Suffolk Moth Group Newsletter

Issue 34 - Autumn 2004

Edited by Tony Prichard

In this issue


Another recording season draws to a close after a very productive year. Initial thoughts during the spring when numbers of moths appeared to be lower than normal that this would be a poor year appear to have been wrong. The group has had some success in recording targetted species at its meetings and some unexpected species have also been recorded. It has also been a good year for migrants with some unusual species turning up further inland and not just on the coast. Some evidence that at least a few of these species may be colonising the county has also been uncovered. Toadflax Brocade has been recorded as an adult at two sites in the county recently. With the discovery this year of larvae at two sites along the coast (N Sherman, A Prichard and Nigel Cumings) on Common Toadflax it would appear that this is a strong candidate for being a recent colonist. Matthew Deans at Bawdsey has been recording large numbers of L-album Wainscot during the year that would also point to a nearby colony of the species. We plan to look for the larvae of this species later on as further proof of the species being resident. I carried out a search for Ethmia bipunctella larvae earlier in the year at sites where the foodplant is known to occur, unfortunately this proved negative and all I managed to find was a Painted Lady caterpillar on the Viper's Bugloss. As this species has been recorded at a few sites along the coast this year it will be worthwhile continuing searches for the larvae of this species. At the same time I checked the Viper's Bugloss for signs of Cynaeda dentalis and at the one known site the species would appear to be faring well, with over fifty cocoons found around the bases of the foodplant.

There are a couple of indoor meetings planned for later on this year, details of these meetings are given further on. It is also planned to hold the usual annual indoor meeting in the spring of next year. This is likely to be sometime in March, although the precise date has not yet been finalised. More information on this meeting will appear in the next newsletter. If anyone has any ideas for a main speaker I would like to hear from you. It is a while since we have visited the museum collections so I was also thinking of organising a visit to view these early in the New Year. Please contact me if you would be interested and I will let you know the details when they are finalised.

I am just starting to think about the meetings programme for next year. If any one has any suggestions for sites that the group could visit I would be most interested to hear from you. It is helpful if the owner or a contact is known for the site so we can arrange permission to visit the site.

Apologies to those recorders who normally do write-ups for reports from around the county, I forgot to remind people this time for contributions. Any outstanding reports will be more than welcome for the next issue of the newsletter.

The next issue of the newsletter is scheduled for early February so any contributions for that issue would be gratefully received. I had hoped to do an identification article in this issue on Foxglove Pug and Toadflax Pug and also Pine Carpet, Grey Pine Carpet and Spruce Carpet but due to lack of space this will appear in the next issue (where I am normally a bit pushed for material). Following analysis of the data for the Moths of Suffolk Guide (see later) it would appear that some recorders may be confusing these species so a few pointers in their identification may come in useful.

Suffolk Mothers in Spain - Neil Sherman

At the end of August, Matthew Deans, Lee Gregory and myself went on a short holiday on the Portsmouth - Bilbao ferry, primarily to see cetaceans and seabirds. Part of this trip involves a short stop in Bilbao, Spain that allows you a morning to explore the environs of the port. There is a hill just outside the port, which has some areas of grassland and heathland, offering habitat for insects as well as birds. Unfortunately, on our arrival in Bilbao, the weather conditions did not look too promising for finding day-flying moths, with it being overcast with occasional drizzle. It was warm, however, so hopes were still high that we would find some moths! Tapping bushes and generally poking about did manage to produce some moths, some of which were of interest as they either do not occur in Britain or are on the edge of their range there.

Of the micros, the following were of note - Oncocera semirubrella (plentiful on the hill, flushed from grass), Udea ferrugalis, Nomophila noctuella (both common) and Mecyna asinalis (4+ seen, tapped from bushes - found in the south-west of Britain).

The macros found included Jersey Tiger (one seen flushed from bushes), Dew Moth (2+ seen flying up on the hill, a new moth for all of us), Portland Riband Wave (one seen, very local in Britain), Bloxworth Snout (2+ seen again, another species on the edge of its range in Britain) and a wave unknown from Britain, Idaea eugeniata (2 seen, a lovely delicate pink colour).

Portland Riband Wave
Idaea eugeniata
Portland Riband Wave © Neil Sherman
Idaea eugeniata © Neil Sherman

Jersey Tiger
Jersey Tiger © Neil Sherman

Overall we did quite well on the trip, considering the weather (both sea crossings were pretty rough!).

Cameraria ohridella, Horse Chestnut leaf-miner update - Tony Prichard

Since the last newsletter this species has been recorded in quite widespread locations across the county. It would seem to be showing the same rapid spread that has occurred on the continent and other parts of the country. There might have been an initial association between recorded sites and main roads but recently I have been recording this species in quiet off-the-beaten track country lanes. I am still interested in hearing of new sites for this species, especially in the west of the county where it appears to be less well recorded.

Cameraria ohridella distribution map
Cameraria ohridella distribution - October 2004

Larger Moths of Suffolk Guide - Tony Prichard

At previous moth group indoor meetings there has been some mention of working towards a publication on the moths of Suffolk and since then possibly not much sign of activity has been evident in progressing this. Over the last year or so I've been working on draft species accounts for the macro-moths that have been recorded in Suffolk. These have now been made available on the web site along with updated distribution maps. I realise that those who do not have internet access will have problems accessing the guide but producing an initial web version has its advantages. The current guide has cost very little, apart from time, to produce and allows easy updating and tuning of the material and layout of the guide. This is before we have to commit ourselves to the investment of producing a hard-copy version of the guide that will be available to all.

The guide can be found on the Suffolk Moth Group web site at or by going to the main SMG web site and selecting 'Larger Moths of Suffolk' from the drop-down menu . Where possible information given in the guide has been derived from the Suffolk moth records in the database, although for most larval foodplants and some of the scarcer species I have had to rely mainly on the existing literature. There are not too many photographs present at the moment but these are gradually being uploaded as they become available. Many thanks to those who have contributed photographs so far. I would welcome any comments on the guide as the intention is to sort out any problems while it is cheap and easy to resolve.

Forthcoming Indoor Meetings - Tony Prichard

There are a couple of indoor meetings coming up shortly. The first was advertised in the last newsletter so this is just a reminder that we are having a dissection workshop at the Ipswich Museum on Saturday, 20th November, 1.00pm to 4.30pm. Jon Clifton will be leading us through the techniques of dissecting and there will be the chance to try out the process yourself.

The second indoor meeting is an identification workshop at Alder Carr Farm, Needham Market, Wednesday 1st December 2004 with a 7.30pm start. We've not tried this sort of meeting before so it's a bit of an experiment. The plan is for people to bring along slides, photograph prints, digital photos and specimens of moths that are not yet identified, identified but need confirmation or posed an identification problem and would be of interest to other recorders. It should be quite an informal meeting and it is not intended to have any formal talks on identification but will rely on contributions from the floor.  Whether this meeting works well or not will depend on what people bring along so please try to come along and bring some material with you. On the other hand, please do not feel that you cannot come along if you do not have any moths for identifcation it should still be of interest.

The grid reference for Alder Carr Farm is TM091553 and it is situated on the outskirts of Needham Market not far from the A14.

A good morning's leaf-mining - Tony Prichard

As autumn arrives and the numbers of moths appearing in traps begins to wane I start thinking of concentrating more on leaf-miner recording - a very addictive pasttime. On 26th September Neil Sherman and myself headed up to Hinderclay Fen in the north of the county for a morning's recording. Hinderclay Fen lies on the Suffolk-Norfolk border just east of Thelnetham Fen where the group has held previous moth meetings. This was an area of the county for which we had relatively few species of leaf-miners recorded so it seemed a good place to visit.

Recording started straight away on the track from the road, where we had parked, up to the fen. The hedgerows along the track gave a good start to the list with elm saplings, hawthorn, bramble, dog rose, field maple, willow and oak trees providing twenty six species (including Ectoedemia quinquella, Bucculatrix bechsteinella and Phyllonorycter schreberella) this was before we had even reached the fen itself. As we walked along the western path through the fen the variety of trees changed with mainly willows, oaks, blackthorn, aspen and silver birch. These in turn added another 14 species with the pick of the bunch being Heliozela sericiella, Ectoedemia argyropeza, Ectoedemia minimella and a larva of Swammerdamia caesiella. At the western end of the fen a small piece of woodland provided more species with Stigmella nylandriella from rowan, a Psyche casta case, Caloptilia stigmatella on willow and three other species. A single beech tree had three species, with the more localised Stigmella hemargyrella being found but no sign of the commoner Stigmella tityrella. Emerging from the wood we walked across to the eastern edge of Thelnetham Fen as I knew from a previous visit that here we would find some alder trees and hop. As we walked along the path up to the Norfok border we managed to find six types of mine on the alder (including Heliozela resplendella, Stigmella alnetella, Phyllonorycter rajella and P. kleemannella) and on the hops we located a mine of Cosmopterix zieglerella, after some searching.

Ectoedemia atricollis
Phyllonorycter corylifoliella
Ectoedemia atricollis on hawthorn © Tony Prichard
Phyllonorycter corylifoliella on hawthorn © Tony Prichard

We decided to start heading back to the cars at this stage and to return via the roads rather than simply retracing our path. On the path from the fen to the road a clump of raspberry had mines of Stigmella splendidissimella. A single hazel provided four more species, although surprisingly not Parornix devoniella, normally a common and abundant species. Some more hedgerow elm provided some further species that we'd not recorded previously with Bucculatrix albedinella, Stigmella ulmivora and Stigmella viscerella. As we walked up to the village of Thelnetham a small clump of St John's Wort had the mines of Eucalybites auroguttella but no Ectoedemia septembrella. A bit further on in a side lane we noticed some horse chestnut trees and not too surprisingly these had mines of Cameraria ohridella on them. By this stage we had recorded 70 species - this was turning into rather a bumper list. A detour into the churchyard provided some new tree species, common lime, London plane, Norway maple and apple. These turned up another six species (including Phyllonorycter platani, P. platanoidella and the localised Stigmella tiliae). A lone adult male Vapourer moth was also seen flying through the churchyard - 77 species.

Stigmella viscerella
Stigmella oxyacanthella
Stigmella viscerella on elm © Tony Prichard
Stigmella oxyacanthella on apple © Tony Prichard

As we walked back along the lane to the car from the churchyard there was not much different in the way of flora apart from some dogwood in the hedges and a few poplar trees. The dogwood had some mines that were later determined to be Antispila treitschkiella. We checked the poplars for Ectoedemia hannoverella but there was no sign of it but two other commoner species were found, Phyllocnistis unipunctella and Stigmella trimaculella.

In all 80 species recorded from an extended morning's leaf-mining and general field recording session - the most successful morning of field recording that I have had. We were fortunate that in our wanderings we came across so many varieties of trees and shrubs as most of the recorded species are quite common where you can find the foodplant. It has certainly improved the number of species recorded from this 10 kilometre square.

Field reports - Tony Prichard

Moth Night - Wordwell - 17th July 2004

This is our first year of recording at this site and results so far have been very promising. The habitat of this site seems to be better than the Chalk Lane site and  more sheltered. Chalk Lane at the moment appears rather exposed due to tree-felling in the adjoining plantation compartments.  Four MV lights were run along and just off the rides, bearing in mind the prevalence of deer ticks in this part of the county. A few localised species appeared in greater numbers than would usually expect, Ethmia dodecea, Mere Wainscot and the small Haworth's Pug. At 2.45am after five hours of trapping we had managed to record 114 species with the more interesting species including Cedestis subfasciella, Sophronia semicostellaPiniphila bifasciana, Perinephela lancealis, Small Scallop,  Pretty Chalk Carpet, Fern, Dark Umber, Clouded Magpie,  Pale-shouldered Brocade, Slender Brindle, Marbled White Spot and Nut-tree Tussock. Surprisingly no Lunar Yellow Underwing were recorded as the habitat looks suitable - although the adults may well have entered their aestivation phase.


Wordwell, in May 2004 © Tony Prichard

Wordwell, in May 2004 © Tony Prichard

Moth Night - Snape Warren - 22nd July 2004

This was a further visit mid-week to this heathland site. There had been some heavy rain on the drive to the meeting site and whilst waiting for the others to arrive. Just before the meeting time the rain stopped and it looked as though we would at least get a couple of hours of trapping in before the next band of rain came over. Considering the heavy rain beforehand moths seemed to come to the lights in fair numbers and we had a good number  of species in just over two hours of trapping; Monochroa palustrella, Aristotelia ericinella, Aroga velocella, Acleris logiana, Pediasia contaminella, Phlyctaenia perlucidalis, Ostrinia nubilalis, Brachmia blandella, Lackey, Small Scallop, Plain Wave, Chevron, Canary-shouldered Thorn and Beautiful Yellow Underwing, in all 112 species. One species that we weren't particularly expecting was a Kent Black Arches, although thinking about it we were not that far from the coast. Flashes in the sky to the south of us alerted us to thunder storms heading in our direction. As these approached the wind picked up and a few spots of rain fell - it seemed like a good time to pack up. Not soon enough, as the heavens opened almost immediately. Clearing up was a rather wet and un-nerving experience with the lightning flashing around us and the thought crossing my mind that the metal sheet pole I was carrying back to the car would make an excellent lightning conductor.

SMG Moth Night - Easton Broad - 23rd July 2004

A return visit to this broad following a negative search for White-mantled Wainscot here in 2003. This time we were further inland where the fen is drier but on reconnoitering the site with the warden in the early evening the situation did not look too promising. The reed-beds were largely inaccessible apart from a rather wet 'path' that lead through tall reeds to a water course out in the broad. The one good aspect was that the field we had been given access to had a bit of elevation. This meant we could position the lights up the slope in the field so that they were above the top of the reeds and could shine out for a distance over the reed-bed. We'd not tried this the previous year having placed the lights closer to the reed-bed edge. This approach seemed to pay dividends as six White-mantled Wainscots made their way into the traps over the course of the evening. Other notable fen species included; Calamotropha paludella, Pediasia contaminella, Reed Dagger, Crescent, White-mantled Wainscot, Silky Wainscot and Dotted Fan-foot. Some further interesting species, out of the 124 species recorded in all, were Phtheochroa inopiana, Gypsonoma oppressana, Adaina microdactyla, Small Emerald, Lesser Cream Wave, Small Scallop, White Satin Moth, Garden Tiger and Kent Black Arches.

Moth Night - Market Weston Fen - 28th July 2004

A mid-week visit to this SWT reserve, with areas of fen, scrub and grassland, that the group has visited several times in the past. Even though conditions were rather on the cool side (not unusual for this site) we managed to clock up a species count of 125 species. Surprisingly, given the number of previous visits, this list included 20 new site species. It just goes to show that even well visited sites can still produce useful records. During the evening a plume moth caught my interest as it looked like rather a large Adaina microdactyla but with a distinct yellowish hue. This turned out to be Euleioptilus carphodactyla, a species that  I gather is expanding its range at the moment and has turned up at a few sites in Suffolk recently. Other noteworthy species recorded were Agapeta zoegana, Acleris holmiana, Epinotia brunnichana, Eucosma obumbratana, Evergestis pallidata, Ghost Moth, Leopard Moth, Small Scallop, White-spotted Pug, Garden Tiger, Double Lobed, Flame Carpet, Small Dotted Buff, Scarce Silver-lines and Nut-tree Tussock

SMG Moth Night - Minsmere - 30th July 2004

This was the second planned event this year to look for White-mantled Wainscot. A visit to this large area of fen at the back of Minsmere was made in 2003 with negative results but as the habitat looked suitable another try this year seemed worth the effort.  The previous visit in 2003 had proved rather popular but this year only six people turned up - a bit less of a bun-fight when going round the traps.  Six  MV lights were operated and produced a  good selection of fen species, including three individuals of White-mantled Wainscot. One of the lights was run on the adjoining piece of heathland and added a few species to the list that are more associated with heathland. Apart from the White-mantled Wainscot other species of note out of the total 134 species included; Orthotelia sparganella, Endothenia quadrimaculana, Eucosma campoliliana, Pediasia contaminella, Least Carpet, Chevron, White-spotted Pug, Sharp-angled Peacock, Garden Tiger, Dotted Clay, Suspected, Reed Dagger, Double Lobed, Small Wainscot, Crescent, Small Rufous and Dark Spectacle. Many thanks to Robin Harvey for coming along and helping us out on the night.

Moth Night - Walberswick - 31st July 2004

We had been asked by the English Nature warden earlier in the year to do some moth surveying of the coastal reed-beds in this area. During the previous winter some of the reed-beds had been inundated with sea-water for a period of time and there was some concern that this might have had an adverse impact on the fauna. This event was held to do some recording in one of the areas inundated (Corporation Marshes) and also to look for White-mantled Wainscot to bring the records for this area up-to-date. With six lights running it was not long before the traps were full of moths, clouds of moth scales being visible above the traps as we approached each in turn. As well as very good numbers of moths in the traps the number of species recorded was high with 177 species recorded by the end of the evening. Six White-mantled Wainscot were recorded, which updated the record for this site and it would appear from the number of species and numbers of individual moths that the winter sea-water inundation has not yet had an adverse impact on the moth fauna of the site. Other species of interest included Monopis monachella, Mompha epilobiella, Cochylidia implicitana, Epiblema foenella, Pediasia contaminella, Schoenobius gigantella, Ostrinia nubilalis, Phlyctaenia perlucidalis, Dioryctria sylvestrella, Agdistis bennetii, Tawny Wave, Rosy Wave, Plain Wave, Yarrow Pug, Sharp-angled Peacock, Chocolate-tip, Garden Tiger, Kent Black Arches, Dotted Clay, Grey Arches, Dog's Tooth, Star-wort, Reed Dagger, Crescent Striped, Fenn's Wainscot, Crescent, Twin-spotted Wainscot, Brown-veined Wainscot, White-mantled Wainscot, Small Rufous, Silky Wainscot, Shaded Fan-foot, Dotted Fan-foot. Just as were clearing up the last of the traps a candidate for moth of the night was spotted, a Pigmy Footman, presumed to be a migrant.

SMG Moth Night - Kings Forest - 6th August 2004

This meeting was cancelled.

BC Moth Night - Ramsey Wood - 7th August 2004

A joint meeting with the RSPB and the Suffolk Branch of Butterfly Conservation. This meeting was open to the public, although not too many public turned up for the event and no BC members. While setting up in the wood, Neil Sherman and Graham Bull spotted some Cameraria ohridella mines on a lonely horse-chestnut tree. There has been some discussion about this recent arrival getting lifts on vehicles to new areas that might explain its rapid spread. As the main Ipswich-Hadleigh road is not far from the wood it could be possible that these mines were from adults that hitched a lift.

The main target species for this evening's recording was the Mocha, as the wood contains plenty of field maple and the soil would appear to be chalky to some degree. In the end we failed to find the target although we had previously recorded the species in neughbouring Hintlesham Wood in the spring. The public seemed satisfied with the number and selection of moths attracted to the sheet light. As one of the 'public' was a newspaper reporter a few of us were subjected to the usual questions about moths but fortunately most questions were well fielded by Mark Nowers, the warden. Surprisingly the public were not put off by the several hornets that came to the sheet light and were well fielded by Neil with his net.

Species of interest recorded were Calybites phasianipennella, Monochroa palustrella, Agapeta zoegana, Scoparia subfusca, Scoparia basistrigalis, Agdistis bennetii, Pretty Chalk Carpet, Barred Rivulet and Magpie out of the 149 species recorded in all.

SMG Moth Night - Orfordness -  13th August 2004

Orfordness © Jon Clifton

This was the group's third visit to this site. It was windy on our first visit and it was rather windy again on this visit - not good news when the site is rather lacking in sheltered areas. Various areas had been highlighted by the warden for recording as part of a process of  systematic recording of the lepidoptera present across the reserve. Unfortunately with the rather poor weather results from some of the more exposed sites were rather disappointing. In all, 68 species were recorded in eleven MV traps with the following being the more noteworthy; Coleophora salinella, Epiblema scutulana, Eucosma tripoliana, Pediasia aridella, Agdistis bennetii, Ground Lackey, Sharp-angled Peacock, Garden Tiger, Dog's Tooth, White-point, Hedge Rustic, Crescent Striped, Sandhill Rustic, Saltern Ear, Red Underwing. Many thanks to Dave Cormack and Jim Askins for putting us up and shuttling us around the site.

orfordnesss kit
Crescent Striped
Lots of kit © Jon Clifton
Crescent Striped © Neil Sherman

Moth Night - Wordwell - 14th August 2004

As the previous King's Forest meeting had been cancelled we decided to pop along to this now favoured King's Forest site to see what we may have missed the previous week. Six MV lights were operated of which one was an ALS Robinson trap. Five Square-spotted Clay came to light during the evening and not too surprisingly as there is sizeable amount of nettle along the track up to the trapping area. This will be a site that we'll be targetting for larval searches of Square-spotted Clay in early 2005. The ALS Robinson trap proved its worth when it pulled in not only a good number of moths but two rather unusual migrants, Oncocera semirubella and Great Brocade. It was a shame that Jon Clifton was not there to capture as promotional material the praises voiced about the merits of the ALS trap following their capture. In all 119 species were recorded by the end of the session with other notable species including Aspilapteryx tringipennella, Argyresthia albistria, Hypatima rhomboidella, Clavigesta purdeyi, Dioryctria sylvestrella, Royal Mantle, Barred Rivulet, Archer's Dart, Six-striped Rustic, Nut-tree Tussock and White-point, another migrant species.

Great Brocade
Great Brocade © Neil Sherman

SMG Moth Night - Tangham Forest - 20th August 2004

I had originally planned this meeting to look for Square-spotted Clay in this area of the forest as the habitat certainly appeared suitable. However, as we had already recorded this species at the site earlier in the year the pressure was off. Not many people turned up for this meeting - the weather had been rather wet during the day and the clouds on the horizon looked quite ominous. Thunderous rumblings around us during the evening were a bit disconcerting, especially after the experience at Snape Warren. Platytes alpinella, a notable pyralid species put in an appearance - it is interesting that this species was quite widespread and prevalent a few years ago but now seems to have returned to its more usual scarce status. This site regularly provides both species of Peacock Moth spp. and did so again this evening, seeing both species together is useful for contrasting the two species. Other species of note out of the 96 species total were Caloptilia populetorum, Monochroa cytisella, Calamotropha paludella, Crambus hamella, Dioryctria sylvestrella, Flame Carpet, Dark Sword-grass, Six-striped Rustic and White-point.

SMG Moth Night - Westleton Heath - 27th August 2004

This meeting was cancelled.

Moth Night - Dunwich Beach - 28th August 2004

A rather quiet night at this vegetated shingle site, with five lights running we only managed 49 species. It was certainly passed the peak of the season. Species of note included Monopis monachella (a regular in this area), Aroga velocella, Scrobipalpa suaedella, White-point, Crescent and Twin-spotted Wainscot

Moth Night - Rendlesham Forest - 29th August 2004

A windy night had us seeking shelter in the rides in this area of the forest that we had not visited previously. Situated just north of the old RAF Woodbridge base there are a few strips of heathland and broad-leaved trees along the rides between the conifer plantations. Results, not surprisingly, given the weather were not good with only 56 species in total recorded. There were a few species of note - Crambus hamella, Cryptoblabes bistriga, Dioryctria simplicella, Dioryctria sylvestrella, Spruce Carpet, Buff Footman, Canary-shouldered Thorn, Feathered Gothic and White-point.

Reports from Recorders around the county

Records reported in this section have not been checked by the Suffolk Moth Panel. Many thanks go to the recorders who provide write-ups for this section.

Sibton 2004 - Recorders Neil Sherman and Nick Prior

Moth recording started at the Hall in the walled garden at Sibton last year. This site is within one of the under-recorded 10-km squares in the county, so the moths here are a bit of an unknown quantity at the moment, with all records being important.

This year, 2 Skinner traps were run by myself once in June, early August and September. There were also a few casual sightings either seen during the day or at outdoor lighting, mainly being recorded by Nick Prior, my friend who works at the site. This has resulted in a total of 176 species for the year (so far).

Macros of possible note included: Figure of Eighty, Streamer, Red-green Carpet, Barred Rivulet (there is a lot of Red Bartsia, the foodplant, in the area), Slender Pug, Netted Pug, Sloe Pug, Sharp-angled Peacock, Dusky Thorn, Orange Footman, Kent Black Arches (this and the next species were wanderers from the coast in early August), Dog's Tooth, Mullein (caterpillars only), Alder Moth, Large Wainscot, Small Rufous and Red Underwing.

Micros of possible interest seen were: Metzneria lappella, Eudemis profundana, Pammene fasciana and Eudonia pallida.

The total for the site at the moment (mid September) stands at 280 species.

Moths at Bawdsey - mid-April to September 2004 - Matthew Deans

A very smart moth at this time of the year is The Streamer - this month singletons were recorded on 19th and 28th at the security lights.  The former night also produced the first Red Chestnut of the year. A surprise on 25th was the discovery of three specimens of Scarce Tissue found at the security lights - a new species for the site (another individual was seen on 28th).  The most interest as the month drew to a close was the first Least Black Arches of the season on 27th.

The first week of the month provided two further records of Scarce Tissue (on 5th and 6th).  Another Streamer was noted on 4th.  I was then away on holiday in Poland for a week. Highlights of the second half of May included Scorched Carpet (23rd), White-pinion Spotted (27th), Poplar Hawk-moth (25th) and Chocolate-tip (19th and 26th).

The opening week was quiet with two Chinese Characters noted on 6th and 7th. The first specimens of Mullein Wave (recorded almost nightly all season) and Figure of Eighty appeared on 8th.  The micro Aethes beatricella was abundant with 28 recorded between 7th and 17th.  Two individuals of Treble Brown Spot were noted on 14th and 21st respectively. 

Things were then to change rather dramatically with the introduction of regular light trapping on the site.  For the last 20 months I had been gathering records at security lights amassing some 150 species over this period.  One of my 125W M.V. Skinner traps was deployed and operated regularly from 16th. The first trap-night was very exciting not knowing what to expect.  I was in to work earlier than ever before to examine the catch!  The highlights were Pretty Chalk Carpet, Maple Prominent, Cream-spot Tiger, Dark Sword-grass, White-point and L-album Wainscot.

Two Evergestis extimalis were recorded on 21st (this species becoming a regular visitor to the trap, 41 recorded up to Aug. 31st) along with the first site records of Privet and Lime Hawk-moths. I was away in Scotland for much of the tail-end of the month but Pine Hawk-moth and Sycamore were trapped on 30th.    

Migrant totals for the month were two Plutella xylostellas (Diamond-backs), one Dark Sword-grass, two White-points and one Silver Y.    

The first of the month produced two more L-album Wainscots, Dark Sword-grass and Silver Y amongst the building numbers of Large Yellow Underwings and Dark Arches!  The first Least Carpet of the year was attracted to the security lights on 4th - this species recorded virtually every night.   

The Skinner trap was replaced by an ALS Robinson trap on 6th, hopefully to retain more moths and allow me a little more sleep! Two White-line Darts appeared that night with Bordered White and Bordered Sallow on 8th - the latter two species were the sole records for the year.  Singletons of Brown-tail and Garden Tiger were trapped on 12th. 

Day-time observations of a Buddleia bush on 13th proved worthwhile with a nectaring Hummingbird Hawk-moth performing rather well.  Singles were then noted on three further dates this month with two on 29th. 

Three Leopard Moths were recorded on 15th along with a Fern, four Marbled Greens, Fen Wainscot, two Oak Nycteolines and a Dotted Fan-foot.  A Vapourer larva was found by day in the Walled Garden by the Head Gardener. An Ostrinia nubilalis (European Corn-borer) was pick-of-the-bunch on 20th along with Elephant Hawk-moth, two Dark Sword-grass and Star-wort (four recorded this week).  A clear immigration of Latticed Heath took place between 20th and 22nd July with totals of 25, 19 and 12 over the three nights.  Larger numbers were recorded in Essex at the same time.  Massive numbers of Large Yellow Underwings were also trapped with a peak of 592 on 21st.

A singleton of the rather local pyralid - Pediasia fascelinella was recorded on 22nd with Phlyctaenia perlucidalis, Marbled Beauty and Cream-bordered Green Pea.  A Dioryctria sylvestrella and the first of four Lesser-spotted Pinions this season appeared on 26th.  Helcystogramma rufescens and Archer's Dart were noted on 27th.  The following night Acleris holmiana and Small Emerald were seen. The 29th was a bumper night with two Agdistis bennetii, Oak Eggar, Gothic and the best of all - a single worn Scarce Black Arches.  It had unfortunately been battered by all the Large Yellow Underwings.

Migrant totals for the month were four Plutella xylostellas (Diamond-backs), four Ostrinia nubilalis (European Corn-borers), one Scarce Black Arches, six Dark Sword-grass and 82 Silver Ys.    

The first trap night of the month was 2nd with Satin Wave, Sharp-angled Peacock, Tawny Shears and Twin-spotted Wainscot the highlights. 

Three Nomophila noctuella (Rush Veneer) on 3rd constituted the first for the year.  Other immigrants that night included 17 Plutella xylostella (Diamond-back), five Silver Y and a worn Tree-lichen Beauty.   Amazingly another really fresh green Tree-lichen Beauty was trapped on 4th with a third worn specimen on 9th.  Two Platytes alpinella, Purple Thorn, White Satin, Dog's Tooth, Crescent and Webb's Wainscot were all trapped on 4th.

Tree-lichen Beauty
Tree-lichen Beauty © Matthew Deans

Following a recent run of records, a single Ethmia bipunctella appeared on 6th with the UK BAP species - Square-spotted Clay (9 were recorded during the season).  The security lights produced four Plain Pugs and a single Ash Pug.  Single Sandhill Rustics were picked out amongst the Flounced Rustics on 9th and 10th.  Another good micro appeared on 10th with two individuals of the rare migratory pyralid Conobathra tumidana to light.

I was joined by Lee Gregory and Tony Prichard on the night of 11th running two Skinner traps on The Point in addition to the usual Robinson trap on campus.  It was rather windy but interest was provided by two more new micros for the site: Epiphyas postvittana in the traps and a single Melissoblaptes zelleri at the security lights.  Lee also identified Lesser Cockroach. A very early example of The Sallow appeared on 15th.  The pyralid Pempelia genistella was a nice find on 16th - one I had only previously seen on the south coast.  The Robinson trap contained an Ant-Lion on 17th which was more exciting than the moth catch that night!  The second Pretty Chalk Carpet of the year came to light on 18th with a fresh specimen of The Delicate.

Conobathra tumidana
Conobathra tumidana © Matthew Deans
Delicate © Matthew Deans

I was then away for a week on the Bilbao mini-cruise and didn't trap again until 30th.  There was a huge reduction in species diversity and numbers.  The highlights were the first Hedge Rustic and Feathered Gothic of the year.

Migrant totals for the month were 28 Plutella xylostellas (Diamond-backs), six Udea ferrugalis, 10 Nomophila noctuellas (Rush Veneers), two Conobathra tumidana, seven Dark Sword-grass, 38 White-points, one Delicate, three Tree-lichen Beauties and 346 Silver Ys.    

Two Udea ferrugalis and a single of the spindle-feeding Nephopterix angustella were taken on the first of the month.  Small numbers of Dark Sword-grass, White-point and Silver Y were trapped most nights but moth numbers were generally very low in the first week of the month. New for the year on 7th were Centre-barred Sallow and Lunar Underwing.  This date also produced another Hummingbird Hawk-moth by day on the Buddleias.

The UK BAP species Lunar Yellow Underwing was new for the site when singles were trapped at light on 8th and 10th.  The second brood of L-album Wainscot appeared on 10th with three fresh specimens at light.  The species was then recorded regularly throughout the month with a total of 59 by the month's end.  This was clearly incredibly exciting and posed the question - is it breeding on site?  I then started to undertake surveys for the species in other areas of the Suffolk coast.    

Strong winds mid-month kept catches low but interest was still provided by The Brick trapped on 12th.  New resident species for the site included Large Wainscot on 14th and Brown-spot Pinion on the 15th.  An exciting find on 17th was a Dusky-lemon Sallow which had been attracted to the security lights.  The second Webb's Wainscot and second Red Underwing for Bawdsey were in the Robinson that night.

L-album Wainscot
Dusky-lemon Sallow
L-album Wainscot © Matthews Deans
Dusky-lemon Sallow © Matthew Deans

Immigrants during this period included single Pearly Underwings on 14th, 15th, 19th, 23rd and 27th with two on 22nd.  A Scarce Bordered Straw was taken at light and a Dark Spectacle attracted to the security lights on 18th.  All three species were new for the site. The night of 22nd was certainly worthy of mention with 211 moths trapped of 28 species including Feathered Brindle and Deep-brown Dart - both new to Bawdsey.

Another day sighting of Hummingbird Hawk-moth was made on 23rd nectaring at Buddleia.  This date also saw the introduction of a second trap - a Skinner trap - being regularly operated on site.  Three Blair's Shoulder-knots were trapped that night in the Skinner and were new to the site.  Other autumnal species appearing in the last week of the month included Mallow, Satellite, Chestnut, Beaded Chestnut and Barred Sallow.  A single Black Rustic was another welcome new species for the site on 26th. 

With warm muggy conditions on 27th, I decided to run a third trap.  The three traps provided a bumper catch of 421 moths of 53 species.  The highlights were a late Mullein Wave, three Black Rustics, 14 L-album Wainscots, one Lunar Yellow Underwing and a Pink-barred Sallow.
Migrant totals for the month were three Plutella xylostellas (Diamond-backs), nine Udea ferrugalis, three Nomophila noctuellas (Rush Veneers), eight Dark Sword-grass, seven Pearly Underwings, 27 White-points, one Scarce Bordered Straw and 76 Silver Ys.    

Mendlesham Green Records - July to October 2004 - Steve Woolnough

One of the more obvious features of this summer has been the poor weather, which unfortunately restricted 'mothing' activities. The trap was run on only 13 nights in July, 12 in August and 11 in September. Nonetheless, some good garden records were still obtained.

A Large Tabby (Aglossa pinguinalis) was found resting on a beam in the house on 6th July. More conventionally, a Leopard Moth, the only one of the year, was nice to find in the trap on 14th. Two days later on 16th July, the first White-point of the year occurred. There was then to be a gap of one month before this species appeared again, but was then regular, with one or two on the 8 dates the trap was run between 16th August and 7th September. A new species for the garden was Lunar-spotted Pinion, which first occurred on 19th July, and then on another 5 dates up to 7th August.

Two of the rarer pugs also showed in July, with a Haworth's Pug on 21st and a Yarrow Pug on 30th. Along with other recorders, Least Carpet was also found late in the month, with one on 23rd and three on 30th. The micro Eudonia pallida occurred between 21st July and 6th August, with a maximum of 5 on 30th July. This latter date also saw what turned out to be the record number of species recorded in the garden on a single night of the year, with a total of 84 being identified.

Another noteworthy micro was Agriphila selasella. Supposedly a salt-marsh specialist, it was recorded on all seven nights the trap was run between 1st to 15th August, with a maximum count of c15 on 6th. Beautiful China-mark (Nymphula stagnata) occurred on three days around the same time, with singles on 4th, 10th and 15th. The final August micro worthy of mention was Pyrausta purpuralis, which was found on five dates between 6th and 21st of the month, with a maximum count of just four on the 6th.

The last of the commoner 'hawks' were seen on 4th August, with both Privet and Poplar appearing. A Red Underwing was found on the outside of the trap on the morning of 14th August, whilst Dark Sword-grass occurred on 21st and 27th of the month. The busiest August night in terms of species was 67 on 1st of the month.

September saw the usual tailing off of species numbers, with a maximum count of 36 on 2nd although 26 on 26th was worthy of comment. One of the species on this latter date was a Convolvulus Hawk-moth, which was found resting on the outside of the trap shortly after dark. This record closely mirrors that from last year, when the species was found in the trap on 20th of the month. Of the usual September suspects, a good total of nine Dusky Thorn occurred on 4th.

Running the trap into October produced a Brick on 7th. Red-line Quaker appeared on 14th and 18th. A late Large Yellow Underwing also occurred on 14th whilst the first Dark Chestnut was seen on the latter of these two dates. Somewhat surprisingly, given the species was recorded nine times on five dates last year, Merveille du Jour has not been seen. In a similar vein, after several records in August and September of last year, no Humming-bird Hawk-moth garden records were forthcoming this year.

At the time of writing (24th October), the trap has been run on 95 nights so far this year, with a total of 319 species having been recorded.

Moths at Ipswich Golf Club - July to September 2004 - Neil Sherman

Recording at the Golf Club didn't begin until the 11th, as I was away on holiday for the first week and the weather was rather poor too. Although the weather for the rest of the month during the day was warm, overcast and humid, these conditions overnight were perfect for mothing. Trapping was undertaken on 13 other nights, with over 100 species being recorded on virtually all occasions. The best night was the 14th, when 180 species (so far!) were identified, the biggest total for one night at the site. The total for the month was 357, only 2 more than the total for June showing how good that month was.

Macros of possible interest included the following. The Goat Moth was seen twice (on 13th and 20th), making it three records this year. I have been testing a pheromone for this moth in conjunction with a light trap nearby for ALS; so initial results seem to show that it works. The Festoon continued to appear, with 6 records, maximum 6 on the 14th. Another moth having a good year is Least Carpet, with records on the 14th, 25th (3), and 27th (3). Small Emerald (13th) and Yarrow Pug (17th) both appeared once. I have only recorded Yarrow Pug as larvae before here so it was good to trap an adult. Sharp-angled Peacock also reappeared on the 27th with 3 more on the 29th. Lunar Yellow Underwing was seen up on the heathland on the 14th, when 3 were trapped. Purple Clay also appeared on that night, with another on the 15th. Scarce Silver-lines appeared once, as usual on the 20th.  The Shaded Fan-foot was recorded 6 times throughout the month. There was a good run of new macros for the site this month, with 5 species recorded in the traps. These were: White Satin (25th), Striped Wainscot (15th), Reed Dagger (21st), Dark Spectacle (13th) and what was the best moth of the month a Dotted Footman (29th). This was almost certainly a migrant individual, with another being caught at Minsmere RSPB reserve on the same night. It was also Ipswich Golf Club's 900th species of moth!

Dotted Footman
Dioryctria schuetzeella
Dotted Footman © Neil Sherman
Dioryctria schuetzeella © Neil Sherman

Micros of note here included Morophaga choragella (on the 14th and 15th second and third records). Niditinea fuscella (the Four-dotted House Moth - 17th), Ypsolopha vittella (on the 25th and 28th - first records). Eulamprotes wilkella (also on the 25th and 28th + 29th). Monochroa palustrella (on the 21st),  Acleris logiana (3 records of probable second brood individuals). Epinotia solandriana (3 records), Rhopobota naevana (the Holly tortrix, 3 records first noted last year), Gypsonoma minutana (5 records, maximum 5 on the 27th another species first noted last year). Donacaula forficella (20th), Achroia grisella (the Lesser Wax Moth on the 27th). Pempelia formosa (on the 28th, a new site record). 4 species of Dioryctria were seen during the month - the 2 common species plus D. sylvestrella (on the 14th, 27th and 28th) and the second site record of D. schuetzeella (14th).

There were 2 daytime observations of note this month. A candidate for moth of the month (before the Dotted Footman turned up) was the Yellow-legged Clearwing, seen on the 20th, flying around in one of my polytunnels! The other species seen, again another new site record was an Aglossa pinguinalis (the Large Tabby), found trapped in a spider's web inside the workshops on the 28th.

Yellow-legged Clearwing
Yellow-legged Clearwing © Neil Sherman

Good trapping conditions continued into the first half of August, with some hot, humid nights producing more counts over 100 species. The best night was during this period, with 153 species on the 2nd. Numbers dwindled from mid month, coinciding with some wet weather. I was also away on holiday for the last week, so the last trapping night was the 19th.

Macros of possible interest seen included the following. Oak Eggar (3 records, one of these being a male seen during its afternoon flight). Tawny Wave appeared twice, on the 3rd followed by 2 more on the 8th. This species is now annual at this site. Least Carpet continued its run from last month, with 2 appearing on both the 2nd and the 8th. As with last year, a couple of species appeared that I would not normally expect at the time of year so could have been second broods - both Satin Wave (8th, 15th) and White Ermine (2nd) were trapped. There was one record of Chevron (on the 2nd). Clouded Magpie appeared on the 8th, the second record for the site. Sharp-angled Peacock was trapped 5 more times, this has made me wonder whether I have overlooked it in the past or has it suddenly spread?  A Garden Tiger was trapped on the 1st, in the 11w actinic trap, this being the fourth site record. Lunar Yellow Underwing only appeared once, on the 11th, but more should be seen in September. 3 wainscots of note were seen - The Twin spotted (on the 15th and 16th), the Brown-veined (on the 8th) and a Webb's (also on the 8th). A new macro appeared on the very warm night of the 8th, a Dog's Tooth, probably a wanderer from the coast.

Micros continued to provide some interest. Caloptilia populetorum was seen on the 15th, now annual at the site. Ypsolopha vittella appeared again after the first records last moth, with 2 on the 8th. Epermenia falciformis, noted on the 11th, was the second site record. Another second site record was Mompha propinquella on the 8th. The first Acleris sparsana was seen on the 11th, showing that autumn is on the way! Another saltmarsh species to go with the Dog's Tooth was Eucosma tripoliana, a new site record on 3 dates (1st, 10th and 11th (3)). Foodplant is Sea Aster. Another new species was Agriphila selasella, which appeared 6 times with a maximum of 25 on the 15th. The Nationally notable Platytes alpinella appeared once on the 8th. There were 2 more records of Achroia grisella, the Lesser Wax Moth, another species that was recorded for the first time last year. Dioryctria sylvestrella also continued to be recorded, with 3 records. Yet another saltmarsh moth was seen on the 3rd, Agdistis bennetii. This has been seen at this site a few times in recent years. Another plume of more interest, also on the 3rd was an Euleioptilus carphodactyla - this species has been noted at a few other sites in Suffolk for the first time this year so may be on the verge of colonising.
The most significant record of the month was the discovery of the Horse-chestnut leaf miner Cameraria ohridella on the 5th - this being the first county record (see the last newsletter for details). I also saw it again on the 11th, this time on all 3 Horse chestnut trees in the Golf Club car park.
Another potentially significant moth was seen on the 19th. It resembled a Pale Mottled Willow in size and shape, but without the dark spots along the costa, being unicolorous pale brown over the whole wing. It could be a Porter's Rustic (which would be a county first), but it requires more detailed examination to be sure - more news will appear once known!

Not a moth, but a beetle also aroused some interest this month. Another Sawyer beetle (after the first last year) was trapped on the 10th, at another location on the site.

Clouded Magpie
Epermenia falciformis
Clouded Magpie © Neil Sherman
Epermenia falciformis © Neil Sherman

Moth numbers declined during September, with some spells of bad weather reducing the number of trapping opportunities. Light traps were run on 11 nights, which along with larval records, leaf mines, evening searches and daytime observations produced a list of 140 species. Light trapping produced the following records of possible interest at this site. Red-green carpet appeared 4 times, with a maximum of 4 on the 27th. This has been the best year ever for this species at the site. Spruce Carpet appeared on the 16th (2). The first Streak of the autumn was seen on the 27th, along with the first records of Mottled Umber on the 26th, 27th and 29th.

Lunar Yellow Underwing was trapped another 3 times after others earlier in the year. A moth that hasn't appeared in typical numbers is the Feathered Gothic - 28 have been recorded, while last year there were 77. This could be due to the grass (the larval foodplant) being burnt out last summer. Heath Rustic appeared twice (6 moths). Deep-brown dart was trapped 5 times. Centre-barred sallow was caught twice, these being good records for this site where it appears to be uncommon. A single Black Rustic was trapped on the 26th, this being the second site record. Micros noted included Zelleria hepariella (28th), Acrolepia autumnitella (29th) and Depressaria pastinacella (26th), all new site records. Acleris sparsana and Acleris rhombana both appeared regularly at the end of the month.

During the second half of the month, I started searching patches of Ivy blossom and over - ripe blackberries after dark to see what moths could be recorded by these methods. This has produced some interesting records both of species and of numbers of some moths.

Herald Sycamore Moth larva
Herald © Neil Sherman
Sycamore larva © Neil Sherman

The best night of bramble searching was the 29th, when 14 species were noted. Moths seen included Herald, Buttoned Snout, Oak Nycteoline plus Sallow, Pink-barred Sallow and Barred Sallow. For Ivy, the best night was the 22nd when 12 species were seen. Buttoned Snout, Pink-barred sallow, Red-green Carpet and an Old Lady are a few of the moths noted on the flowers. What has also been of interest has been the totals for some of the moths seen, compared with numbers at light. Here are some examples (figures are the totals for the month):

Moth species
At light
On Ivy
On brambles





Red-green Carpet


Lunar Underwing



What can be seen from this is that there is a lot more Chestnut and Brick out there compared to what the light traps show! The reverse seems to be true for Lunar underwing, with not many at Ivy or brambles but lots more at light. I shall be continuing the evening searches until both finish for the year, so watch this space for more results.

Eye Moths - early August to mid-October 2004 - Paul Kitchener

August had started very well, but, not surprisingly, was unable to keep the excitement going throughout the month, although the numbers of moths caught remained high.

New micros for the garden were Epermenia falciformis on the 4th, Depressaria pastinacella on the 17th (my first autumn record for Eye of a moth which was seen frequently at my old address, only ½ mile away), and Chrysoesthia drurella and Acleris emargana, both on the 9th. Other notable micros during the month have included Monochroa palustrella (three this month, the first garden record of this distinctive species being as recent as June), Epiblema foenella (sixth record), Clavigesta purdeyi (the fifth garden record, all of which have been in August), Calamatropha paludella (fourth of the year, a typical number), one of the five Udea ferrugalis of the year, Nomophila noctuella (four this month; the years 2001 - 2004 producing totals of 6/6/155/5), Orthopygia glaucinalis (a total of nine this year following last year's blank) and Nephopterix angustella.

No new macros were seen after the Gypsy Moth of the 8th, it being rather typical autumn fare with several species being much scarcer than last year. In this category must go Small Square-spot (2002 - 2004 totals being 223/48/7), Setaceous Hebrew Character (606/2985/495), Cabbage (39/380/7), Common Wainscot (80/382/75), Angle Shades (28/90/16, the first one of the year not being seen until 11th August!) and Burnished Brass (54/167/67).

It has however been the best year ever (out of four years at this site) for Dark Arches, Uncertain and Frosted Orange. Vine's Rustic has also had another excellent year (18/130/128).

Small Scallop was recorded for only the third time, on the 8th and a Dark Spectacle on the 16th was the third this year but only the fourth garden record. Silver Y numbers this month were virtually the same as last August, Dark Sword-grass was only recorded twice (on the 9th and 15th) as was White-point (five in all this year), on 18th and 21st (2).

The highlight of this month was a Duponchelia fovealis that came to the MV on the 27th. That mild night also saw only the third Alucita hexadactyla of the year and the latest Small Fan-footed Wave that I've ever recorded. Also new for the garden, indeed for Eye, was the plume Amblyptilia acanthadactyla on the 2nd. The only record this year of Acleris sparsana was on the 18th and Endothenia quadrimaculana was seen for the second time this year, on the 10th, the first garden record being in June. Single Udea ferrugalis on the 17th and 19th was a poor showing. The night of the 3rd produced my first ever September record of Nephopterix angustella and only my second September record of Euzophera pinguis. The first garden Acleris emargana was only last month but, as so often happens with new species, the second soon followed, with one on the 22nd.

Duponchelia fovealis
Duponchelia fovealis © Paul Kitchener

The only new macro for the garden, this month, was a Pinion-streaked Snout on the 3rd. It has been a very good autumn for the Mallow with up to five being caught on most nights, the first appearing on the 22nd. A Grey Pine Carpet on the 25th was, amazingly, only the second site record and a Feathered Ranunculus on the 26th, the third record. Apart from single White-points on the 6th and 10th and the fourth Dark Spectacle of the year, on the 9th, everything else has been pretty average. There was a single Grey Shoulder-knot, three Orange Sallows and ten Silver Ys. A Dun-bar on the 7th was, however, my first September record and the first Lunar Underwing on the 7th matched my earliest ever, in 1996.

Early October
Forty-two species have been recorded this month, up to and including the night of the 12th, a rather average figure for recent years. The night of the 2nd was more interesting than most with Plutella porrectella (the first seen in October), Udea ferrugalis, the second Feathered Ranunculus of the year, Satellite (rarely seen in the autumn and only the second this year!), Silver Y and probably what will be the last Burnished Brass of the year.

Other micros have included Clepsis consimilana on the 9th and two more Endothenia quadrimaculana (third and fourth this year) on 1st and 3rd. 

It has been the best year, since moving here in 2001, for Green-brindled Crescent, a moth I could never tire of seeing but which was much more common in my old garden. The first turned up on the 2nd. Another moth that has enjoyed a good year is Rosy Rustic and it was still being caught up to the 10th (it was seen in November in the last two years). The only record of Large Wainscot was of two on the 1st and the last Silver Y, so far, was on the 9th. Other macros worth mentioning perhaps are the Flame, seen on the 10th and my latest ever, Grey Shoulder-knot, a better showing of Blair's Shoulder-knot this year and only two Merveille du Jour (and not until the 9th).

Red and Yellow-line Quakers have started off in reasonable numbers, the first ones being on the 8th and 9th respectively but the sallows have been hard to come by and Pink-barred out-numbering Sallow by about ten to one. The eagerly awaited (not) Epirritas arrived on the 9th when a November moth graced the trap and I knew immediately that the season would be over all too soon.

Just to prove, yet again, that you never know what to expect with moths, on this cold, grey day (15th) a Humming-bird Hawk-moth has just appeared, trying the remaining flower heads in the garden border. I wish it well.

Moths at Rendham - mid-April to September 2004 - Matthew Deans

One of the highlights of the second half of the month was the trapping of single Scarce Tissues on 20th and 21st - the first garden records (the species was also new to Bawdsey a few days later, see write-up). Another new species that doesn't often come to light - The Mullein - was trapped on 25th.  Other more regular species seen included: Early and Purple Thorns, Lunar Marbled Brown, Muslin, Least Black Arches, Chocolate-tip and Pale, Pebble, Swallow and Lesser Swallow Prominents by the month's end.

Another Scarce Tissue was noted on 5th with a Powdered Quaker.   A Waved Umber was trapped on 6th.   I was then away on holiday in Poland for a week. My return from Poland saw Pale Tussock, Treble Lines and Rustic Shoulder-knot out in good numbers.  A single V-Pug appeared on 17th, the same night producing Lime Hawk-moth - the first hawk of the year. Another garden rarity is Great Prominent - one was trapped on 20th along with a Poplar Hawk-moth.  Micros started to pick up with Phtheochroa rugosana an interesting species recorded on 25th along with the first Privet Hawk-moth of the season.

The highlight of the month was the Toadflax Brocade which came to light on 28th - only the second county record.  It was almost certainly a wanderer from coastal populations.  A single Eyed Hawk-moth and a Beautiful Golden Y were recorded the same night. A Cream Wave (new for the garden) and Tawny Shears were taken on 29th with an Orange Footman (also new) and Dark Spectacle on 31st.     

Toadflax Brocade
Toadflax Brocade © Matthew Deans

The trap was first run on 3rd - a night which produced four Large Nutmeg, Small Angle Shades and Alder Moth. UK BAP species are always great to record - Buttoned Snout - was a nice addition to the garden list on 7th with one on the edge of the Skinner trap.  A handful of Cream-bordered Green Peas were also trapped this week.  Hot-on-the-heels of the first Orange Footman in May, the second appeared on 8th.  The 8th also saw three Pine Hawk-moths in the trap - the highest ever catch.

During the middle of the month some cracking moths were recorded with a Green Arches (new for garden) and the first Plain Golden Y of the year on 13th with Flame Carpet and Water Ermine (third garden record) on 14th.  A couple of rarely recorded garden tortricids included Lozotaenia forsterana and Pseudaryrotoza conwagana on the 16th with a Small Clouded Brindle. Cold and misty conditions were unwelcome on 21st but a Puss Moth nearly made it to the trap and was discovered a few yards away in the grass and constituted another garden first.  A couple of good micros on 30th were Dioryctria sylvestrella and Ostrinia nubilalis (European Corn-borer).  Also recorded were Short-cloaked and Orange Moths and a Lunar-spotted Pinion.   

Puss Moth
Puss Moth © Matthew Deans

The first trap night of the month was 3rd with Garden Tiger, Broad-barred White and Dingy Shears the most interesting of the catch.  The first Small Emerald and Muslin Footman of the season were trapped on 6th with the only Blue-bordered Carpet of the year on 8th. Two Lilac Beauties on 14th were a welcome sight together with a Dotted Fan-foot (new for garden) and a single Udea ferrugalis.  The first White Satin (two specimens) appeared the same night.  The following night produced The Lackey - one which is getting rarer and The Miller. Three Lunar-spotted Pinions were trapped on 16th (a total of 14 were trapped during the summer).  A Lesser Cream Wave was another new macro for the garden, appearing with Oak Eggar and Peach Blossom on 22nd.

The Robinson trap was run very occasionally at Rendham when it was not in use at Bawdsey.  Only the second Old Lady for the site was trapped by this method on 25th, a night which also produced a Double Lobed. Two specimens of The Olive were taken on 27th.  Good numbers of the Rendham residents were trapped during this period with three Magpie and four White Satin on 29th.  A single Limnaecia phragmitella also appeared on 29th.

The month opened with two Dioryctria sylvestrella trapped on 1st and the second Double Lobed of the year.  The UK BAP species Square-spotted Clay first appeared on 2nd (12 were trapped this month).  Easterly winds brought a Kent Black Arches from the coast to the Rendham trap on 4th and a Dog's Tooth on 6th - both were garden firsts.   A second Dog's Tooth appeared on 9th with an Ethmia bipunctella.

Rare in garden terms were Bulrush Wainscot on 11th, White-line Dart on 12th, Birch Mocha on 14th and Bordered Beauty on 16th.  A Flame Carpet was trapped on 18th and then I was away on the Bilbao mini-cruise for a week. My return saw a significant drop in numbers with the most exciting catch a Treble-bar on 28th.

A good start to the month was a Red Underwing at M.V. on 1st, Campion on 2nd and a Nephopterix angustella taken on 3rd.  The Gold Spot has in my experience had a terrible year, one at M.V. on 10th was the sole record of the year.  This night also produced a Sharp-angled Peacock, seven Burnished Brass, five Silver Ys and seven White-points. Micro numbers really dwindled but a new addition was the plume - Crombrugghia distans on the 14th. Most of the usual autumnal moths appeared on cue, the scarcer species Deep-brown Dart and Large Wainscot were trapped on 25th with two Orange Sallows on 27th.

Contact details

Please send any Suffolk moth records, moth articles or other queries to myself (preferably via email) at :

3 Powling Road, Ipswich, Suffolk IP3 9JR
Email :

Suffolk Moths web site (home of the SMG):

SMG Email Discussion Group:

Essex County Moth Recorder : Brian Goodey, 298 Ipswich Road, Colchester, Essex. CO4 0ET. E-mail:

The Newsletter

This is the newsletter for the Suffolk Moth Group. It is available for download from the Suffolk Moths website and subscribers can receive email notification when new issues are produced. Paper copy are available at a £2 per annum subscription. It is usually intended for four issues to be produced a year although the precise time of production varies. I am always on the look out for articles that will be of interest to moth recorders in Suffolk, although field and site reports should be topical. Please contact me for publication deadlines as this varies with each issue and tends to be flexible.


Anglian Lepidopterist Supplies

ALS Robinson trap
ALS Robinson Trap (better by design)
Designed with larger, more robust rain guard.
Larger rain collecting area inside, no more wet egg cartons.
Available in 80w or 125w MV set up and with optional
extra cable to control box.

ALS Heath trap
15w Heath Trap. More output more moths!
Made from polypropylene weighing only 1.5kg (portable model).
Far more robust than the old type Heath Trap.
All electronics are fully wired and fully waterproof including
end caps to the bulb, correctly colour coded leads, internal fuses
 and photo cell all fitted as standard.

ALS Skinner trap
ALS Skinner Trap range.
Available in MV or actinic set up. Portable or mains with actinic.
Rain Guards also available.
All the ALS 125/80w control boxes have the choke and capacitor fully
wired and firmly mounted onto a metal plate to allow safe transit
without the unit coming away from the mounting.
All weatherproof glands are fitted as standard.

Full range of products including electrical kits, specimen pots, nets, generators, bat detectors, pond nets, malaise traps and dissecting equipment. Visit us at our web site for full details or phone for a price list.
 PO Box 232, Northwich Delivery Office, CW8 3FG.
For friendly advice phone us on 01263 862068/01606 783371 or e-mail
Proprietors: J Clifton & A Wander