ground Lackey and Rosy Wave were present. Wanderers add to the site list. The catch of micro moths was huge and the catch took some considerable time to sort. Further identification by dissection was also necessary on specimens returned home.

The catch of salt-marsh Scrobipalpa species was excellent and I have photoed the salt-marsh species recorded. Photography is not my speciality so please excuse some of the lack-lustre images. However the Scrobipalpa show the characteristic markings of the species concerned. Perhaps the poorest represented is S. ocellatella where the two ‘eye-spots’ are far clearer earlier in the season. Click on the image to enlarge them. S. acumiatella (not salt-marsh specific) was also captured.

I have also photoed three Clepsis spectrana. This species is common on the island and exceptionally variable. In addition to those photoed it also occurs as a completely unmarked cream colour with some darker shading towards the head rather like Aphelia paleana except that the shading is fuscous. Coleophora species were less diverse than the Scrobipalpa with C. salinella being abundant plus versurella, saxicolella, salicorniae and a single Coleophora aestuariella. This is a second record for Suffolk not a first as I originally posted. Several Lobesia littoralis, a regular, on this occasion. Three Caryocolum species that I have recorded previously were C. marmorea, vicinella and viscariella. Lots of Eucosma lacteana, a few E. obumbratana and one E. tripoliana. Of the cochylids there was Cochylis molliculana, hybridella and atricapitana. Cocylidia implicitana was abundant and Phalonidia affinitana less so but annoyingly I have yet to record Gynnidomorpha vectisana on the island. It should be there. Also photoed is Monopis monachella which is a constant feature on the coast and Endothenia oblongana which is a small tortricid moth that should be recorded more frequently that it appears. The larvae feed on the roots of plantain so there should not be an issue with its distribution on that score.

Being coastal there were also immigrants, Convolvulus Hawk-moth, Silver Y, Nomophila noctuella and Plutella xylostella.

Salt-marsh ScrobipalpaBlogg


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