Suffolk Moth Group Newsletter

Issue 38 - Autumn 2005

Edited by Tony Prichard

In this issue


This newsletter is a bit late in appearing due to problems with my computer at home, with it  finally passing away a few weeks ago. I now have a new PC up and running but with a backlog of several weeks work. Due to the delay in getting this issue out some of the articles planned for this issue will be postponed until the next issue. Many thanks to those who submitted articles for this newsletter - please keep them coming in.

Now is the time to think about sending in those moth records for the year. As always, if you could submit records in electronic format then that would make my life much simpler. If you have any queries about preferred formats for records then please get in touch, I can normally handle most formats of data.

If any one is interested in Lunar Yellow Underwing larval surveying or if you know of a piece of acid grassland in the Sandlings then please get in touch. Surveying started early this year in October with the mild weather possibly giving the larvae a head start. Although it is early days yet it would appear that it has been a good year for the moth. Counts at Tunstall Common have already matched the very high counts of the previous survey.

I will shortly be preparing the events list for 2006 if you have any suggestions for field meetings then please let me know. I will be arranging to return to Hinderclay Fen as this looked a very promising site and with North Cove producing the highest species list of the year that will be another site worth re-visiting. Thanks to Keith Knight for arranging access to the site at Belton, this has certainly helped the species numbers for this under-recorded square. I would be particularly interested in hearing of any sites in the south-west of the county as this area remains particularly under-recorded. The only consolation was that it was just as poorly recorded in Morley's time. I have an inkling though that this may be an area where we could possibly turn up more sites for Four-spotted or White-spotted Pinion so an area well worth investigating

Merry Christmas

Indoor Meeting 18th March 2006 - Tony Prichard

This year's indoor meeting is being held at Bucklesham Village Hall on the 18th March 2006. Doors will open at 10.15am and the meeting will start at 11.00am. After a review of the recording in the county in 2005 by myself and a break for lunch the afternoon will be taken up with members' presentation/exhibits. The meetings normally end up finishing by about 3-4pm.

Bucklesham Village Hall is not far from the Nacton A12/A14 roundabout to the east of Ipswich. From the A12/A14 roundabout take the minor exit after the A12 exit but before the A14 Felixstowe exit. This exit is signposted to Bucklesham and leads via a single track road to Bucklesham Village. At the end of this road you will reach the village, at the T junction turn right into Bucklesham Road. Take the next right turn into Levington Lane and the village hall is a short distance down the lane on the right.

A map of the location can be viewed by following this link. The OS Grid Reference for the hall is TM242417. If you need any more detailed instructions in how to get there then do get in contact with myself.

As in recent years there will be no formal speaker, so the day's entertainment is dependent on members bringing along items of interest. There will be a slide projector and digital projector for those with slides or digital presentations and tables for those with exhibits. Refreshments will be provided but not lunch - I would suggest either bringing your own packed lunch or there is a nearby pub in the village.

I hope to see you there.

Clancy’s Rustic Platyperigea kadenii, a moth new to Suffolk - Matthew Deans

Clancy’s Rustic P.kadenii is a widespread species breeding in almost every European country.  It was first recorded in the U.K. at New Romney in Kent as recently as October 2002; the moth was named after its captor – Sean Clancy.

Further records followed in 2003 and 2004 mainly in the Dungeness, Kent area but also other sites along the English south coast - especially Kent.  I first managed to view a live specimen at the home of Sean Clancy in September 2004 and had got my eye in by viewing further set specimens at the annual BENHS exhibition in London.

The events of 2005 took everyone by surprise for there was either a mass invasion, or the species has colonised the Dungeness area, as captures were made virtually nightly during late September through to mid-October.  Some 60+ were recorded in the Dungeness area over the first fortnight of October.

Winds from the southeast on the night of 11 October 2005 produced a good selection of moths at my regular trap site at Bawdsey.  On emptying the trap on the morning of Wednesday 12 October I spotted a small grey moth with clear brown stigmata sitting proudly on an egg tray and immediately secured it in a pot.  Closer examination and the setting of the moth confirmed my initial suspicions that the moth was indeed Clancy’s Rustic P. kadenii.

Clancy's Rustic Clancy's Rustic
© M Deans - Clancy's Rustic © M Deans - Clancy's Rustic

The identification has been discussed very recently in Atropos magazine so I won’t detail too much here.  Clancy’s Rustic has maybe three possible confusion species – Platyperigea proxima, Pale Mottled Willow Caradrina clavipalpis and Lorimer’s Rustic Paradrina flavirena.

This Suffolk record represents the first capture of the species away from the English south coast, a first for East Anglia and first to be recorded north of the River Thames.  

I personally believe that the Clancy’s Rustic P. kadenii was a primary immigrant from the Continent rather than a wanderer from the Kent ‘population’.   Other immigrant moths recorded that night included two Delicates Mythimna vitellina and singles of Dark Sword-grass Agrotis ipsilon, Udea ferrugalis and Plutella xylostella.

Waring, Townsend & Lewington, Field Guide to the Moths of Great Britain and Ireland.
Websites visited: Atropos, Migrant, Moths of Dungeness, Planet Thanet. and Portland Bird Observatory.

Dissection News - Jon Clifton

In August I was sent two abdomens in a pot by Matthew Deans from Bawdsey with a label saying “possible Garden/Coast Dart”, not seeing the moth at first hand I dissected them and they both were males. Eliminating the possibility of Coast Dart Euxoa cursoria by the asymmetrical shape of the saccular extension was easy but attempting to eliminate the possibility of White-line Dart E. tritici from Garden Dart E. nigricans proved more problematical as referring to text and literature failed to mention the main criteria for separating one from the other, in fact diagrams in Moths and Butterflies of Great Britain & Ireland (MBGBI) by Heath & Emmet seemed to differ slightly to those in The Genitalia of the British Noctuidae by FN Pierce. With little or no text in MBGBI that book was put back on the shelf and referral to Noctuidae Europaeae was consulted. In Volume 1 it mentions that the genitalia of all three species in question are illustrated in MBGBI (!) and under tritici it goes into great lengths to separate from the similar E. crypta (a close European species not found in Britain…...yet).  In Volume 3 of the same series under text for nigricans it did give some text but none that was really useful for my problem other than the fact the aedeagus can show one, two or no cornuti meaning the possibility of the amount of cornuti present was of no use. Back to Pierce as in here it did stab at describing the juxta of the two which seemed to infer that there may be some difference, in nigricans it described it as deeply cleft, the base of the opening being round and in tritici as being not deeply cleft. With this theory in mind it was then onto to the microscope viewing the genitalia of both species that I had in my collection. There did in fact seem to be quite some difference to the shape of the juxta so I approached Brian Goodey to see if he had experience of these two and could confirm my work. Brian very kindly dissected several of his nigricans and came back with the conclusion that yes, the best feature for separating nigricans from tritici was the shape of the juxta.

With photographs here illustrating these differences it should now be possible to separate the two if posed with an all dark Euxoa. I would describe the juxta in tritici as appearing to be cut with a knife and in nigricans its shape is like a key hole.

E tritici juxta
E. nigricans juxta
© J Clifton -E. tritici showing the deep cleft to the juxta © B Goodey - E. nigricans showing the rounded base the juxta

Other news comes from the Minsmere reed bed survey. Amongst a small series of microlepidoptera handed onto me was an example of the marjoram feeding Gelechid Thiotricha subocellea which must have had a good year as several have been caught in Suffolk and Norfolk this summer and was new to VC25. In the picture below which was left in situ the odd shape of what I believe is the ostium (rather like a punch bag) is visible.

Thanks must go to Brian Goodey for chopping his prized specimens, confirming my thoughts and providing a much better photograph than my nigricans, and also for reading a draft copy of this article.

Thiotricha subocellea genitalia
© J Clifton -Thiotricha subocellea

Jon Clifton, Norfolk,

My Introduction to Moths - Clive Moore

I suppose like many moth enthusiasts interest starts with bird watching at least it did with me. Being a long term member of Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory in Kent, on my birding visits there I became increasingly fascinated by the on-site moth trapping and recording, although I wasn't at all familiar with the species being caught and it all looked a potential minefield. My next step was to purchase Skinner's moth guide, which opened up a new world, I didn't realise that the British Isles hosted so many moth species, not appreciateing then the even greater variety of micro moths present. Armed with my Skinner's book I managed to identify moths frequenting my rural East Kent garden, including the quite common Yellow Shell, which I used to see regularly but could never put a name to.

At my place of work, a large concrete producing plant on the edge of Folkestone, was a stretch of 'no man's  land' separating the plant form the M20 motorway, this land was a strip of chalk grassland that I took upon myself to look after, a wide variety of chalk-loving wild flowers grew on this strip, including most years over 100 Bee Orchids., attracting many butterfly species as well as a number of moths including Burnet Companion and Mother Shipton and with the aid of Goater's British pyralid moth book, another must have publication, many grass moths were identified.

Being an RSPB member I also spent time at Dungeness Bird Reserve and looking forward to their monthly moth meetings which were generally very well attended, illustrating the rising interest in Lepidoptera. At the meetings moths were brought in from other parts of the area including Beckley Wood, East Sussex, so a wide variety of specimens were available to study including; Satin Lutestring, Red-green Carpet, Yellow-barred Brindle, Orange Moth, Scarce Merveille du Jour, Frosted Orange, Rosy Marbled, Waved Black, Olive Crescent, White-line Snout, Striped Hawk-moth and local specialities Pygmy Footmand and Sussex Emerald. I could contain myself no longer and finally purchased a Skinner moth trap for use in my garden and first set it up on a warm end of June night, I was in and out of the house until the early hours of the morning totally absorbed by the activity round the light, I would never have believed the variety and numbers of some species attracted to a garden, even my near neighbours became interested, particularly in the hawk-moths, mostly Elephant.

Interesting records numerically on single night trappings were 36 Heart and Dart, 26 Flame Shoulder, 47 Common Rustic in early August, 14 Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing and 76 Setaceous Hebrew Character in nearly mid-August, 68 Large Yellow Underwing early September and 20 Lunar Underwing late September. Frustratingly, due to work commitments I could only use the moth trap at week-ends, with weather permitting of course.

I retired and moved to Suffolk last year and through Butterfly Conservation made contact with the Suffolk Moth Group, who I have found most helpful. Since March this year I have been involved in a constant moth trapping programme with the National Trust at Dunwich Heath, I feel I have gained much more knowledge and will look forward to presenting a moth report on what I consider to be a most interesting and fruitful year.

Ectoedemia herringella, something to look for this winter - Tony Prichard

I thought it would be worth reminding members that it will not be long before the leaf-miner Ectoedemia heringella will be mining holm oak leaves. As this turned up in the county earlier this year it would be interesting to see if it has spread further. For pictures of the mines and distribution map see Issue 36 of the newsletter.

The main period of mining appears to be from February to April. There are two other lepidopterous leaf-miners on holm oak. The first, Phyllonorycter messaniella, forms a blotch mine so should not be confused with E. heringella. The main confusion mine is that of Stigmella suberivora, which also forms a gallery mine. The main differences between the two are that the heringella mine is much more contorted ('squiggly') and often there are numerous mines per leaf. If the larva is present in the mine then in heringella you should be able to see a series of black dots along its body. There are a good selection of photographs on the leaf-mine website (

If you think you find any of these mines then could you pop a few leaves in an envelope and send them to myself (with details of locality and date).

Suffolk Moths Tourists in France, the Return - Neil Sherman

After first heading to France in 2003 to sample moth trapping abroad, Graham Bull and myself decided that it was time to return in early June 2005. On this trip we were also joined by Matthew Deans and Lee Gregory, who, after hearing of the great time we had in 2003 thought they would like some foreign moth action too!

Our destination was again Robin Howard's house at Las Descargues, in the Lot area of France. After a short flight from Stanstead in the morning and lots of tales from Graham and myself of the exciting things we saw just in the car park on arrival last time, we were a bit disappointed after touchdown - it was cloudy and cold so nothing was seen! Once up at Robin's it started to rain heavily, continuing right through till the start of the first night. Despite the damp conditions, good numbers of species of moth still appeared in the 2 garden Robinson traps, and this trend continued throughout the 4 days we were there. Conditions for trapping were not as good as in 2003 (it wasn't as warm overnight, with an average of 12 degrees over the holiday period), but with around 100 species every night this was still good for early June in the UK. In addition to the garden traps, others were placed in different habitats within the local area. We looked at areas of birchwood, heathland, wildflower meadows and valley oak/chestnut woodland.

As with our last visit, a good list of macro moths that are either rare migrants or residents in the UK were seen. Here is a brief list of a few of them. Map-winged Swift (once only, just getting started as we saw a few more on our 2003 visit in late June), Pine-tree Lappet (2 seen), Essex Emerald (seen most nights, extinct in the UK), Spurge Hawk-moth (2 on one night), Scarce Merveille du Jour seen on a few occasions, including one to an outside light), Passenger (not uncommon), Pale Shoulder (trapped on one night and also one was found floating in the swimming pool one evening, still alive and it perfect condition!) and what must be one of the prettiest European moths the Beautiful Marbled (2 seen).

Graham in meadow
© N Sherman - Passenger
© N Sherman - Graham in meadow

Micro moths were fewer in number, of possible note included Pseudotelphusa scalella (a species seemingly just colonising Suffolk), Choristoneura hebenstreitella (one of this large cerasana-like tortrix seen), Evergestis limbata (2 seen, migrant in UK) and Diasemia reticularis (one seen).

In addition to running moth traps, we went out during the day to other sites to look for wildlife, including day-flying moths. At Rocamadour, a wonderfully picturesque town built into a rocky crag, we looked at areas of limestone grassland and scrub. The dominant flower in these meadows was a species of bindweed, and this supported large numbers of Spotted Sulphur, another species sadly extinct in Britain. Hummingbird Hawk-moths were also numerous. A visit to a river valley with oak woodland around it produced lots of Chimmney Sweeper moths as well as Frosted Yellows around every patch of Broom, yet another extinct species in Britain.

Diasemia reticularis
Spotted Sulphur
© N Sherman - Diasemia reticularis
© N Sherman - Spotted Sulphur

Some of the other interesting wildlife species seen during these excursions included lots of orchids, Crag Martin, Short-toed Eagle, Red and Black Kites, Whip Snake (caught by myself!) Field Crickets (common everywhere and very noisy!) and an impressive Wart-biter Bush Cricket (at Rocamadour). Combine all these wildlife sightings with lots of the local wine and excellent company it turned out to be a very enjoyable trip!

I have been deliberately brief on our sightings throughout this article as I hope to cover this holiday in more depth at the forthcoming SMG indoor meeting in the spring. Hopefully this article may tempt you to travel to Europe yourself to see moths (and other wildlife), it's a great opportunity to see new species that you may have to trap a lifetime for to see in Britain!

Information on Robin Howard's moth and wildlife holidays can be found at his web site:

An unprecedented influx of Golden Twin-spot Chrysodeixis chalcites into Suffolk - Matthew Deans

During mid to late October 2005 a remarkable influx took place into Suffolk of Golden Twin-spot Chrysodeixis.chalcites.
There were at least 16 specimens involved, as detailed below in chronological order:

Dunwich Heath 2 at M.V. light 16 October - D Sutton and C Moore
Dunwich Heath 1 at M.V. light 17 October - D Sutton and C Moore
Bawdsey Manor Estate 1 at M.V. light 18 October - M Deans
Landguard Bird Observatory 1 at M.V. light 18 October - N Odin
Landguard Bird Observatory 1 at M.V. light 19 October - N Odin
Eye 1 found on wall of a building 20 October - P Kitchener
Bawdsey Manor Estate 2 at M.V. light 21 October - M Deans
Bawdsey Manor Estate 4 at M.V. light 22 October - M Deans
Bawdsey Manor Estate 1 at M.V. light 23 October - M Deans
Dunwich Heath 1 at M.V. light 28 October - D Sutton and C Moore
Denham 1 at M.V. light 28 October - N Whinney

Earlier in the year single Golden Twin-spots C. chalcites were recorded in Suffolk at Landguard Bird Observatory on 4 September (N Odin) and Rushmere St. Andrew (J Higgott) on 6 September. 

Prior to 2005, I could only trace reports of five individuals having ever occurred in Suffolk (although a thorough search of the SNS transactions has not been undertaken). The first County record I could find comes from Kessingland in 2001 and I traced three records from 2003 with a further singleton in 2004.

Although Suffolk appeared to receive the lion’s share of the records, the influx was not just restricted to the County.  Singletons were trapped in neighbouring Essex on 20 October (C. Gibson) and 22 October (B. Fisher).  In Norfolk a possible was recorded at Wells-next-the-Sea in October (although acuta was not eliminated).   A late single after the main influx, was recorded at Blofield, Norfolk on 9 November (J Lansdell).  Two were recorded at Tynemouth, Tyne & Wear (on 26/10 and 02/11) representing the first County records there.

Golden Twin-spot
Golden Twin-spot
© M Deans - Golden Twin-spot
© M Deans - Golden Twin-spot

On the south coast, at least 12 were recorded throughout October in Kent (although this figure will surely rise, as further records are submitted) with a further singleton in West Sussex.   The only specimen to penetrate well inland made it to Bedfordshire on 21 October.

At the same time an influx of the similar Tunbridge Wells Gem Chrysodeixis acuta occurred with seven individuals appearing in the south-west between Dorset and the Isles of Scilly.  There was a clear west/east divide between acuta and chalcites – perhaps not surprising as the former originates from the Canary Islands and North Africa and the latter from France and the near continent.  However one must not forget that acuta was first recorded on the east side of the U.K. in that Kentish town - Tunbridge Wells!   Also we have a record here in Suffolk (Nowton, 1986, R Eley) so I hope that all observers recording chalcites had a good look at their specimens and check for acuta.

It will be interesting to see if any chalcites appear next autumn as a result of breeding by this years’ influx. They seem to be quite an adaptable species feeding able to feed on Sage, Viper’s Bugloss, Chrysanthemum, Celery, Tobacco and Tomato amongst other herbaceous plants.

All the Suffolk records mentioned above still await validation by the Suffolk Moth Panel.

Websites visited: Suffolk Moth Group, Atropos, Migrant, Moths of Dungeness and Planet Thanet.

Field reports - Tony Prichard

Moth Night at Aldeburgh-Thorpeness - 2nd August 2005

A mid-week return visit to one of our regular coastal sites between Aldeburgh and Thorpeness. Of particular interest was the recording of a singleton of White-mantled Wainscot. This is the first time that we have recorded this species at this site, although we have recorded it not too far way at the North Warren RSPB reserve in the vicinity of Thorpeness Mere.  With just a singleton being recorded it is rather hard to be sure whether it is breeding in the immediate vicinity or has wandered from known haunts nearby. It looks as though a return visit in 2006 is on the cards to see if we can have more success.

In all103 species were recorded on the night with other species of interest including Monochroa palustrella, Pediasia contaminella, Pima boisduvaliella, July Highflyer, Magpie, Sharp-angled Peacock, White Satin Moth, Garden Tiger, Kent Black Arches, Dog's Tooth, Tawny Shears,  White-point, Reed Dagger, Webb's Wainscot and Blackneck.

Moth Night at Upper Hollesley Common - 4th August 2005

Another mid-week moth night at this heathland SWT reserve, where it appears little recording has been done in the past. Nick Mason had organised this meeting and had invited a few of the locals from Hollesley along. Nick has managed to stir up some  local interest in moths with his recording efforts in the area and there was a good selection of moths to see in the early part of the evening. After the locals had had their fill there was just Matthew Deans, Nick and myself left and with a sudden downpour we all ended up getting a soaking.  A specimen of Oidematophorus lithodactyla, plume moth, appeared at the light during the evening and was readily identifiable with its tufts of hair scales on the legs. I had noticed that there was some of the foodplant, Fleabane, in the vicinity when we set up, so I'll be back to look for the larvae next year.

Other species of note recorded were Monochroa cytisella, Aristotelia ericinella, Athrips mouffetella, Platytes alpinella, Anania verbascalis, Pempelia palumbella, Tawny Wave, Small Scallop, Plain Wave, Chevron, Sharp-angled Peacock, White-line Dart, Small Rufous, Green Silver-lines. In all 117 species and a reasonable selection of heathland species.

SMG Moth Night  - Hinderclay Fen - 5th August 2005

This was the first visit of the group to run moth lights at this fen in the Waveney Valley. Conditions were rather cool so the site did not live up to expectations of a big species list considering the wide variety of habitats present - oak and birch scrub, fen, reed-beds, alder carr and acid grassland. Despite a rather slow trickle of moths to the light we notched up 77 species, including Athrips mouffetella, Euzophera pinguis, Sharp-angled Carpet, Canary-shouldered Thorn, Chocolate-tip, Garden Tiger, White-line Dart, Square-spotted Clay, Brown-veined Wainscot and Nut-tree Tussock. This is a site that we will be planning on returning to in 2006.

Hinderclay Fen
Hinderclay Fen
© A Prichard - Hinderclay Fen
© A Prichard - Hinderclay Fen

Moth Night - Tunstall Common - 6th August 2005

We were rather unlucky on the night at this heathland site. Weather forecasts had not given any mention of rain and initially there were a good few moths coming to the six lights we had running. With Metendothenia atropunctana, Eudonia truncicolella, Dioryctria sylvestrella, Narrow-winged Pug, Canary-shouldered Thorn, Chocolate-tip, White-line Dart, Archer's Dart and White-point being amongst the 74 species recorded. With a feeling of deja vu from the Upper Hollesley night the heavens opened and we were given a thorough soaking despite huddling under the oak trees - that was the end of that night's recording.

Moth Night - West Stow - 10th August 2005

Continuing the series of mid-week moth nights as weather conditions seemed good we headed for the Brecks, with an overcast sky it was likely that temperatures would stay up even in the Brecks. One of the species we were looking for was Neglected Rustic, we had no luck with that one but there were plenty of other species that kept the interest up.  More commonly seen as a leaf-mine on Rosebay Willowherb one of the traps next to a clump of the foodplant attracted an adult of Mompha raschkiella - a colourful micro.  A single Cydia coniferana appeared in one of the traps next to a pine plantation, not too surprising as the larvae of this infrequently recorded in Suffolk species feed on conifers. A night with plenty of activity at the lights, including some of the species that we associate with the Brecks, and a respectable species total of 149 species. Other species recorded included Aristotelia ericinella, Phalonidia manniana, Celypha cespitana, Endothenia ericetana, Platytes alpinella, Udea lutealis, Grass Emerald, Tawny Wave, Small Scallop, Oblique Striped, Dark Spinach, White-spotted Pug, Bordered Pug, Narrow-winged Pug, Clouded Magpie, Yellow Belle, White Satin Moth, White-line Dart, Six-striped Rustic, Olive, Small Wainscot, Twin-spotted Wainscot, Small Rufous and Nut-tree Tussock

SMG Moth Night at Orfordness - 12th August 2005

For this overnight stay on this National Nature Reserve we positioned lights in three areas not covered in our previous recording visits. Covering vegetated shingle, saltmarsh, wet meadows and reed-beds we fared rather better than in previous years, helped by the more favourable weather conditions - traps were not in danger of being blown off the site. Six traps were left out over night and inspected in the morning. Having been caught out by Aphelia viburnana during our visit to Havergate Island it was easy to pick out specimens of this moth in the traps. Good numbers of Sandhill Rustic were also recorded along with other saltmarsh/vegetated shingle specialists - Scobipalpa nitentellaEucosma tripoliana, Pima boisduvaliella, Ground Lackey, Star-wort, Saltern Ear and Crescent Striped. Marbled Green was recorded attracted to the lighted windows of the volunteers' building - this must surely be a resident on the site. Other species of interest out of the 83 species recorded were Aspilapteryx tringipennella, Mompha propinquella, Bryotropha domestica, Agriphila selasella, Garden Tiger, Dog's Tooth, Tawny Shears, Hedge Rustic and Reed Dagger. Thanks to Dave Cormack for putting us up for the night and ferrying us around.

Moth Night at Bawdsey Saltmarsh - 17th August 2005

A rather quiet night at this mid-week moth night aimed at increasing the species list for the Bawdsey area with some saltmarsh specialists. There were still a few species of interest recorded, including futher records of Aphelia viburnana and Sandhill Rustic. Of the 44 species recorded others of note included Eucosma tripoliana, Agriphila selasella, Agdistis bennetii, Ground Lackey, Sharp-angled Carpet, Dog's Tooth, Reed Dagger, Southern Wainscot, Saltern Ear and Twin-spotted Wainscot

SMG Moth Night at Trimley Marshes - 19th August 2005

This meeting was cancelled due to bad weather

SMG Moth Night at Easton Broad - 26th August 2005

This meeting was arranged to target Rush Wainscot but there was a bit of mix up in the arrangements and we ended up recording in another part of the broad to that originally intended. This was probably for the better as we thought that given the poor weather conditions it would be better to run traps in more sheltered areas. Activity around the lights was slow and the temperature started dropping rather rapidly. A trap placed in a rather exposed area of acid grassland did manage to pick up Lunar Yellow Underwing. With a continuing trickle of moths to the lights we managed to rack up 85 species by the end of the evening and these included Monopis monachella, Mirificarma mulinella, Epinotia ramella, Adaina microdactyla, Treble-bar, Dusky Thorn, Maple Prominent, Small Square-spot, White-point, Southern Wainscot, Crescent and Bulrush Wainscot.

Moth Night at Cavenham Heath - 27th August 2005

This was another meeting where we were trying to target Neglected Rustic. A fine start to the evening but with rapidly dropping temperatures on this exposed Breckland site we were not out for that long.  The Neglected Rustic proved elusive again and the total of 54 species was rather low. The site appears to have good potential with large areas of heather, birch and oak scrub and acid grassland and nearby areas of fenland habitat. Species recorded included Pediasia contaminella, Eudonia truncicolella, Nymphula stagnata, Narrow-winged Pug, White-line Dart, Archer's Dart, Lunar Yellow Underwing, Six-striped Rustic, Feathered Gothic and Frosted Orange.

Moth Night at Tangham Forest - 28th August 2005

One of our favoured sites at the moment, that can be relied on to produce long species lists and no hornets to date. This time we managed to reach 112 species in all and in contrast to the rather lower 54 species from the previous night. Although to be fair this site has a good mixture of habitats with heathland, birch scrub, wet woodland, fenny areas and pine plantations. Some of the highlights from the night were Caloptilia robustella, Ypsolopha dentella, Aristotelia ericinella, Mirificarma mulinella, Anarsia spartiella, Eupoecilia angustana, Metendothenia atropunctana, Pyrausta despicata, Cryptoblables bistriga, Dioryctria simplicella, Diorcytria sylvestrella, Birch Mocha, Clay Triple-lines, Flame Carpet, Spruce Carpet, White-line Dart, Archer's Dart, White-point, Bulrush Wainscot and Oak Nycteoline.

SMG Moth Night at Belton - 2nd September 2005

A rather quieter night than recent ones at this site in the far north-east of the county. Despite the lack of activity some useful records were made for the area with 69 species in total being recorded. Evergestis extimalis, a notable pyralid, was rather unexpected as I tend to associate this species with the Sandlings to the south or the Brecks. A wandering Agdistis bennetii plume, normally associated with coastal saltmarsh habitats, also appeared at the lights. Other species included Ypsolopha scabrella, Ypsolopha parenthesella, Hypatima rhomboidella, Epiphyas postvittana, Flame Carpet, White-spotted Pug, Poplar Hawk-moth, White-line Dart, Yellow-barred Brindle, Six-striped Rustic, Old Lady, Crescent, Twin-spotted Wainscot and Webb's Wainscot

Moth Night at Snape Warren - 3rd September 2005

A return visit to this heathland site managed by the RSPB. Signs of site management were evident with plenty of birch and gorse scrub clearance. This limited the choices for finding a sheltered spot to run the sheet light. With 60 species by the end of the evening we did rather well. It was a bit unusual to have a Red Underwing flying around the sheet light on a heathland site. Species recorded included Aristotelia ericinella, Cochylis hybridella, Crambus hamella, Cryptoblabes bistriga, Pempelia palumbella, Oak Hook-tip, Sharp-angled Peacock, White-line Dart, Dark Sword-grass, Lunar Yellow Underwing, Dog's Tooth, Feathered Gothic and Dark Spectacle

SMG Moth Night at Tunstall Common - 9th September 2005

We avoided a further soaking at this second visit to Tunstall Common, although there was quite a bit of drizzle during the early part of the evening. Given the numbers of larvae of Lunar Yellow Underwing that we had recorded at this site in the spring it was surprising that Lunar Yellow Underwing was not more in evidence and this makes me suspect that this species may be rather shy of light. In all 69 species recorded, a respectable total for this time of year, including Depressaria pastinacella, Eupoecilia angustana, Cochylidia implicitana, Crambus hamella, Pempelia palumbella, Dioryctria sylvestrella, Agdistis bennetii, Peach Blossom, Treble-bar, Latticed Heath, White-line Dart, Archer's Dart, Square-spotted Clay, Heath Rustic, Hedge Rustic, Feathered Gothic, White-point, Centre-barred Sallow, and Frosted Orange

SMG Moth Night at West Stow Country Park - 16th September 2005

Cold weather meant that we spent most of the time sitting around waiting for moths to arrive at this Breckland site and had only recorded 11 species by the end of the night. Rather a dramatic change following the previous run of moth nights. Searching around the lights at the visitor centre seemed to be just as productive as the MV lamps. The complete species list for the night was Agonopterix arenella, Agonopterix ocellana, Teleiopsis diffinis, Pine Carpet, Grey Pine Carpet, Autumnal Rustic, Square-spot Rustic, Sallow, Angle Shades, Flounced Rustic, Pale Mottled Willow

SMG Evening Meeting at Hadleigh Riverside - 23rd September 2005

A rather disappointing meeting that was originally planned as an evening looking for moths at ivy blossom and blackberries. Most of the ivy blossom had not yet opened and the blackberries were mostly shrivelled up. Four species were recorded in all - Phyllocnistis unipunctella mines in poplar leaves by the car park and Emmelina monodactyla, Angle Shades and Snout recorded later by torchlight.

SMG Evening Meeting at Ickworth Park - 30th September 2005

Due to poor weather the meeting at Ickworth Park was cancelled and we tried the Hadleigh Riverside area again. Even though more of the ivy was in blossom results were just as disappointing with only Common Marbled Carpet, Angle Shades, Snout, Pink-barred Sallow and Lunar Underwing.

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.

News from Woolpit (Aug – Oct 2005) – Paul Bryant

I touched briefly on the good start I had to August in my last write-up when I mentioned Least Carpet and Oak Eggar being added to the garden list. More was to come as the month of August went by as several more species were ‘apparently’ recorded for the first time. I say apparently because I can’t help wondering how I missed some of them last year.

In total the trap was out on fourteen nights, mostly at the beginning and end of the month, with a roughly 50/50 split between 125w MV or 11w Actinic. Average species counts were generally in the low 20’s but did peak at 40 on 17th and 49 on 18th. Amongst the more regular visitors Pretty Chalk Carpet (1 on 2nd), Lesser Swallow Prominent (1 on 17th & 2 on 18th), Dark Spectacle (1 on 17th - with a Spectacle for comparison), Lychnis (singles on 8th 17th & 18th), Black Arches (1 on 17th) and a Small Waved Umber (18th) were all new site records.  Of the pyrales and micros recorded, Elophila nymphaeata Brown China Mark (1 on 18th), Monopis weaverella and Caloptilia populatorum (1 each on 9th), Clavigesta purdeyi (1 on 16th), Scrobipalpa costella, Eudonia profundana and Epinotia nisella (1 of each on 18th) were also new. A scattering of Lime-speck Pugs, Magpie Moth’s and the odd Iron Prominent were the best of the rest. 

Spectacle and Dark Spectacle
Caloptilia populatorum
© P Bryant - Spectacle and Dark Spectacle © P Bryant - Caloptilia populatorum

September saw the trap out on eleven nights with species counts remaining relatively high to start with (38 on 3rd and 30 on 5th) but soon falling away to the low 10’s come month end, with a distinct bias towards the more autumnal species. Large Yellow Underwing numbers in the garden peaked at 65 on 5th. Of more interest, 2 Pale Mottled Willow were noted on 3rd, another Magpie Moth on the 5th and a Dusky Thorn on the 20th. New site records included Small Blood-vein (1 on 3rd), Rosy Rustic (2 on 7th), Frosted Orange (1 on 20th) and Brindled Green (1 on 27th). 

October started off in very much the same way that September had ended with low species counts and little to shout about. In fact, very little trapping took place until the last week of the month when a period of prolonged southerly winds and mild weather saw me trapping virtually every night in the hope that must just catch something good. Things weren’t looking too promising – just the odd Brindled Green, Red-line Quaker and Yellow-line Quaker – until the night of the 27th when I caught a Streak (new for the garden) and my third Feathered Thorn of the week. However, the following night was to prove even better despite the trap only containing three moths. After a bit of confusion one moth was identified as a worn Yellow-line Quaker, the second (no problems here!) a Silver Y and the third; which I knew was something good, a Scarce Bordered Straw. My thanks must go to Matthew who just happened to be passing my door that morning and was able to call in and confirm the identification for me.

Scarce Bordered Straw
© P Bryant - Streak © P Bryant - Scarce Bordered Straw

Feathered Thorn
© P Bryant - Feathered Thorn

As I write this I fear that there will be very little to day about November, suffice to say that the trap has spent all its time safely packed up in our dry, warmish shed! Not to be outdone thought, I’ve managed to clock up an Epirrata sp at the window of the gym and I have also been out-and-about taking grid references for Cameraria ohridella sightings. From what I’ve seen so far I think it’s fair to say that this newcomer to our shores appears to be extremely widespread in the north-west of the county as I have seen the tell-tale mine on virtually every Horse Chestnut I’ve stopped and looked at on my regular route(s) to a from work. I have also seen it on at least one tree just north of Newmarket on the road to Ely, right on the correct side of the Suffolk/Camb’s border. 

Happy trapping

Eye Moths, August to November 2005 - Paul Kitchener


Unexceptional weather during the second half of the month resulted in fairly average mothing but there were some highlights.

The actinic is not used as frequently as the MV during the summer but I do like to use it now and again as it will often attract something different or at least produce more of some species. I was very pleased therefore with my first Eye record of Old Lady on the 19th. The only other occasion that I’ve seen this moth was also in an actinic trap.

Old Lady
© P Kitchener - Old Lady

Micros of local interest were the fourth site record (second of year) of Ypsolopha dentella on the 20th, Elophila nymphaeata (two of the three this year on 29th) and Nephopterix angustella (seven between 17 and 31 August, bringing the year total to a best ever ten). Pleuroptya ruralis has had it’s best year ever at this site, the numbers for 2002 to 2005 being 154/495/522/748. This year also saw my latest record for this moth (7th October).

The night of the 30th was the warmest for about three weeks and although nothing new was seen I was well pleased with a Treble-bar (second of the year but only the third site record), Dingy Shell (third of the year), Currant Pug, Vapourer and Dark Spectacle (the tenth and last one of the year). The only Humming-bird Hawk-moth of the year was also in the garden during daylight hours of the 30th.

A Sharp-angled Peacock on the 29th was the only one of the year. This moth was first recorded only last year when an amazing total of nine appeared. The first Dusky Thorn of the autumn turned up on the 11th, about a week later than average and only twelve were seen in all.

Although I missed two weeks trapping at the beginning of September as I was on holiday it seems evident that the decline of this moth in Eye continues. The yearly total of individuals caught from 1998 to 2005 is 53/113/96/53/31/17/13/12.

As mentioned in earlier reports, another moth that has declined, at least over the previous four years, is Small Square-spot. It may be making something of a recovery however as, although only one was seen this spring, the final tally for the year reached twenty four (last year’s total was seven). Flounced Rustic however remains scarce with only six being seen this autumn though I have my suspicions that this is another moth that may be more attracted to actinic light.

A moth that is in this part of the county traditionally thought to be a migrant may have become established, temporarily at least. White-point numbers have been unprecedented and following the four in June another forty two have been trapped in August and September (the last 26th). Given my absence for two weeks who knows how many more there may have been? It has generally been a poor year for migrants and the pattern of records is not unlike that experienced by Mike Hall, just across the border at Scole (about 3 miles from me), which suggests a local origin.

It has been my worst August, indeed year, on record for Silver Y. Only two were trapped though a few more were seen during daylight hours. With only one more in September and two in October the year’s total stands at twelve.


A Vestal on the 17th, the first night’s trapping since returning from holiday, was my first record for Eye. The weather that night seemed far from conducive for migration so this was a very pleasant surprise.

© P Kitchener - Vestal

The first Mallow appeared on the 18th but numbers were only a quarter of last year’s and the lowest for four years. However, several “September” species had a better year than recently. These included Common Marbled Carpet (three times last year’s total and the most in five years), Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, Brown-spot Pinion and Sallow.

It has appeared to be a relatively poor season for Rosy Rustic and Frosted Orange and Brindled Green remains a very scarce moth around here, one this month and one in October brought the site total to just nine in five years!

Copper Underwing and Mouse numbers have been very low again (just single figure totals for both) and nowhere near the numbers seen during the late 1990’s. This may be due to a change in site, though that seems unlikely for two “common” moths, or as seems more likely these are another two moths that are more attracted to actinic light than to MV.

I believe however that they are genuinely more scarce here nowadays.

The first Merveille du Jour brightened up the trap on schedule (28th) and the total for the autumn reached eleven which is considerably better than the two last year. A Feathered Ranunculus on the 18th was only the fifth site record but it has now been seen for four consecutive years whereas it had only been seen once in six years prior to 2002. Another moth that appears regularly but in very small numbers is Orange Sallow. This year only one was seen (also 18th) but there has never been more than three in a year.

Second generation Burnished Brass were very evident and although the summer numbers had been relatively low the year’s total reached a second best for nine years (2003 producing the most). The last to appear was on 5th October.


October was once again a very productive and exciting month. Some very mild nights with southerly winds during the latter half kept expectations high, though as so often happens in mothing when you expect something you get nothing and it’s the unexpected on the more ordinary night that gives the most pleasure.

Four species this month not only provided first site records but it was also the first time I had seen them in Eye. These were Delicate (15th), Epermenia chaerophyllella, Streak (both 26th) and Crocidosema plebejana (28th).

Epermenia chaerophyllella
Crocidosema plebejana
© P Kitchener - Epermenia chaerophyllella
© P Kitchener - Crocidosema plebejana

© P Kitchener - Delicate

Not surprisingly a few other migrants appeared, somewhat making up for what has been a poor year for them. Five Plutella xylostella this month (two, 10th) brought the year total to seventeen, about the same as last year, but two Udea ferrugalis (29th and 30th) and one Nomophila noctuella (30th) were the only ones of the year. A Dark Sword-grass (6th) was only the second of the year and the last of the few Silver Y this year was on the 27th.

In terms of good luck, the highlight this month, if not the year, must be finding a Golden Twin-spot, during a coffee break, on the wall of the building where I work in Eye (on the 20th). This is only four hundred yards or so from my garden - so near yet so far. If one just happens to turn up at my workplace how many more must have gone undetected?

Golden Twin-spot
© P Kitchener - Golden Twin-spot

Several species appeared later than usual in the mild conditions. The night of the 5th provided latest ever records for Archips podana, Celypha lacunana, Alucita hexadactyla (latest outdoor record) and Brimstone. Others were Pleuroptya ruralis (7th), Orthopygia glaucinalis (second latest site record 16th, there has been one 11th November) and Blood-vein (27th).

Other micros on the wing included Acleris sparsana, nine of which were seen this month and Acleris rhombana (third site record, 4th).

It was good to see a Red-green Carpet on the 28th, almost a year to the day since last year’s first site record. Strangely, Grey Pine Carpet is almost as rare around here as Red-green Carpet, one on the 23rd being only the third site record. My old trapping site, half a mile away, used to turn up double figure counts for this moth nearly every year.

Several late autumn species had a very good season. Blair’s Shoulder-knot and Green-brindled Crescent numbers were the best ever, the latter double last year’s and all between 13th and 28th. Barred Sallow didn’t appear until the 3rd, with the last on 17th, but more were seen than ever before (‘01 - ‘05 totals being 0/4/5/6/27). Large Wainscot has also become more frequent over the last few years; the totals for the same period are 0/1/2/9/17.

I’m pleased to say that all the other expected autumn species showed up in typical numbers with the possible exception of Yellow-line Quaker which has not been seen as much as usual.


Up to now (14th) I have trapped only 4 nights and with frosts more likely (particularly on the low-lying ground here in Eye) I don’t suppose there will be many more opportunities, though you never know. The four species seen this month have included a Sprawler (10th), putting in a welcome appearance for the third consecutive year.

Moths at Ipswich Golf Course, August to November 2005 - Neil Sherman


August was an exceptional month for recording at the site. Although the overall number of species trapped was well down on 2004 (284 for 2005 compared to 355 for 2004), there were some quality moths (more on this later).

Trapping was undertaken on 12 nights, with some gaps mid-month for spells of bad weather. There were no real long hot sunny spells this year, hence the reduction in moths caught. Of the 284 species, there was a fifty-fifty split of 142 macros and 142 micros.

As mentioned above, there were some very notable records of moths, not only for the site but for the county as well.  Firstly, on the warm night of the 1st, a Dark Tussock was trapped. This is the first Suffolk record for over 110 years, and was possibly a wanderer from the south coast. Next, on the night of the 11th, a specimen of Cydia amplana was found in the traps. Not only was this a first for the site (and for me), but it was also the third county record after the first 2 Suffolk records only last year. Finally, on the night of the 31st, when temperatures at the site did not drop below 18 degrees overnight, a Dotted Footman was trapped. This is my second record for the site, after my first only last year.

Dark Tussock
Cydia amplana
© N Sherman - Dark Tussock
© N Sherman - Cydia amplana

Other macros of possible interest included the following. Least Carpet (last for the year on the 2nd), Satin Wave (10th, a second brood individual). Sharp-angled Carpet (31st, first record since 2003). Slender Pug (4th), Ling Pug (3 records of this heathland form of Wormwood Pug). Streak (on the 1st an exceptionally early date!), Kent Black Arches (the second for 2005 on the 1st, this has had a very good year across Suffolk). Dark Sword-grass (2 records only), Lunar Yellow Underwing (3 adults noted this month). It close relative the Lesser Yellow Underwing was again in low numbers this year, in fact all of the underwings have been in much lower numbers. Heath Rustic (the first for 2005 on the 31st), Beautiful Yellow Underwing (3 records, both at light and during the day). White-point (this has been numerous this year in Suffolk, 22 noted at the golf club), Reed Dagger (second site record 1st). Saltern Ear (3 more records), Bulrush Wainscot (adult at light on the 16th, followed by the discovery of a pupa in a reedmace stem on the 23rd). Cream-bordered Green Pea (11th, the only record for 2005), Scarce Silver-lines (also 11th, ending a very good year for this species). Silver Y (very few seen, either at light or during the day).

Micros of possible note included Aspilapterix tringipennella (4th and 5th records for the site). Ypsolopha dentella (one record only on the 18th). Agonopterix subpropinquella (on the 2nd, the third site record), Agonopterix scopariella (on the 1st). Bryotropha domestica (10th, first site record), Mompha propinquella (2nd, the third site record). Argyrotaenia ljungiana (2 records), Endothenia ericetana (on the 4th, first for the site). Epiniotia solandriana (2 records, one was the pale orange form not seen at this site before). Grapholita janthinana (1st, the first record of the adult moth here, recorded as larvae before). Platytes alpinella (18th), Eudonia angustea (also on the 18th). Nomophila noctuella (only record of the year so far on the 23rd). Pempelia genistella (18th, the second for the site after the first only last month). Pyla fusca (11th, second site record) and Amblyptilia acanthadactyla (4th + 11th, the first records for the site).

Amblyptilia acanthadactyla
© N Sherman - Amblyptilia acanthadactyla

Now an annual discovery at the site, a Festoon larva was found on the 31st, the only daytime sighting of note for the month.  


September was not an exciting month for recording, with traps only being operated on 5 nights when conditions appeared suitable. This resulted in a total of 137 species being caught (74 macros and 63 micros).

Macros of possible interest included the following. The Flame Carpet appeared on the 18th, the only record for the year at the site. The Peacock Moth was seen 3 times, these being late records here. The first Mottled Umber appeared on the 18th. Other species included Lunar Yellow Underwing (7 records), Six-striped Rustic (3 on the 4th the only sightings), Heath Rustic (6th and 8th after the first at the end of August). White-point (20 seen to add to the 22 seen in August). Deep-brown Dart (21st), Black Rustic (also 21st), Centre-barred Sallow (4th and 13th, seemingly on the increase here after being virtually non existent a few years ago).

Micros of note were: Caloptilia betulicola (15th), Ypsolopha sylvella (8th), Cochylidia implicitana (6th), Crambus hamella (4th, back after a years absence) and Agriphila latistria (6th). A specimen of Ebulea crocealis was trapped on the 4th, this being a new record for the site. Also of interest were 3 specimens of both Pandemis cerasana and Archips podana, possible second brood individuals.

Crambus hamella
Ebulea crocealis
© N Sherman - Crambus hamella
© N Sherman - Ebulea crocealis

Searching of over-ripe blackberries and ivy blossom begun mid month, but results were disappointing this year. What was due to be a bumper crop of blackberries was damaged by a period of heavy rain, which caused them to rot quickly. The ivy blossom did not really open fully until October. Moths seen by these methods included Buttoned Snout (on 22nd, on bramble) and Epinotia tenerana (3 on bramble on the 18th).

Daytime discoveries included 2 larvae of the Elephant Hawk-moth feeding on Great Hairy Willowherb on the 2nd, Agonopterix ocellana (found while haymaking on an area of fen, only the second record for the site) and most unusually the forewing of a Red Underwing, found under the security lights at the clubhouse (possibly predated by a bird).

Agonopterix ocellana
© N Sherman - Agonopterix ocellana


October 2005 was extremely mild, especially towards the end of the month. This resulted in some interesting sightings of migrants as well as some moths that were 'out of season' (more on this later). Due to the good conditions, lights were operated on 10 nights, resulting in a total of 81 species (50 macros, 31 micros).

Macros of possible note included the following. December Moth (first for season on the 27th). Red-green Carpet (9 records, another good year but not as many as last year). Streak (the 11 on the 23rd was the highest count). Black Rustic (11th, second for the year). Grey Shoulder-knot (10th and 30th). Blair's Shoulder-knot (3 records) and Flounced Rustic (last one for the year on the late date of the 3rd).

Numbers of November moths were amazing this year, probably because there were no spells of bad weather to kill them off. The first high count was on the 26th, when 50 were seen. This was followed by a count of 88 on the 27th, followed by the incredible total of 212 on the 30th! Then the bad weather arrived and killed them all off!

Micros included: Ypsolopha sylvella (second record for the year on the 6th) and Scrobipalpa costella (16th).

Migrants seen were: Vestal (6th and 30th, both attractive pinkish individuals), Udea ferrugalis (10th), Nomophila noctuella (27th) plus the usual Silver Y, Plutella xylostella and White-point.

Moths that I wouldn't normally expect to see in October included: Pebble Hook-tip (30th), Red Twin-spot Carpet (also 30th), Peacock Moth (10th), Tawny-barred Angle (6th), Shuttle-shaped Dart (2 on the 10th), Carcina quercana (11th), Agriphila inquinatella (30th) and Endotricha flammealis (27th). I have heard reports of others seeing unexpected species too so it wasn't just a local phenomena.


Bramble and ivy blossom searching continued, but was again disappointing. Numbers of moths were not as good as last year, but there were a few sightings of interest. The Herald was seen on bramble twice (8th + 16th) along with the only record of Dark Chestnut so far on the 16th. A Buttoned Snout was found on ivy on the 6th, and there were only 4 records of Brick this year also on ivy - there were none at all at light.

The daytime discovery on the 12th of a larval case of Coleophora taeniipennella (on Sharp-flowered Eush) was probably the best record for October, being a new record for both the site and for the Vice county (thanks to John Langmaid for confirming its identification).

Coleophora taeniipennella case
© N Sherman - Coleophora taeniipennella case

No trapping was undertaken at all in November, due to the cold weather. The only moths seen were all daytime discoveries: Scarce Umber (14th), Grey Shoulder-knot (also 14th) and an Agonopterix arenella (23rd, flushed from a shed).

Moths at Bawdsey, May to November 2005 - Matthew Deans


The May Day Bank Holiday weekend produced some of the best trapping conditions.  The month then turned particularly bleak with many cold nights and a northerly airstream.  With a warmer spell arriving for the Whitsun Bank Holiday weekend, including 30 degrees on 27th, some decent mothing was at last to be had.

Traps were operated on 21 nights during the month producing the following:

Interesting micros for Bawdsey included Tinea trinotella (27th), Ethmia bipunctella (26th, third site record) and Phtheochroa rugosana (25th and 31st).

Macros were represented by Mullein Wave on 27th (first record of year), Streamer (three recorded this month), Scarce Tissue (6th), Ash Pug (25th, second site record, confirmed by dissection), Scorched Carpet (6th), Latticed Heath (five trapped this month, most exhibited a dark brown/black and white appearance, looking like the Irish form hugginsi), Chocolate-tip (26th), Northern Drab (ten between 1st and 17th), Powdered Quaker (ten between 1st and 17th) and Mullein (three between 2nd and 16th).

Regular migrant totals for the month were four Plutella xylostella (Diamond-back) and one White-point. 


A fantastic five days mothing in France at the start of the month meant there was no coverage at Bawdsey until 8th.  From mid-month it became distinctly warmer with occasional thunderstorms.

The trap was operated from 8th and for another 17 nights during the month.  The most notable night was 29th with a wave of immigration.

Micros increased with the following most notable: Emmetia marginea (20th), Argyresthia semifusca (20th), Eidophasia messingiella (20th and 23rd), Ethmia bipunctella (20th, second of the year), Platytes alpinella (29th), Anerastia lotella (four between 17th and 30th), Conobathra tumidana (29th, second site record after the two last year - immigrant), Pempelia formosa (22nd and 29th), Sciota adelphella (29th, first site record - probable immigrant), Dioryctria abietella (29th), Nephopterix angustella (22nd) and Agdistis bennetii (24th and 27th).

Macros worthy of note included Rosy Wave (25th, first site record), Satin Wave (recorded six times during the month), Treble Brown Spot (had an excellent year), Pretty Chalk Carpet (17th and 24th), Ash Pug (three further records), Treble Bar (9th and 24th), Sharp-angled Peacock (recorded five times), Puss Moth (22nd, second site record and first live specimen), Poplar Kitten (17th and 24th, first site records), Vapourer (29th), Dotted Footman (29th, first site record - probable immigrant), Orange Footman (three records), Pigmy Footman (29th, first site record - probable immigrant), Water Ermine (four records), Kent Black Arches (30th), White Colon (15th and 29th), Dog's Tooth (two records), L-album Wainscot (16 between 9th and 29th), Mullein (two on 20th), Bordered Sallow (five records), Cream-bordered Green Pea (29th) and Dark Spectacle (two records).

Dotted Footman
Pigmy Footman
© M Deans -Dotted Footman
© M Deans - Pigmy Footman

Regular migrant totals for the month were two Plutella xylostella (Diamond-back), three Ostrinia nubilalis (European Corn-borer), eight White-point and two Silver Y.


High pressure dominated the first half of the month, followed by a cooler more unsettled second half with some heavy rain-fall.

A considerable effort was made this month to operate the traps on 25 nights during the month!

Amongst the micros were Monopis obviella (3rd), Orthotelia sparganella (27th), Ethmia bipunctella (1st), Lozotaenia forsterana (17th), Pediasia contaminella (five records), Schoenobius gigantella (three records), Pyralis farinalis Meal Moth (18th and 23rd), Aglossa pinguinalis Large Tabby (23rd), Aphomia zelleri (29th), Anerastia lotella (two records), Pempelia genistella (increase this year), Sciota adelphella (12th, second site record), Pima boisduvaliella (three records), Dioryctria abietella (1st and 14th), Dioryctria sylvestrella (17th), Nephopterix angustella (1st) and Amblyptilia acanthadactyla (26th).

Sciota adelphella
© M Deans -Sciota adelphella

Macros of note were as follows: Leopard Moth (two records), Ground Lackey (three records), Peach Blossom (27th), Small Emerald (three records), Rosy Wave (3rd, second site record), Least Carpet (recorded 20 out of 25 nights), Fern (four records), Haworth's Pug (two records), Yarrow Pug (15th), Plain Pug (19th), Lilac Beauty (13th), Buff Footman (31st), Garden Tiger (ten records), Water Ermine (3rd and 12th), Kent Black Arches (five records, had a good year), Short-cloaked Moth (four records), Garden Dart (29th and 30th, dissected), Lunar Yellow Underwing (3rd),  White Colon (4th and 7th), Broom Moth (13th), Striped Wainscot (15th), L-album Wainscot (five between 1st and 25th), Shark (19th, first site record), Star-wort (eight records), Reed Dagger (30th), Tree-lichen Beauty (13th, 18th and 26th, the fourth to sixth site records), Dingy Shears (14th, first site record), Lesser-spotted Pinion (two records), Lunar-spotted Pinion (18th), Crescent (13th), Fen Wainscot (nine records), Oak Nycteoline (26th) and Dark Spectacle (four records).

Regular migrant totals for the month were three Plutella xylostella (Diamond-back), five Ostrinia nubilalis (European Corn-borer), five Dark Sword-grass, four White-point and 331 Silver Y.

A single Ant-lion Euroleon nostras was again recorded in the Robinson trap this year on 26th.


It was a very unsettled month with summery interludes.  Traps were run on 22 nights until 23rd.  I was then away in Australia.

Some interesting micros trapped included Ethmia bipunctella (22nd, fourth record this year), Lozotaeniodes formosanus (three records), Clavigesta purdeyi (5th), Scoparia subfusca (10th), Udea lutealis (3rd), Pempelia genistella (four records), Pima boisduvaliella (3rd and 20th) and Nephopterix angustella (17th).

Noteworthy macros were Flame Carpet (10th), Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet (15th), Chevron (7th), Haworth's Pug (two records), Plain Pug (12th and 23rd), Langmaid's Yellow Underwing (2nd, second County record), Square-spotted Clay (seven between 1st and 23rd), Campion (10th), Reed Dagger (three records), Tree-lichen Beauty (18th, seventh site record and fourth of the year), Olive (4th), Sandhill Rustic (a beautifully-marked specimen taken on 15th of the form demuthii resembled the Cornish form leechi), Twin-spotted Wainscot (three records) and Red Underwing (23rd). 

Tree-lichen Beauty
Sandhill Rustic
© M Deans -Tree-lichen Beauty
© M Deans - Sandhill Rustic

Regular migrant totals for the month were six Plutella xylostella (Diamond-back), three Dark Sword-grass, 52 White-point and 98 Silver Y.


I was still away in Australia until 15th.  The second half of the month was generally mild but quite windy.  I managed to run lights on 12 nights.

Most of the micros were over - the only species of note were Udea ferrugalis (Rusty-dot Pearl) (14th and 20th) and Nephopterix angustella (14th).

Resident macros of interest included Pine Carpet (14th), Autumnal Rustic (from 14th), L-album Wainscot (24 between 14th and 30th), Feathered Brindle (six records), Deep-brown Dart (25th and 29th), Black Rustic (five records), Large Ranunculus (27th), Centre-barred Sallow (14th), Orange Sallow (30th), Dusky-lemon Sallow (29th, second site record) and Red Underwing (20th).  

Dusky-lemon Sallow
© M Deans -Dusky-lemon Sallow

Regular migrant totals for the month were two Udea ferrugalis (Rusty-dot Pearl), two Dark Sword-grass, two Pearly Underwing, 28 White-point, one Delicate, one Scarce Bordered Straw and ten Silver Y.


It was a very settled month with southerly and southeasterly airflows bringing good numbers of migrants to the Suffolk coast.  Record temperatures were recorded late in the month.  Traps were operated on a staggering 27 nights - I was exhausted by the month's end!

A few interesting micros were noted this late in the season including Monopis obviella (7th and 28th), Scrobipalpa costella (20th), Acleris sparsana (three records), Acleris cristana (22nd), Eudonia angustea (6th), Palpita vitrealis (23rd, first site record - immigrant) and Orthopygia glaucinalis (three records).

Palpita vitrealis
© M Deans - Palpita vitrealis

Amongst the resident macros were unseasonable records of both Large Twin-spot Carpet and Swallow-tailed Moth (22nd), Red-green Carpet (five records), Latticed Heath (12th - late record), L-album Wainscot (77 between 2nd and 30th), Black Rustic (seven records), Merveille du Jour (five records), Satellite (six records), Dark Chestnut (23rd), Flounced Chestnut (20th, first site record), Clancy's Rustic (11th, new to Suffolk, see separate article), Golden Twin-spot (eight records - see separate article, new for the site) and Red Underwing (4th).

Regular migrant totals for the month were six Plutella xylostella (Diamond-back), 12 Udea ferrugalis (Rusty-dot Pearl), nine Nomophila noctuella (Rush Veneer), one Convolvulus Hawk-moth, 29 Dark Sword-grass, eight Pearly Underwing, 10 White-point, 26 Delicate, ten Scarce Bordered Straw and 61 Silver Y.


A mild start to the month followed by a rapid temperature drop and cold nights.  Traps were operated on only 12 nights, due to the cold weather.

Epiphyas postvittana and Acleris sparsana were still going mid-month but micros were not surprisingly all but absent.

Macros were noted as follows: December Moth (three records), Red-green Carpet (10th), Winter Moth (from 28th), Sprawler (23rd, new site record), Dark Chestnut (6th), Brick (three records, last on 22nd) and Large Wainscot (last on 10th).

Regular migrant totals for the month were one Plutella xylostella (Diamond-back), seven Dark Sword-grass, eight Pearly Underwing and 12 Silver Y.

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): also

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.


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