Suffolk Moth Group leaf miner meeting 7th October 2018.

5 people met up at Hemley church for this meeting on a gloriously sunny autumn day. The aim was to head down to the extensive saltmarsh habitat beside the river Deben to see what moth species associated with that habitat we could find as something a bit different from the normal leaf miner hunt. On the way down, we noted a number of mines of Cosmopterix zieglerella on the hedgerow Hops as well as lots of Ivy bees (Colletes hederae) on the flowering Ivy.

Searching the saltmarsh

Searching the saltmarsh

Once down onto the saltmarsh we started searching the various plants mainly for Coleophora cases.

 

 

 

 

Coleophora aestuariella case on Annual Sea blite

Coleophora aestuariella case on Annual Sea blite

Almost immediately I located a case on Annual sea blite (Suaeda maritima) that was quite pinkish in colour. This was the case of Coleophora aestuariella, a rare species with hardly any Suffolk records, a great start!

Coleophora deviella case

Coleophora deviella case

We also located some other larger cases on the same plant, these being Coleophora deviella.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coleophora salicornae case on Glasswort

Coleophora salicornae case on Glasswort

We then moved to a patch of Glasswort (Salicornia). Tony mentioned about the cases of Coleophora salicornae, saying that he had searched many times for it on this particular patch without success. Here it is, I said after a quick look at the first stems – a case of being in the right place at the right time, as this species is only in a case for a matter of days! In fact we found quite a number once we got our eyes in. Other species of interest found included Agdistis bennetii (a small larva), Scrobipalpa nitentella (early feeding signs on Sea purslane), Coleophora limoniella (case on Sea lavender), Coleophora albicans (cases on Sea wormwood), Coleophora atriplicis (cases on Sea purslane), Chinese character (larva on Blackthorn on edge of marsh), Calybites phasianipennella (mines and leaf rolls on Dock), Ectoedemia intimella (mine on Grey willow), Epermenia chaerophyllella (larval workings on Hogweed) and Scrobipalpa acuminatella (larval mine on Thistle). 47sp recorded so good for the restricted habitat with a lot of interesting species.

Coleophora atriplicis case on Sea purslane

Coleophora atriplicis case on Sea purslane

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After lunch, we moved on to the nearby Newbourne Springs SWT reserve for a bit of more traditional leaf mining. Species of note amongst the 48 seen included: Caloptilia semifascia (leaf rolls on Field maple), Stigmella aceris (another site for this increasing species), Nephopterix angustella (spun up berries on Spindle), Coleophora albitarsella (case on Ground Ivy), Phyllonorycter lantanella (mines on Wayfaring tree), Ectoedemia hannoverella (mines on Black poplar hybrid).

Overall a very successful day enjoyed by all.

Neil.

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Clifden Nonpareil in Suffolk

Iken Cliff, 10 October 2018

Iken Cliff, 10 October 2018

It’s looking like we have a population of Clifden Nonpareil in Suffolk. Last night (10 October) I caught my third of the week at Iken Cliff, near Snape. The others were on the nights of 5th and 8th and all were to a 125W MV Robinson placed in exactly the same location.
My plant recognition skills are virtually nil I’m ashamed to say but I have tried to find Aspen and I can only see Silver Birch and Oak in the immediate vicinity. Tunstall Forest is on the doorstep of course.

Paul

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Portable LED light – the future of moth hunting in remote areas?

There has been a bit of internet discussion on this portable LED light for moths that is lightweight and can run from powerpacks normally used to charge mobile phones when away from power points (e.g.for camping). Thought it may be of interest to moth hunters who read this blog. The supplier is German so the price is in Euros. The main downside to the light I can see is the cost – at 400 Euros it is very expensive!

Follow the link below to find out more.

http://www.gunnarbrehm.de/en/contact.html

Neil

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Suffolk Moth Group leaf miner day 7th October – a word of warning.

This is a warning to anyone planning to attend the leaf miner day tomorrow. There is a motorcycle show going on at Trinity park (Suffolk showground) from 9am onwards which will increase traffic in the general area around the junction between the A14 and the A12. If people planning to come to the leaf miner event and are likely to pass through this area it is worth bearing in mind the potential traffic problems and either find an alternative way around or give yourself more time to navigate the junction.
Weather forecast is looking OK, better than today!

Neil

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Time to look out for Cydia inquinatana

This species is established and spreading in Suffolk. The larvae feed on the seeds of Acer keys. Presently these are falling if they have been eaten. I know they prefer Acer campestre but other Acer species may host them. If you have a Field Maple close to you take a look on the ground and examine the fallen keys. Below is a photo of the ground beneath my trees and then two of eaten into keys.

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September moths at Hollesley

This years variable weather and moth catching has continued through September. A handful of good nights mixed in with many of little value. The middle of the month was the better spell for me with the biggest catch on 16th of 75 species. The month started with a moderate Underwing invasion along with high numbers of Setaceous Hebrew Character. The month ended up being dominated by the regular autumn species of Beaded Chestnut and Lunar Underwing. Most regular autumn species have been recorded now amongst the chestnuts, sallows and autumn quakers. Also of course the lovely Black Rustic, Feathered Brindle, Feathered Ranunculus and Deep-brown Dart.

The second brood of Evergestis limbata continued well into the month and I took my second site record of Spilonota laricana on 9th. The Common Wainscot was noticeable common mid-month

Immigrants were dominated by the Underwings, Large, Lesser, Lunar and Broad-bordered. Then on 14th I took a Dark Crimson Underwing. A pleasing catch as I missed out on it earlier in the year when others caught it. At that time mine was a Light Crimson. Good on the Catocala this year! Now need the blue one! Silver Y’s have been regular especially at the end of the month, other immigrants have trickled in. Delicate, Dark Sword-grass, Ostrinia  nubilalis (differently marked to our breeding one), Plutella xylostella, Oncocera  semirubella, Convolvulus Hawk-moth, Nomophila noctuella, Scarce Bordered Straw and a short peak of L-album Wainscots. No Udea ferrugalis this month.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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SMG Leaf-miner Meeting – Sunday 7th October 2018 – 10.30am

It’s a bit short notice but there will be the usual end-of-season leaf-miner recording meeting on Sunday 7th October 2018. Meeting at Hemley Church at 10.30am. Grid ref is TM285423.

We’re trying something a bit different this year by starting off looking at some saltmarsh in the morning.  This should give a chance to see some different species to those normally seen.

We’ll try for lunch at a nearby pub although it will be a Sunday and pubs could be busy. The afternoon session is likely to be at somewhere like Newbourne Springs for a site with a better selection of trees and plants.

Tony

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September moth news from Purdis

A holiday at the start of the month coupled with quite a few cool clear nights has meant it has generally been a quiet September for recording here. There were even a couple of frosts at this heathland site towards the month’s end, adding to the feeling that autumn is progressing rapidly this year. One of the better nights was the 18th when 61sp were caught in 2 mv traps with a few things of interest.
There has been little evidence of moth migration in my traps here this month which has been a shame as the capture of a few of those brightens up an otherwise dull catch. With winds from the north dominating I suppose it’s not too much of a surprise. I understand the coastal trappers have picked up a bit but it just doesn’t feel like a good autumn for immigration to me at the moment.
The few records of note here have included the following. Red underwing (just a single found at rest in the daytime), Lunar yellow underwing (regular, doing well, best count 11 on the 18th), Tree-lichen beauty (a late record on the 16th), Dotted footman (18th), Heath rustic (a worn one on the 18th the sole record for the year), Large ranunculus (26th, not annual here), Flounced chestnut (first for year on the 27th, along with 2 Feathered thorn also new for year) and Cochylis molliculana (17th, still only a few records for this here).
There was also a run of Box-tree moth Cydalima perspectalis from 14th-18th, possibly showing that it is breeding somewhere locally. There was a normal form on the 14th, followed by 2 dark form on the 16th, then 1 normal and 1 dark on 17th then finally a normal one on the 18th. All from my garden trap and all different as each one was kept in the fridge until the end of that week.
Some of the autumnal species of moths have yet to appear here (Barred sallow, Brick, Streak to name a few), others have been in very low numbers (e.g. Black rustic, Merveille du Jour). Others have built up numbers already e.g the Chestnut. All seems a bit mixed up this year! What will the next month bring?

Neil

Large ranunculus

Large ranunculus

Box-tree moth normal form

Box-tree moth normal form

Box-tree moth dark form

Box-tree moth dark form

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Suffolk Moth Group meeting Hen reedbeds 15th September 2018 – a wainscot surprise!

11 moth-ers met up for this meeting, the last night-time field event for the year. The target was to try and see if Clifden Nonpareil would put in another appearance after it was seen last year at the site. Before setting up some recorders had a search around for larvae and leaf mines, this getting the list off to a good start with 50 species noted. Best of these were a larva of Iron prominent found on Alder and the mines of Stigmella aceris on Field maple, probably the most northerly Suffolk record to date.
11 traps using a mixture of light sources were deployed both sides of the road, as well as a plethora of wine ropes and sugar to try and tempt any fraxini!
There were a few generator issues at the start but soon all lights were up and running. A steady trickle of species started to appear at light, unfortunately along with a number of Hornets. People then tried to keep a healthy distance away from the light to try and avoid them but sadly a few recorders were unlucky enough to get stung.
Some of the moths seen were distinctly autumnal species, including Black rustic, Sallow, Pink-barred sallow, Lunar underwing, Brick and Brown-spot pinion. Some of these were seen both at light and at wine ropes.
Moths of interest seen included: Small wainscot, Webb’s wainscot, Ancylosis oblitella (a few), Gold spot, Lunar yellow underwing (10), Monopis monachella, Cochylidia implicitana and a Square-spotted clay (very worn). We waited until midnight to see if any Clifdens would come in to the lights then decided to pack up as the number of moths had dropped right off under the clear sky. It was whilst packing away my trap the moth of the night was discovered – a Blair’s wainscot. Quite an unexpected record as it is early – normally it is found around the end of September and the begining of October at its known sites in Dorset – and also there have only been a handful Suffolk records. Some of the more recent ones have been in the Dunwich and Blythburgh areas hinting at the possiblity that the moth has established colonies in the county. Several searches by the group in these areas have failed to turn up the moth however. The fact that this moth turned up in fresh condition in a wetland habitat when there has been little moth immigration coming in to the UK is surely strong evidence for breeding. So another good record from this great Suffolk Wildlife trust reserve!
Final total for the night including the 50 species of leaf mine was 136, an excellent total given the conditions and a great way to end the evening field meeting programme for the year.

Neil

Group around the sheet light.

Group around the sheet light.

The Blair's wainscot.

The Blair’s wainscot.

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Suffolk Moth Group meeting Hen Reedbeds – Saturday night (15th).

The last moth evening for the year for the group is this weekend at Hen reedbeds, hoping for Clifden Nonpareil after last year’s sighting. As the weather is looking slightly warmer for Saturday night we will go for the meeting then. Meet in car park TM471771 at 7pm.

Neil

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