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.