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 –

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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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Fourth of July Celebrations at Somerleyton

On the 4th July, Keith invited Alan and me to join him to record an area on the Somerleyton Estate that had not been surveyed before. This is the area next to the Hall and gardens. So we were all keen to see what would turn up on a night when the weather was kind to us and conditions were what you dream of for good recording. The habitat is a mixture of really mature parkland trees mostly Oak and Lime, a lot of grassland and a good selection of wildflowers plus the formal ones from the nearby gardens.
It wasn’t long before we could see what would be the most abundant species. C culmella arrived in swarms and in no time every one of the 9 traps was heaving with them. But there were many others of much more interest among the catch of 202 species of which 92 were micros. The many very good micros included Monochroa pallustrellus, Phtheochroa inopiana, Epagoge grotiana, Acleris holmiana, Hedya ochroleucana, Epinotia tenerana, Sitochroa verticalis (not many records for this area), Evergestis limbata (a new local site for this one), Pempelia plumbella plus two that will have to be checked before accepted Endothenia gentianaeana and Monochroa lucidella.
The macros were slower to arrive but one that we were hoping to get because of the mature Limes on the site, eventually turned up. Pauper Pug topped our list of macros along with Shaded Fan-foot, Dotted fan-foot, Cream-bordered Green Pea, Scarce Silver lines, Coronet, Purple Clay, Triple-spotted Clay, Least Carpet and several pristine Privet Hawk-moths. The rest were typical for the habitat at this time of year but it was good to see all the traps brimming with moths with many Large Yellow Underwings causing their usual chaos that seemed to be missing from last years sessions.
A number of bats were also on the wing including some large slow-flying examples. There were so many moths that after doing the final check I switched my lights off and left them for half an hour hoping that the moths would disperse, but I still had to shake out large numbers before I could pack away. We hope for a few more evenings like this during the rest of July.
Brian

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June in Homersfield

It has been a mostly unspectacular June here with just a few highlights. After about 7 years of use, I finally got a new set of pheromone lures. My old ones had only attracted a couple of Currant Clearwings around our blackcurrant bush in the last 3 years. First up with the new lures was a beautiful Red-tipped Clearwing on the 9th. This was followed by 2 Red-belted Clearwings (17th) on our ancient apple tree and a Hornet Moth (25th) at the bottom of the garden by the Waveney. Still no Currant Clearwings so far this year though.

Other June highlights include a first Lunar Yellow Underwing (22nd) and a Netted Pug on the 24th (second garden record). The usual Muslin Footman, Dotted Fan-foot, Sharp-angled Peacock and Green Arches have all put in an appearance. Reed Dagger appears to be colonising the reedy mill-stream in the village with a scatter of records during the month.

Mark

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June 2019 catches, Hollesley and about.

June was a bit up and down weather and moth wise with the better catches in the second half of the month.

Bordered Pug and Double Square-spot are having a good year at home but there is a distinct lack of the Nutmeg. I visited the Abbey Farm, site at Snape on the 1st of June where the Small Clouded Brindle was abundant. I also captured a Coleophora amethystinella there which is possibly the most northern record to date. A Buttoned Snout and a Lunar Yellow Underwing were also good catches and there were several Elachista atricomella which were new to me.

I have had several species new to my home site during June which have included immigrant species, of which more later. Great to get a lovely Rosy Marbled along with the less striking Brindled White Spot on 23rd and Eana incanana on 22nd which was a first for me. More interesting was the capture of Grapholita lobarzewskii. This is a relative newcomer to the UK that is expanding its range. I captured one on the 16th and on the 23rd. These appear to be a first for Suffolk. It is a small dark but very attractive species and has a similar life style to Cydia pomonella but also feeds on plum species.

It has been an interesting second half of the month for immigrants. The 24th saw the unwelcome invasion of the Large Yellow Underwing. There were several hundred in my front garden trap which made it impossible to open the trap without losing a lot of moths . There were Lesser Yellow Underwings amongst them and an occasional Lunar.  They have dispersed to some degree but been further boosted later in the month. On the same date were a number of Catoptria verellus, a  lot of Yponomeuta evonymella and of Dioryctria species. Dioryctria were mostly abietella that I have often considered as immigrants along with simplicella and one sylvestrella. I visited Havergate Island the following night where I picked D. abietella and D. sylvestrella off the outside of the buildings there supporting their being immigrant species as well as resident in Suffolk. Similarly I believe Caloptilia species arrive as immigrants and C. stigmatella and C. falconipennella were also captured on 24th. C. falconipennella has been on the increase locally and immigration may well be assisting in this. The best larger moth catch on 23rd was a first Suffolk Dusky Marbled Brown. It was in the rear garden trap and so not damaged by the hordes of Noctua pronuba. There were an exceptionally high numbers of Willow Beauty on 21st with an otherwise poorish catch. I took 2 Pearly Underwing on 15th and an Ethmia terminalis (a first for me) and Elegia similella on 29th. The 29th and 30th saw Sciota hostilis arrive in Suffolk. The first was sent to confuse me as it was a very dark specimen that looked exactly like S. fumella, a non UK species, but the genitalia prep. did not match so the second specimen sorted my mind out.  Plutella xylostella have been prominent throughout the month and peaked in the order of 1000 on 30th.

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June survey highlights

Brian, Allan and I went to Herringfleet Hills on the 23rd. A near perfect night with just a short blustery spell to contend with otherwise warm and still which reflected the high species count for a June night of 225. Moths were plentiful in number especially Shaded Fan-foot. Highlights included Capperia brittaniodactylus, Achroia grisella, Cydia cosmorphorana, Celypha rosaceana, L. conwagana, Red-necked Footman with two recorded, Puss Moth, Scarce Silver Lines, Purple Clay ,Water Ermine, Cream Bordered Green-pea, Valerian Pug, Rufous Minor, Lunar Yellow Under-wing, Birds-Wing and many Alder Kitten. All helped make a very interesting and productive night site left as the Song Thrush started singing.

On the 29th Allan and I went back to Ashby Warren. With the records of the two fresh Red-necked Footman on the 23rd it seemed a good time to visit the local hub of the species. A minor ride was selected for its tree cover and traps switched on at 22.00 on a clear but very warm night. Moths soon started to come in one of the first being M. choragella, until midnight the traps were dominated by micro moth species and the ride gave a good variety of habitats for the four traps. Among the more interesting species seen were E. grotiana, S.weirana, S. nitidana. Many Grey Arches were seen and again Shaded Fan-foot through which you have to scour through to find any other fan-foot species such is their number. I would be interested to hear of any suggested food plant for the species other than bramble as that is not really possible at this site. I think they are on the withered leaves of a tree or trees or dead leaves on the ground possibly. Highlights of the night were Red-necked Footman with 15 counted, A freshly emerged female Four-spotted Footman was the sole example of the species, the first June female recorded there since discovery in 2014. A single Captoptria verellus may have been an immigrant as there are a few at the moment, this was the first recorded on the Somerleyton Estate with the nearest known site for breeding 9 miles away. Also new for  the site a single Oncocera semirubella. 141 species recorded.

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Many Diamond-back

There must have been a large influx of Diamond-back Moth last night. They are everywhere today. Just in the garden they are on the fences and shed and everything you touch, plants, tools etc. they fly out of. There was a brief thunderstorm and a strong east wind yesterday evening, so I suppose they came in on this.

Brian

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