Mothing Hollesley plus Tangham May 2019

A little tardy on my report as I made myself very busy at the start of June. May weather started quite poor and cool but heated up considerably towards the end of the month. Naturally the moths complied. Breached the 100+ species mark at home on 30th. Huge numbers of Treble Lines around and also doing well during the month have been Rivulet, Seraphim, Nematopogon schwarziellus and Platydra subcinerea.

My home site has been showing a tendency towards more woodland species recently. This does reflect changes locally. May moths such as Epinotia immundana and Dwarf Pug. The Tawny Marbled Minor appeared before the Marbled Minor this year and Eudonia angustea before Scoparia ambigualis. I have a few micros new for my site during May. In contrast to last year Nepticulidae have been doing well and have added; Stigmella perpygmaeella, S. crataegella and Ectoedemia louisella. Also new for my site were Phyllonorycter rajella, Glyphipterix simpliciella (in malaise trap) and Coleophora amethystinella. C. amethystinella is a big success story for Suffolk being caught by a number of moth-ers locally and I have also captured it at Tangham and Snape.

I trapped at Tangham on 25th. Lovely moths there and always a pleasure. Both the Peacock and the Sharp-angled Peacock are regulars there as are the lovely Lobesia reliquana and Ancylis mitterbacheriana. I confirmed the location for Coleophora lassella as well as picking up C. amethystinella but got a big surprise with a Barred Hook-tip. Looks like it has wandered some distance as I have not noted Beech trees in the Tangham Forest. Two species caught there were new to me, a Lampronia fuscatella and a Pammene germmana.

On 27th May I hada day as a Pollinator Monitoring Scheme volunteer at our site beside the Butley Estuary which is an opportunity to look at day flying species there. I netted Gynnidomorpha vectisana, Aristotelia brizella and Agdistis bennetii on the salt marsh and was please to find a specimen of Grapholita compositella again for a photo.

Migrants have been scarce so far this year with only Plutella xylostella and Silver Y.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Ashby Warren 31 May

Brian and I were joined by Allan Eaton at this site by Fritton Lake for my first moth night out since July 2018 and we drove on site at 9pm to be greeted by swarms of midges while setting up, which persisted in being a constant nuisance throughout the night. Not only that but I pulled off the end of one of my cables reducing me down to three traps but Brian had  five, so all in all not too bad. 100 species recorded including; Cream Wave , Little Emerald, Birch Mocha, Clay Triple Lines (many). Strophedra weirana just about at every trap and lots of Ancylis mitterbacheriana. Brachmia inornatella, Lobesia reliquana also recorded. There were a few outstanding moths, Brindled White-spot is scarce up here and this is the only site I know. Without Allan we might not have seen the other two which were mega micros. Ancylis upupana which Brian and I had on the Estate in 2017 at a different site and the moth I had hoped for and talked about to Allan on the way down being Triaxomera fulvimitrella, a second record for the site for which this is still I believe the only Suffolk site, with it being unrecorded in Norfolk, one record in South Essex and a few in Cambs. Most amazingly we had written up our notes at my truck and Allan spotted a micro on my chair on the truck back seat and that was the fulvimitrella!

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Moth articles for the Suffolk Argus.

I’ve had a message from Trevor Goodfellow the editor of the Suffolk Argus, the newsletter of the Suffolk branch of Butterfly Conservation. He is keen to get more moth related articles in the magazine so anyone who is willing to put something together it would be most welcome. Check the branch website for details on how to get in touch.

Neil.

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Africa Alive! Bioblitz event 20th/21st July 2019.

I have received this invite for moth enthusiasts to the Africa Alive! Bioblitz, anyone interested in helping out then the contact details are listed at the end of the message.

Neil

My name is Ruth Wallis and I work at Africa Alive! In 2015, we ran our first ever 24hour bioblitz, each year since we have run either mini events or 24 hour events, adding species each time. This year we are celebrating our 50th birthday of a zoological collection being on this site and we would like to run another large 24 hour bioblitz seeing if we can bring our total to over a thousand species!  We would like to invite you and anyone in your group who would be interested in spending the 20th and/or 21st July at Africa Alive! identifying species on site. If you would like to attend the days please let me know names and day you wish to come (or both) of interested parties.
I look forward to hearing from you
Kind regard Ruth  (ruth.wallis@africa-alive.co.uk)

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Grey carpet moth survey 31st May 2019, Elveden.

Sharon Hearle from BC is planning a Grey Carpet survey day in Suffolk on Friday 31st May 10.30am – 2pm.  She has got a list of sites on the Elvden Estate with Flixweed and where can be visited.
Meet on West Road in Icklingham – grid ref  TL768732 Postcode IP28 6PU.
She says ‘It would be great to see some Suffolk moth recorders ( I will probably run a load of traps the night before as well).  I appreciate Friday is not great for you and others that are working.  It is helpful if people email to let me know they are coming along’.

She also says there are problems with the FC over cars accessing the forest – they are having a clampdown and also insist on business insurance.
Possible funding:     www.suffolkbis.org.uk/news/funding?page=1

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April news from Woolpit

April was a slow month for me with the trap only operated on seven nights. A cool start  gave way to a warm Easter, but with clear nights and a bright moon, before returning to more typical ‘April Showers’. Of the trap highlights, Streamer seems to be having a good year. I recorded two more on 21st with singles a few days either side of that. Hebrew Character and Common Quaker hung on until month end, and the first Shuttle-shaped Darts appeared on the 23rd. Singles of Brindled Beauty and Twin-spotted Quaker (both on the 8th), and one each of Iron, Lesser Swallow and Pebble Prominent on 29th were best of the rest. The bursting into leaf of the nearby Horse Chestnut also saw the first swarm of ohridella this year when 20+ where seen merrily dancing away late afternoon on 23rd.  Hard also to believe that it is May already and that the season is marching on … !!

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April moth news at IGC.

Like Raymond, I did well here in the warm spell around mid month but didn’t bother to trap on many nights later on with the cooler clear weather.
Orthosia numbers dropped off from mid month as expected, has been a good year for them here except for Powdered quaker that hasn’t been seen at all. Been some late records of regulars, with both March moth and Oak beauty being noted on the 8th. Here, has been a good year for Brindled beauty and Great prominent. Unlike Raymond has been a poor year for Frosted green with quite low numbers, normally a common species. Dotted chestnut has continued it’s good run with two more on the 8th and 24th.
Macros of interest for this site included a Streamer on the 24th – very rare here only my 4th ever record and also a nice Mullein moth on the same date, not commonly seen as an adult.
Micros were more interesting. Best was Depressaria chaerophylli, found on the 22nd, a new site record. Other species of note were Pammene argyrana (a few) and a Pammene splendidulana (third site record of this smart moth). There were also 10 Adela cuprella seen flying over a flowering Sallow by day on the 18th.

Neil

Streamer

Streamer

Depressaria chaerophylli

Depressaria chaerophylli

Pammene splendidulana

Pammene splendidulana

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April 2019 moths Hollesley

I have had a spell of good mothing at my home site from the warm spell that started around mid month. The weather cooled a little for the last few days so numbers turned down. I have not been off site recently owing to a bit of back trouble.

All the regulars have been around with a general trend being the reduction of Orthosia species and an increase in the Prominents and diversity. Three species to note that have done well for me this year have been Sallow Kitten, Frosted Green and Nut-tree Tussock. I have mentioned the Early Tooth Striped in a previous post and I had my only Northern Drab for the year on 8th. The warm dry weather sped up emergence resulting in a good diversity during the warm spell. Species included Leucoptera laburnella, Buff-tip, Cinnabar, Poplar Hawk-moth, Maiden’s Blush, Red Twin-spot Carpet, Grey Dagger, Poplar Grey, Knot-grass and Chamomile Shark.

Few immigrants. One Dark Sword-grass and a few Plutella xylostella, although they could be resident examples.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Change of Suffolk County moth recorder.

As some of you may be already know, Tony Prichard has decided to stand down as County recorder for moths after many years of doing the job. Thanks must go to him for all the good work he has done over the years in promoting moths in Suffolk and beyond. Rest assured, Tony intends to keep studying moths so will still be out recording in the field.

After much thought I have decided to take on the job. As the County recorder role involves quite a number of different tasks it was decided at a recent meeting of some of the core members of the Suffolk group that others would help out with these. I will still be the main point of contact for all records, queries etc. My first main task will be to get the County database up to date including any outstanding verification of records. This may take some time as I don’t want to be stuck behind a computer screen for ages now the field season has begun! My priority will always be to go out in the field and record moths, followed by dealing with any work generated from my recording. Some of the other members of the group have offered to help with the data entry so this will hopefully speed up the process. I’ll be using Mapmate as my recording software so those who use that will be able to transfer records over easily once I’ve set up the new system. Excel spreadsheets will also be OK, but I’m happy to receive records in whatever format at the moment. In the future I hope to put together an ‘ideal format’ recording form that I hope people will adopt. Now is also the chance for any of you that have outstanding records from previous years that you haven’t sent in to Tony to get them in to me for entry into the County database. The preferred E:Mail for records is moth@sns.org.uk. As the switchover process has only just begun please bear with me if I do not respond straight away to any messages.

Part of the County recorders job is to report back to recorders. This will be done in two ways. Firstly, the annual report on moths for the SNS transactions will begin again. As there hasn’t been a report for a few years the first one will be a catch-up on all the new species recorded in that time along with notable sightings of other moths. This report will be quite a big task so it will be split between myself covering the micro-moths and Matthew Deans covering the macro-moths. Also, starting with 2019, at the end of each year once most of the records are in I intend to write a report on all notable sightings during the year in the County for anyone who has sent in records. This is done by other Counties and I thought it was a good idea for Suffolk. Another reason to get those records in!

With the rise of online social media platforms the group has moved into some of these as another way of getting information out about Suffolk’s moths. The Suffolk Moths blog will continue as it has done, so this is a good place to find out about events and recent sightings. It does rely on people putting posts on there though, something I want to encourage more of. There is also a Suffolk Moth group page on Facebook now – ‘Recording moths in Suffolk’. This will be another way to find out news and events that are planned. This is being run by other moth group members not by myself. Matthew Deans has set up a Suffolk Moths Whatsapp group, contact him for more details on this.

Another development is a new Suffolk Moth Group website. As the old one has broken down in parts it was decided to build a new one. This is only just beginning production and will be kindly put together for us by the Norfolk County recorder Jim Wheeler along similar lines to their excellent website. It’s going to be a while before this comes online so watch this space.

With regard to field events, there are no official ones for the group this year as I haven’t had the time to put a programme together. There will be moth meetings going on, but they will be at more short notice so if you are interested in getting out with the group I would encourage you to watch the moth blog or the Facebook page for details of these. The group’s annual indoor meeting will also continue. Hopefully next year when things have settled down there will be time to organize an events programme.

Finally, a word from me. I know in today’s modern world people want answers to questions and messages instantly. If you do contact me, please bear in mind that I am a very busy person working a full-time job and I have other things that take up my time away from the world of moths. So please be patient, remember that I am a volunteer giving up some of my free time for this. I will respond when time allows or get someone else to help you. If you have a moth you can’t identify, try using one of the group’s online platforms and there will be someone out there who can help as well as myself.

Good luck for the coming season ahead – Happy moth-ing. Neil

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Dunwich Woods 26.4.19

Myself and Peter conducted our 3rd trapping session at Dunwich on Friday night.
We had:
3 X 125w MV
1 x 20w Wemlite and
1 x 7w LED

In a 5 hour session we recorded over 120 moths of 31 species, the best of which were a single Dotted Chestnut and 4 Gravitarmata margarotana.

Although the temperature held up around 10.5 degrees, the wind probably affected the size of the catch and the rain came in at around 1am meaning a hasty pack up.
49.302 Gravitarmata margarotana (2)

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