Suffolk Moth Group Newsletter

Issue 40 - Spring 2006

Edited by Tony Prichard

In this issue

Editorial

Since the last issue the moth season has had rather a turn around with the long spell of warm weather from early June onwards producing some interesting records from around the county. Some spring species seemed to linger on for a long time while lately it would appear that the heat wave has been causing some of the late summer species to emerge early. This has produced some rather unusual mixes of species at moth nights. There seems to be an increasing trend of these odd emergences or extra broods over recent years, which makes the use of flight periods less useful in helping narrow down species during identification.

For this issue the 'Reports from recorders around  the county' section has a good selection of contributors and thanks to those people who sent in reports or records for this section. That does not mean that I would not like see to more contributors to this section. If you don't feel up to writing a piece yourself then just send in a list of species you have recorded and I'll sort out the rest. I would also like to thank contributors of other articles.

Some people have all the luck and when Juliet Hawkins put her trap on for the first time this year on 22nd April she managed to pick up a new macro for the county - a Pale Pinion. This is a species that has been expected in the county and I would expect further records of this species particularly in the west of the county in the near future.

Pale Pinion
Pale Pinion © Juliet Hawkins 2006

A ‘Public Moth Morning’ with a difference - Jon Clifton

Whilst on holiday in France last May at our usual destination of Sauliac-sur-Cele in the Lot Department we had an unusual request by our English neighbours, would we hold a moth morning for the local commune. Catching the moths would be easy as we have a Skinner Moth Trap that lives at Les Travers but relating the moths over in French would be a bit more of a task. Yes, I said, as long as you can organise and be interpreter.

No sooner than this was agreed than notices where placed on bill boards throughout the commune advertising the event along with refreshments to follow! Much to our amusement I soon became known as John Chifton.

John Chifton
© Jon Clifton 2005

Not really knowing if the meet given for 10am at our gite would bring out many local folk we potted up any large and interesting moths that could of escaped before the given appointment. Hawks of various descriptions, colourful prominents and of course Europe’s largest moth, the Giant Peacock Moth would be the pièce de résistance.

We were soon delighted by the response with over 30 local residence including the Mayor and the Château owner with his wife!

French moth morning
© Jon Clifton 2005

The event passed by with huge success with the help of our neighbors fine linguistic skills and  superb aperitifs served afterwards plus the fact I came across literature giving the names of many of the larger moths in French. This was quite an eye opener with some lovely names given, some of which are listed below from our list of moths caught the night before the occasion.

Brimstone Moth La citronella rouillee Rusty yellow
Speckled Footman Le crible The riddle
Drab Looper La souris The mouse
Swallow Prominent La porcelaine The porcelain
Great Prominent La timide Timid one
Tawny Prominent Le dragon The dragon
Pale Prominent Le museau The mussel
Maple Prominent Le capuchon The hooded one
The Spectacle Les lunettes The spectacle !
Four-spotted La funebre The funeral (an interesting name!)
Hebrew Character La gothique The gothic (reflecting its latin name)
Small Elephant Hawk Moth Le petit sphinx de la vigne Small sphinx of the vineyard
Giant Peacock Moth Le Grand paon de nuit The grand peacock of the night (says it all really)

Our favourite translation was Common Swift = La louvette = She wolf. Next time you catch one, look at it head on!!

We hope our French translation is correct with the moth names, if not, can anyone let us know.

Jon Clifton (aka John Chifton... say that in French!)
Hindolveston
Norfolk
jon.clifton@btinternet.com

Evergestis limbata, a Pyralid moth new to Suffolk - Matthew Deans

On the morning of Saturday 24 June whilst emptying my ‘dustbin’ moth trap at Bawdsey, I noticed a familiar looking pyralid perched obviously on one of the egg trays!  As the tray was still inside the trap I grabbed a tube and quickly secured the moth.

Having seen Evergestis limbata twice before (in Kent and France) and being such a distinctive and attractive moth, I instantly recognised my moth as that species.  The Bawdsey specimen represents the first record for Suffolk and was a moth which I had predicted would turn up before too long.

The first British record was as recent as 1993.  The species is currently fairly regular in the Dungeness area and in parts of Sussex it appears to be resident.  I am sure it won’t be too long before this beautiful moth is resident in our County too.

Interestingly the first for Essex was caught two nights later - on 25 June at Kirby-le-Soken by P. Bergdahl with two further specimens taken at the same site on 6 July (per B. Goodey).

Evergestis limbata
Evergestis limbata © Matthew Deans 2006

Potential new macro moths which could occur in Suffolk in the next few years - Matthew Deans

This article is intended as a fun analysis and a look forward into a crystal ball by predicting the moths which could conceivably appear in the County over the next few years. 
 
If I look at the County’s macro moth records since the start of the new century, it is obvious that new species are turning up annually.  I am aware of the occurrence of the following 22 species as new to Suffolk since the year 2000 (I apologise if I have missed any):

2000
L-album Wainscot, Cosmopolitan and Scarce Brindle
2001
Toadflax Brocade
2002
Eastern Nycteoline
2003
Rest Harrow, Hoary Footman, Pale-shouldered Cloud, Tree-lichen Beauty and Marbled Grey
2004
Orange-tailed Clearwing, Jersey Tiger, Langmaid’s Yellow Underwing, Red-headed Chestnut, Porter’s Rustic, Pale Shoulder and Minsmere Crimson Underwing
2005
Many-lined, Clancy’s Rustic and Olive Crescent
2006
Little Thorn and Pale Pinion

Out of the above 22 species, some 45% of these species were recorded at Landguard Bird Observatory - where single new species were added in 2001, 2002, 2004 and 2005 and three new additions were made in the years 2000 and 2003 – not surprising one might say - considering that they run lights virtually nightly from Spring through to late Autumn.

Neil Sherman regularly trapping at Ipswich Golf Course has added three species in the period: Porter’s Rustic, Olive Crescent and Little Thorn in 2004, 2005 and 2006 respectively.

Whilst I have been trapping at Bawdsey virtually nightly during 2004 and 2005, I have also added a single new species to the County list in each year - Red-headed Chestnut and Clancy’s Rustic.

The effort expended trapping on Orfordness has paid dividends with Rest Harrow and Hoary Footman caught in 2003.

Single sites for new species include Barton Mills with Lee Gregory’s discovery of the Orange-tailed Clearwing in 2004, Westleton hosting the first Jersey Tiger taken by Richard Drew, Minsmere Crimson Underwing taken by Robin Harvey at Minsmere (also new to Britain), Pale Shoulder at Blythburgh (D. Wilson) and at Monks Eleigh Juliet Hawkins trapped the County’s first Pale Pinion in April 2006 – this latter species occurred whilst this article was being prepared and was one of my predictions!

With the number of traps across the County increasing year-on-year, it intrigues me to speculate as to what might occur in the future.  The second part of this article identifies what I consider the most likely potential colonists and immigrants that may well make it to Suffolk within the next few years, with an analysis of twenty of these below:

Triangle
With a population in North Essex it has always been a possibility that a dispersing wanderer may cross the Stour Estuary into Suffolk on a muggy summer night.  Recorders in the south of the County keep a look out!

White-barred Clearwing
With the use of pheromones there must be a chance this clearwing will be lured in an area of Alder Carr.  This species is listed for East Anglia in ‘Skinner’ and has recently been obtained in the Norfolk Broads.

Pine-tree Lappet
This very rare immigrant to the U.K. with less than a handful of records was caught most recently at Dungeness in 2004.  It seemed to be quite common when a few of us ventured to France in June 2005!  Will one of these superb moths reach a coastal Suffolk trap in 2006?

Dusky Hook-tip
This immigrant species has now occurred c3 times in Essex and five times at Dungeness, Kent.  British records are becoming more frequent (as more traps are being operated and observers become sharper) so surely it’s only a matter of time before one arrives in Suffolk.  Keep checking those Pebble Hook-tips!

Cypress Carpet
This recent colonist to the English south coast was has become a virtually annual visitor to Dungeness, Kent.  Closer to home there have now been about three records in Essex. 

Light Feathered Rustic
A common species on the shingle at Dungeness – some of the habitat along the Suffolk coast may well support this moth in the future.

Great Dart
The Great Dart has been recorded twice in Kent, both times at Dungeness with the most recent one in 2003.  Keep checking those Turnip Moths for one of these!

Great Dart
Light Feathered Rustic
Great Dart © Matthew Deans
Light Feathered Rustic © Matthew Deans


Splendid Brocade
This species resembling a Bright-line Brown-eye was added to the U.K. lepidoptera list in 2003.  It has now since been recorded in both 2004 and 2005 mainly from the English south coast (including Kent) and inland to Surrey.  With observers aware of the identification it will surely be picked out one day in the County.

Oak Rustic
Another recent colonist to Britain, in 2005 the moth made the hop across to the mainland from the Isle of Wight for the first time and may possibly be resident in Hampshire and Dorset.  There must be a chance that it will appear although this may take a while.

Flame Brocade
This late autumn immigrant species has occurred eight times at Dungeness, Kent.  British records are virtually annual in October/November (mainly on the south coast) although one was recorded inland in Northamptonshire in recent years.  I am confident this beautiful moth will grace a Suffolk moth trap before too long!

Dotted Chestnut
This is a resident species which has been increasing its range eastwards in recent years.  There are recent records from Hertfordshire and Essex and I believe that it may not be too long before it turns up, probably in the south west of the County first.

Southern Chestnut
A recent colonist to Britain, this now resident species is found only on southern heaths in Surrey, Sussex and Dorset.  It has been looked for in Suffolk and not yet found.  However there must be a good chance that it will colonise like some of the southern heathland birds i.e. Dartford Warbler although this may take a few years.

Scarce Dagger
With the last two UK records at Dungeness in 2002 (M Deans, L Gregory & S Read) and 2005 (Chris Roots), this immigrant species may well reach the County one day.  A species which I believe is occasionally overlooked.  A careful check of those Knot-grass and Poplar Grey could pay dividends.  

Double Kidney
This species I have caught regularly in small numbers at Dungeness where appears to be increasing slightly in numbers there.  Keep checking all those specimens of The Olive and you could be lucky!!   

Double Kidney
Scarce Dagger
Double Kidney © Matthew Deans
Scarce Dagger © Matthew Deans

Marsh Mallow Moth
This is a resident species in Kent and Sussex, which has been increasing its range slightly.  We have the food plant here in Suffolk and despite searches the SMG have failed to find the moth.  With the likes of Toadflax Brocade and L-album Wainscot appearing in the County recently, this moth has to be a potential future colonist.

Eastern Bordered Straw
Has occurred at least twice in Essex in recent years and there are old records from Norfolk.  Although a very rare vagrant to the U.K., this has to be a possibility in Suffolk.  The year 2006 has been a record year in the UK for this species but sadly none have yet reached Suffolk.

Eastern Bordered Straw
Marsh Mallow Moth
Eastern Bordered Straw © Matthew Deans
Marsh Mallow Moth © Matthew Deans

Purple Marbled
This attractive species is a regular immigrant to our shores, predominantly the southwest of England.  With the number of light traps being operated in Suffolk at coastal sites there must surely be a possibility this species will turn up.  It has already turned up in Essex.

Small Marbled
This species could easily be overlooked due to its small size.  With the increase in trapping and observer awareness of immigrants, I believe this species will occur one day.

Beautiful Marbled
Added to the U.K. lepidoptera list as recently as 2004, this pretty moth has now been recorded in many southwestern English counties as well as a singleton well inland in Buckinghamshire.  Something must have happened (population explosion on the continent?) for these to suddenly appear.  This moth must be a potential candidate for the Suffolk list.

Scarce Silver Y
A migrant example of this moth is likely to turn up on the Suffolk coast.  It has been recorded in Essex in recent years and elsewhere along the English east coast.

Other species I have considered included Sub-angled Wave, Portland Ribbon Wave, Tamarisk Peacock, Purple Cloud, Brindled Ochre, Passenger and Beautiful Snout.

Obviously there will always be the unexpected – after all who could have predicted the moths new to the County since the turn of the century!  For a bit of fun, submit your top prediction for the next new species to the County to Tony as you read this, for inclusion in the next newsletter and we will see what the overall favourite is!   My personal prediction is Dusky Hook-tip!

Field reports - Tony Prichard

14th April 2006 - Moth Night at Tangham Forest

A visit to our favoured spot in Rendlesham/Tangham Forest, with heathland, wet woodland and conifer plantations in the vicinity. A rather disappointing list of 11 species; Water Carpet, Yellow Horned, Early Grey, Engrailed, Diurnea fagella, Satellite, Common Quaker, Hebrew Character, Clouded Drab, Pine Beauty and Chestnut. Not too surprising though given the poor season prior to this date.

22nd April 2006 - Moth Night at Captain's Wood

Another moth night with a short species list at a time when normally lists should be increasing and some of the more colourful moths should start appearing on the wing. Eight species recorded during a rather cold night; Hebrew Character, Lead-coloured Drab, Brindled Pug, Small Quaker, Clouded Drab, Common Quaker, Eriocrania subpurpurella and Diurnea fagella.

28th April 2006 - Moth Night at Reydon Wood

A week later and things have not improved by much, with just ten species recorded at this ancient woodland SWT reserve. Species recorded were Water Carpet, Early Thorn, Common Carpet, Small Quaker, Hebrew Character, Powdered Quaker, Early Grey, Clouded Drab and Eriocrania subpurpurella.

30th April 2006 - Moth Night at Friday Street

Things were really picking up now - 13 species recorded! A rather brisk wind may not have helped as we sought more sheltered sites for the lamps in this river valley site amongst the pine plantations of Rendlesham Forest. Species recorded were Satellite, Frosted Green, Brindled Pug, Lunar Marbled Brown, Common Quaker, Clouded Drab, Hebrew Character, Great Prominent, Red Chestnut, Grey Birch, Water Carpet, Diurnea fagella and Eriocrania subpurpurella.

5th May 2006 - Moth Night at Bonny Wood

Last year's visit to this site, an ancient woodland SWT reserve, was cancelled due to bad weather and weather conditions were not ideal on this night.  A trap positioned next to a stand of aspen did rather well for numbers of Seraphim. Other species recorded included Hebrew Character, Lunar Marbled Brown, Nut-tree Tussock, Small Quaker, Frosted Green, Common Quaker, Brindled Pug, Purple Thorn, Latticed Heath, Clouded Drab, Chestnut, Powdered Quaker, Engrailed, Shoulder Stripe, Eriocrania subpurpurella and Plutella xylostella. It was quite unusual to find a single Micropterix calthella coming to light, this is normally a day-flying species, found in the flower-heads of buttercups and Marsh Marigold.

12th May 2006 - Moth Night at Holly Grove, Covehithe

Holly Grove is an area of woodland adjacent to Benacre Broad, with pasture and reed-beds in close proximity to the wood. With five lights - two were placed in a wood adjacent to the carr and reed-bed, while the other three were placed in Holly Grove wood itself. A fair selection of spring-time species were seen - Water Carpet, Scalloped Hook-tip, Purple Thorn, Frosted Green, Small White Wave, Grey Birch and Peach Blossom. Other species of note recorded were Acleris logiana, and threefrom the area next to the fen - Reed Dagger, Red-green Carpet and Flame Wainscot.

A moth netted at the sheet light by Neil Sherman during the middle of the session, on first glance appeared to be an Oblique Striped - an unusual moth to see away from the Brecks. On further inspection it turned out to be a Many-lined - now a rare migrant to the country with less than ten recent records.  After the event we found out that another Many-lined had turned up earlier the same day in Norfolk and later in the week a third one was also recorded in Norfolk.  Since then three further Suffolk records have been made at Bawdsey by Matthew Deans, Minsmere by Robin Harvey and Dunwich Heath by Clive Moore et al.

13th May 2006 - Moth Night at Hintlesham Wood

A return visit to this RSPB ancient woodland site on a rather cool night. Only nineteen species recorded, including Coxcomb Prominent, Orange Footman, Scorched Carpet, Lime Hawk-moth, Lesser Swallow Prominent and Knot Grass. The only excitement (if you could call it that) was when we had shut down all the lights and were trying to find our way out of the wood - at night once you have lost your bearings in a wood with no paths it is rather hard to regain them, although after a bit of wandering round laden down with kit we did manage to find the way out.

19th May 2006 - Moth Night at Old Hall Wood

This meeting was cancelled due to rather inclement weather.

26th May 2006 - Moth Night at Hinderclay Fen

A visit to one of the fens on the Norfolk-Suffolk border with fen, alder carr, oak and birch scrub and acid grassland habitats. The rain of the previous days had made the long track to the reserve a little slippy, with a few cars wobbling as they went down and later came back. A fair night but with five lights running a rather short species list indicated that the season was still running late. Forty five species recorded with notables including Poplar Lutestring, Seraphim, Reed Dagger, Small Elephant Hawk-moth and Plutella porrectella.

2nd June 2006 - Moth Night at St Olaves

This night was arranged by Keith Knights with the kind permission of the Somerleyton Estate. Apparently an un-recorded site, with fen and woodland habitats, where we were told nobody had been for at least three years. It looked it as well with tall nettles and thistles clumps scattered over the area. After traipsing over the site through the long prickly vegetation we eventually set up five lights covering both woodland and fens areas. A clear night and dropping temperatures meant that only forty-eight species turned up at the lights, although the cold temperatures did not seem to keep the multitudes of biting midges away. Some of the more interesting species recorded were Orange Footman, Nemophora degeerella, Gold Spot, Nascia cilialis, Birch Mocha and Clouded-bordered Brindle.

8th June 2006 - Moth Night at Lower Hollesley Common

A mid-week visit to one of the groups favourite haunts - an area of heathland in the Sandlings with a conifer and beech wood nearby. Some of the fifty four species recorded were Clay Triple-lines, Orange Footman, Peacock, Cream-spot Tiger, Pyla fusca, Small Elephant Hawk-moth, Marbled Brown, Lobster, Bird's Wing, Barred Red, White-point, Grass Wave and Ochreous Pug.

9th June 2006 - Moth Night at Cavenham Heath

An English Nature heathland reserve in the Breckland area. We set up in the birch woodland in the middle of the heath, which meant we avoided the youths larking about in the planned trapping area and also gained some cover from the breeze blowing across the open heath. Sixty-four species recorded from four MV lights, rather disappointing for this time of year. Possible species of interest included Small Elephant Hawk-moth, Bird's Wing, True Lover's Knot, Clouded-bordered Brindle, Cream-spot Tiger, Orthotaenia undulana, Eulia ministrana, Narrow-winged Pug, Scrobipalpa costella, Orange Footman, White Colon, Pale-shouldered Brocade, Sharp-angled Carpet, Caloptilia robustella, Four-dotted Footman and Grey Carpet.

10th June 2006 - Moth Night at Old Hall Wood

As the visit to this wood planned for earlier in the year was cancelled we decided to slot in this visit to this ancient woodland in the Bentley area.  Unfortunately large areas of the wood have previously been re-planted with conifers. Six MV lights were placed in the areas of the wood with broad-leaved trees, although coniferous areas were never too far away. Weather conditions were rather good and at last we were getting the sorts of numbers expected at this time of year. Over 110 species were recorded on the night. As far as I can recall this is the only site where we have had Alabonia geoffrella to light - twice now with the first time during last year's visit. It makes me wonder how many would be seen flying during the daytime. Species of note included Cochylis nana, Clay Triple-lines, Eulia ministrana, Incurvaria oehlmanniella, Pseudotelphusa scalella, Poplar Lutestring, Beautiful Carpet, Grey Pug, Orange Footman, Orthotaenia undulana, Lobesia reliquana, Tinea trinotella, Lobster, Broken-barred Carpet and Festoon, 

16th June 2006 - Moth Night at Redgrave Fen

On this night we returned to the area of the reserve where we were sited at our previous visit, the western end of Redgrave Fen. A clear sky did not promise well and moth activity at the lights was rather slow initially (although not midge activity) with a later increase in moth activity coinciding with the sky clouding over. This late activity helped boost the species total for the night to over 140 species.  While clearing up the traps at the end of the night a pair of Lime Hawk-moths were found in cop. on a tree next to a trap.  Some of the more interesting species recorded included Nascia cilialis at dusk, Pinion-streaked Snout, Valerian Pug, Reed Dagger, Brahmia inornatella, Schoenobius gigantella, Taleporia tubulosa, Cream-bordered Green Pea, Sloe Pug, Orange Footman, Striped Wainscot, Phlyctaenia perlucidalis, Large Nutmeg, Pempelia formosa, Campion and Stathmopoda pedella.

The star of the night was an Alder Kitten spotted on the sheet by Neil Sherman, that must have arrived when we had been away checking the traps - a very elusive and infrequently recorded moth in Suffolk the exact status of which I am still looking into when I can track down the relevant SNS Transactions..

Alder Kitten
Alder Kitten © Tony Prichard 2006

17th June 2006 - Moth Night at Snape Warren

A slightly quieter night than the previous one at this heathland site managed by the RSPB. Since our last visit most of the birch scrub in the area we record has been removed and good views of Nightjars could be seen flying over the now open heathland. Over 90 species recorded including Cream-spot Tiger, Grass Wave, small Elephant Hawk-moth, True Lover's Knot, Lunar Yellow Unerwing, Pinion-streaked Snout, Fox Moth, Cream-bordered Green Pea, Large Nutmeg, Dark Spectacle,  Orange Footman, Peacock, Small Clouded Brindle, White Colon, Agdistis bennetii (a wanderer from the saltmarshes), Broad-barred White, Lobster and Orthotaenia undulana.

22nd June 2006 - Moth Night at Upper Hollesley Common

A mid-week visit to this Sandlings heathland site managed by the SWT where we managed to record 98 species. Species of note included Grass Wave, Cream-spot Tiger, Shaded Fan-foot, Pempelia palumbella, White Colon, True Lover's Knot, Small Elephant Hawk-moth. Birch Mocha, Brindled White-spot, Barred Red, Eulia ministrana, Anania verbascalis, Bird's Wing, Lunar Yellow Underwing, Broom Moth, Cydia fagiglanda, Epinotia demarniana, Grey Arches, Plain Wave, Orange Footman and Pinion-streaked Snout.

23rd June 2006 - Moth Night at North Cove

After last year's successful visit to this SWT reserve in the north of the county we had high hopes for the site. Unfortunately the weather conditions on the night appeared very similar to Redgrave Fen when we had a slow start to the evening. The forecast mentioned that it would cloud over at some stage in the evening and we hoped that this would produce a similar increase in moth activity. As it turned out the sky stayed clear and the 110+ species recorded was considered a bit on the low side for the six MV lights set up. A Beautiful Carpet was spotted in the path-side vegetation as we were setting up.  Other species of note included Phoenix, Small Seraphim, Phlyctaenia perlucidalis, Pinion-streaked Snout, Plain Golden Y, Cream-bordered Green Pea, Valerian Pug, Lobster, Green Arches, Lilac Beauty, Small Clouded Brindle and Epinotia demarniana.

30th June 2006 - Moth Night at Captain's Wood

An event for which a few people had high expectations given the recent weather and woods are normally very productive at this time of year. On the night temperatures dropped sharply and the cars parked out on the field next to the wood were enshrouded by mist and temperatures inside the wood were little better than out on the field. The list at the end of the night stood at over 120 species with 8 MV lights and but moth activity in general was slow throughout the evening. A Lunar Yellow Underwing made an early appearance at the sheet (positioned not too far from the field where the larvae where found earlier in the year). Other species recorded included Gold Swift, Shaded Fan-foot, Grey Arches, Anania verbascalis, Epinotia demarniana, Broad-barred White, Lobster, Sharp-angled Peacock, Large Emerald, Broom Moth, Taleporia tubulosa, Purple Clay and Brindled White-spot.

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 and records for this section.

Eye Moths, January to late June 2006 - Paul Kitchener

With only four moths seen in the garden during January and February, none in March until the 19th and only nineteen species in April, 2006 had the worst start to any year since I began recording ten years ago. A wet and windy May delayed things further but at last some fine weather in June has kick-started the Eye nightlife just when the trap seemed in danger of becoming just another useless piece of garden furniture.

March

March was noteworthy for the complete absence of Orthosia species until the 26th, by far the latest start that I’ve ever recorded. They never really made up for lost time and the totals for all species were the worst ever. Three unrelated species, that are usually expected, were not seen at all this spring, namely Pale Brindled Beauty, Early Moth (though never in any numbers) and Dark Chestnut. Excitement this month was limited to a Grey Shoulder-knot on the 19th and two Satellites (which is twice last year’s total!).

April

This April was by far the worst I‘ve known, ten species on the 13th was the best the month could offer. These included Agonopterix alstromeriana, Engrailed and the only Twin-spotted Quaker of the year. A Depressaria heraclei on the 27th was only the second site record.

May

The species total for this May was also the worst in ten years, though three of the species were first records, not only for this site but also Eye (according to my observations anyway).Two of them had been expected for some time, the other was more of a surprise. The first was Epiphyas postvittana on the 11th (a second was to follow in June), next was a Pine Hawk-moth on the 12th and then an Ochreous Pug on the 13th. There had obviously been a movement from a pine tree somewhere as the only Spruce Carpet of the year, so far, was trapped on the 12th.

The few other records of note amongst the paltry seventy one species included Incurvaria masculella (third site record, 15th), Argyresthia trifasciata (second site record, 26th, a year and a day after the first), Plutella xylostella (fourteen over two days, 3rd and 4th), Orange Footman (11th) and Buttoned Snout (the sixth site record, 11th, all but one having been in spring).

Incurvia masculella
Ochreous Pug
Incurvaria masculella © Paul Kitchener 2006
Ochreous Pug © Paul Kitchener 2006

The Prominents have been very hard to come by this year, particularly Swallow Prominent which is usually recorded in good numbers and no Iron Prominent has been seen for the second consecutive spring. On a positive note, Purple Thorn and Chocolate-tip both appeared in better numbers this year.

June

With minimum night time temperatures creeping into double figures things could only get better and although compared with some other Junes it hasn’t been exceptional (so far) it has seemed so after such an appalling five months or more.

One of the warmest nights in Eye was that of the 12th and it inevitably produced the best catch of the year so far with seventy eight species. These included Pammene aurita, Eudonia pallida, Pempelia formosa (one of my favourite micros and not seen at all last year), Phlyctaenia perlucidalis, Sharp-angled Peacock, Orange Footman (one of seven this year, previously recorded as singletons), Sycamore, Herald and Rosy Marbled (first record).

Pempelia formosa
Rosy Marbled
Pempelia formosa © Paul Kitchener 2006
Rosy Marbled © Paul Kitchener 2006

Of the other micros seen this month the following were also locally notable: Argyresthia cupressella (first noticed in 2003 and now regularly seen for a week or two every June), Prays fraxinella (a dark form, 18th), Plutella xylostella (maximum twelve, 11th), Luquetia lobella (third record, 11th), Ephestia parasitella (now one of the most frequently seen pyralids in June, maximum eight, 17th) and Sciota adelphella (fourth record, 23rd, a year to the day since the third). It is possible that this last species is a local resident, there is certainly plenty of poplar and willow within a few hundred yards of the garden.

The more interesting macros were Scallop Shell (third record, 16th), Foxglove Pug (15th, the first since 2003), Freyer’s Pug (three), Currant Pug (three), Treble Bar (fourth record), Bordered White (second record, 18th), Shears (four; recorded for the first time only last year), White-point (two; also recorded last June and probably is now established locally), Small Clouded Brindle (three), Marbled White Spot (fourth and fifth records), Shoulder-striped Wainscot (first site record, 22nd) and Sharp-angled Carpet (first site record and the first I’ve seen in Eye since 1997).

Sciota adelphella
Scallop Shell
Sciota adelphella © Paul Kitchener 2006
Scallop Shell © Paul Kitchener 2006

In terms of apparent population changes, so far this year, Clouded Border, Swallow Prominent and Pale Prominent numbers are well down but Mottled Pug, Pale Tussock, Small Square-spot (already the total is more than double that for the whole of last year), Rustic Shoulder-knot and Straw Dot are having a very good year. Last year was very poor for Silver Y so it is very pleasing to see more about this year, the total trapped alone being more than double that seen/trapped in 2005.

25 June 2006.

Slow, slow, slow, quick, slow? - Mothing in Woolpit in 2006 - Paul Bryant

Before I start, I have questions for you all - How many species of hawk-moth could you have seen on the wing on November 30th? (my answer appears at the end of this article … no cheating, please)

So what of 2006? The title of this article kind of gives it away as most of us seem to have spent the first three to four months wondering if there were any moths out there to be caught. Certainly, my own records show that I trapped only once in the garden during a brief mild spell in February but caught nothing. In fact, it wasn’t until the last week of March that spring finally seemed to arrive. The winds had switched to a more southerly direction, Wheatears and Swallows started to appear along the south coast and both day and night-time temperatures seemed to almost double within the space of 24 hours. At last, it was time to dust down the trap and put it out. And what did I catch, a single Common Quaker. Oh well, at least it was a moth!

But there’s more …. I just happened to be in our shed the next day when something caught my eye. There, crawling around in the bottom of the pot that had contained two pupal cases all winter was a freshly emerged male Small Eggar. Unfortunately, by the time I’d managed to assemble my camera gear, the miracle that is the ‘full’ emergence of a moth had taken place, so I was unable to get any interesting shots. Amazingly, the very next day the second pupal case delivered a female. I guess that just goes to show what a bit of sunshine can do. Unfortunately, attempts to ‘stage’ the female at the original site were thwarted by a strong, cool breeze. Let’s hope that the rest of the population on the site survived the winter safely.

April was a little bit better but pickings were still slim. I caught a grand total of thirty moths of six species, the best of which was a Scarce Tissue on the 20th. So what of May. Overall, moth numbers remained relatively low and, for the most part, consisted of just one or two examples each of the commoner seasonal species such as Hebrew Character, Common Quaker, Muslin Moth, Common Swift and Brimstone Moth. The highlights were single Purple Thorn (4th), Pine Beauty, Nut-tree Tussock (both on the 11th) and a V-Pug (16th). Surely, things could only get better?

Female Small Eggar
Nut-tree Tussock
Female Small Eggar © Paul Bryant 2006
Nut-tree Tussock © Paul Bryant 2006

And so, we find ourselves in the month of June. The sun has shone, those inclined to enjoy the odd bit of footie on TV can reflect on an amazing FA Cup Final and settle down for a feast of World Cup action (me included) and, the set of clearwing pheromones that I had ordered from ALS have been duly ‘netted’ up, labelled, and put back in the freezer ready for action.

Encouraged by the fact that overnight temperatures had been hovering around the mid-teens I put my trap out on the night of the 11th with an air of expectation. In the few days previous I had already recorded some nice garden moths, such as Small Waved Umber, Elephant Hawk-moth, Shears, Scorched Wing, Peppered Moth and Iron Prominent so the omens seemed good. I wasn’t to be disappointed.

Peppered Moth
Iron Prominent
Peppered Moth © Paul Bryant 2006
Iron Prominent © Paul Bryant 2006
 
But, before I tell all, a bit of background info. We have a very clever female Blackbird that has cottoned on to the fact that when I run my MV trap it can only really go in one place, which is up against our neighbours fence at the end of the garden and just below their Forsythia bush. This casts a shadow across the back of their house but still leaves a clear flight path for any moths to enter the trap. However, whilst this doesn’t present a problem for the moths that venture beyond the Perspex sheeting, it does mean easy pickings for her in the morning for those that don’t, particularly the geometers etc., as these seem to prefer to rest on the fence or shed. So, unless I get up really early, a percentage of the catch always ends up as baby blackbird breakfast. But here in lies a trade off…hot nights = window’s left open = being woken up at ridiculous o’clock in the morning by the dawn chorus = might as well go and see what’s been caught.

So, there I was at 4am on the morning of the 12th June, having finally beaten Mrs Blackbird at her own game. A quick glance at the sides of the trap and nearby fence showed that it had been a productive night. There were a couple of xylostella’s on the bulb-bar, my first Silver-ground Carpet, Clouded Silver and Straw Dot’s of the year as well as a scattering of Heart and Dart’s. Further searching added Brimstone Moth, Small Magpie, Green, Freyer’s and Mottled Pug to the list. Delving a little deeper, the egg trays in turn revealed a Privet Hawk-moth as well Oak Hook-tip, Lychnis, Sycamore and Alder Moth. These were soon followed by two Green Silver-lines, a Snout, a Burnished Brass, an Angle Shades and what was finally identified as an Orange Footman.

Oak Hook-tip
Alder Moth
Oak Hook-tip © Paul Bryant 2006
Alder Moth © Paul Bryant 2006

Then ….that surge of excitement when you see something that you know is just too good to be true. Hardly believing my eyes, I grabbed the nearest pot whilst my mind kept repeating a simple phrase..... “It’s a Plusia…wow….its a Plusia”. Safely potted up, I finally calmed down enough to enjoy what must go down as one of the best moths that I have ever caught at Woolpit, a stunningly fresh Golden Plusia. Even Ann was suitably impressed.

Golden Plusia
Golden Plusia © Paul Bryant 2006

It’s going to be hard to beat this but who knows what the rest of the year holds. Lets just pray that it doesn’t slow down as quickly as the title of this article suggests and that we get at least one or two more good nights through the rest of the year to make up for such a poor start.

With thanks as always to everyone in the moth group for their help in identifying the tricky stuff and to my long suffering wife who has to put up with me bouncing round the house when I’ve caught something a bit special!

Happy trapping
Paul
 
Oops…almost forgot … my answer to the little poser is three, all courtesy of the fantastic David Attenborough series ‘Life in the Undergrowth’. One was definitely a Hummingbird Hawkmoth. They also showed a Broad-bordered Bee-hawk and what looked like a Bedstraw / Spurge ‘type’ – all feeding around a large bush in what looked like someone’s back garden in France.

Moths at Rendham - May 2005 to June 2006 -  Matthew Deans

Firstly I apologise for the lateness of this article – I will endeavour to catch up in the future.    

May 2005

The month opened with Scorched Carpet, Least Black Arches and Lunar Marbled Brown all trapped on the 1st and Chocolate-tip and Powdered Quaker the following night.

The middle of the month saw the first Hawk-moths appear with a Poplar on 12th, Eyed on 20th and Privet on 24th.

A couple of interesting micros included Ypsolopha ustella (new for garden) on 25th and an Ethmia bipunctella on 27th.

The last week of the month saw a pristine Flame Wainscot (new for the garden) trapped on 25th and a few other notables for Rendham: Sharp-angled Peacock and Tawny Shears on 26th with May Highflyer, White-pinion Spotted and Alder Moth on 27th.

June

I was away on holiday in France for the first week of the month so trapping did not commence until 7th when a dreadful seven species were trapped!

A Small Clouded Brindle on 9th, Lunar Yellow Underwing (new for the garden) and Varied Coronet on 12th were the highlights of the first half of June.  Others of interest included: Phlyctaenia perlucidalis, Beautiful Golden Y and Dark Spectacle on 13th; Broad-barred White on 14th with Plutella porrectella and Broken-barred Carpet (another new species) on 15th.

The weather warmed up during the second half of the month producing Pempelia formosa and Gold Spot on 16th; Lozotaenia forsterana, Blotched Emerald (new for garden) and Ingrailed Clay on 18th, Bird’s Wing and Cream-bordered Green Pea on 19th.  The micro Aethes beatricella and a Plain Golden Y were the pick-of-the-bunch on 21st and a Nephopterix angustella turned up on 22nd.

The last week of June produced Garden Tiger (23rd), Clouded Brindle (24th), Short-cloaked Moth (25th), Monochroa palustrella (27th) and Spinach and Orange Moth (29th)

July

The first week of July highlights included Acleris holmiana, Vapourer, Round-winged Muslin and Kent Black Arches all on 3rd and Aphelia paleana and Lunar-spotted Pinion on 7th.

The White Satin first appeared on 11th and other good moths around this time included Ostrinia nubilalis and Lilac Beauty on (13th); Epiblema foenella, Dioryctria abietella, Brown-tail and Kent Black Arches (14th); Nymphula stagnata, Evergestis pallidata and Rosy Footman (17th); Black Arches and Scarce Silver-lines (18th); Double Lobed (19th) and Small Emerald (21st).

The tail-end of the month produced more good stuff with Rendham speciality Muslin Footman appearing on 23rd (only record this year); Fen Wainscot and Beautiful Hook-tip (23rd) – this was the first one I had ever seen in Suffolk, Slender Brindle (also new for the garden) (25th), Magpie Moth (27th) and Pediasia contaminella, Bordered Pug and both Lesser-spotted and Lunar-spotted Pinions on 28th.

August

The month started with Calamotropha paludella, Udea lutealis, Dusky Thorn and Square-spotted Clay all trapped on 4th.  The first Rosy Rustic appeared on 5th with that other autumn species – Canary-shouldered Thorn – on 9th.  A Dioryctria sylvestrella, Dark Sword-grass and Small Rufous were trapped on 10th, Olive on the 11th and a Bordered Beauty on 15th

The second half of August produced Small Wainscot (new for garden) and Gold Spot on the 18th and another Square-spotted Clay on 23rd along with a Dog’s Tooth.

I was away on holiday in Australia from 25th until September 14th.

September

My return from Australia saw many autumn species on the wing including Feathered Ranunculus, Centre-barred and The Sallow all on 14th.

More interesting species over the remainder of the month included The Mallow and Autumnal Rustic on 18th, Brindled Green (19th), Pink-barred Sallow (19th), Frosted Orange (20th), Red Underwing (21st, Brown-spot Pinion, Beaded Chestnut and Barred Sallow (23rd), Orange Sallow (24th) and Green-brindled Crescent (25th).

October

The ‘moth of the month’ was certainly the L-album Wainscot trapped on 5th – a new garden and 10km square record – presumably a wanderer from the coastal population.  Other more expected fayre included Large Wainscot (4th), Feathered Thorn (6th), Blair’s Shoulder-knot and Merveille du Jour (6th) and Deep-brown Dart (7th) during the opening week of the month.

The dreaded November Moth appeared on 10th with Satellite and Chestnut the same night.  A Spruce Carpet was noted on 17th, Red Underwing on 18th, December Moth and Dark Sword-grass on 26th, Sprawler on 27th and the last Silver Y of the year on 30th.

November and December

The trap was only run twice this month with November Moth and Chestnut the only moths recorded on 7th!

However the 10th produced three species: a Vestal of the brown form (second garden record), November Moth and Feathered Thorn - so it was worth putting the trap out!

The trap was not run at all during December and the only moths noted were Winter Moths on the outside lights on 7th and 8th.

January and February 2006

Trapping was undertaken three times in January during a mild spell (17th – 18th).  A Chestnut was the only moth caught on 17th; Early Moth, Winter Moth, Mottled Umber, Pale Brindled Beauty and Chestnut were taken on 18th and a Tortricodes alternella was the only addition to the year list on 19th.

The trap was operated just once in February on 13th with three Spring Ushers, three Early Moths and nine Pale Brindled Beauties taken.

March

All trapping was confined to the last week of the month when the trap was operated nightly between 24th and 31st (except for 29th). The highlights included Agonopterix alstromeriana on 24th, Oak Beauty (on four nights), Shoulder Stripe on 30th and 31st, Twin-spotted Quaker on 28th and 30th and Lead-coloured Drab (two on 31st).

April

Moth numbers were disappointingly low.  For instance the night of the 6th produced only eight species in the trap: Dotted Border, Early Grey, Hebrew Character; Common, Small and Twin-spotted Quakers, Red Chestnut and Clouded Drab.  The following night an Engrailed was an addition to the year list.

Towards the end of the month species like Eriocrania subpurpurella, Alucita hexadactyla, Early Thorn, Muslin and Herald appeared on 25th and a Powdered Quaker on 26th. 

May

Oak-tree and Brindled Pugs were recorded on 4th along with Plutella xylostella (part of a nationwide influx of the species), Phtheochroa rugosana, Pebble Prominent and a Lunar Marbled Brown. Brimstone Moth, Chocolate-tip and Shuttle-shaped Dart appeared on 9th.  The first Hawk-moth appeared on 10th - a Poplar.

The real garden rarities though were still to come with a Mullein on 11th and a Buttoned Snout (second garden record) on 15th.  Three Great Prominents was a good count on 15th.  Another second for the garden was an immaculate Puss Moth taken on 25th along with Yellow Belle and the year’s first Silver Y. 

The month closed with Pyrausta aurata and Oak Hook-tip and Clouded-bordered Brindle trapped on 27th.

June

Early spring species were still hanging on with Hebrew Character trapped the same night as its close congener the Setaceous Hebrew Character on 2nd.  Scalloped Hazel and Lime Hawk-moth were also taken on 2nd.  A species seemingly declining – Ingrailed Clay - was taken on 5th and Treble Brown Spot, Privet Hawk and Elephant Hawk on 7th.

The middle of the month produced four Eyed Hawk-moth, two White-points, Large Nutmeg and Beautiful Golden Y on 14th with Small Clouded Brindle, Plain Golden Y and Dark Spectacle on 21st.  An impressive five Privet Hawks were trapped on 22nd with Lozotaenia forsterana and Barred Yellow also taken.

The tail-end of the month provided records of Tinea semifulvella, Scorched Wing, Barred Straw, Green Silver-lines and Silver Y on 23rd with Buff Arches and Plain Golden Y on 27th.

Moths at Ipswich Golf Course - April to June 2006 - Neil Sherman

April

The continuing cold weather meant that moth numbers remained low in the traps in April. Lights were operated on only 6 nights, with the best count of species on the 26th with 22 trapped. The total number of species for the month was only 39 (27 macros and 12 micros) well down on last year’s high of 60.

Micros of possible interest included Acleris hyemana (2nd record on the 5th), Calybites phasianipennella (26th) and Stathmopoda pedella (2 records: on the 20th and 26th). Eriocrania subpurpurella reached a peak of 30 in the trap during the month, well down on previous Aprils when over 100 in one night is more usual. A good count of Diurnea fagella were seen on the 18th when 15 were noted.

Macros included Frosted Green (peak of 22 on the 26th), Water Carpet (one only attracted to the house lights), Brindled Pug (peak this month of 55 on the 26th). Early Thorn was noted on 3 dates, an improvement on recent springs but there was only one record of Purple Thorn during the month. Brindled Beauty (2), Oak Beauty (one on the 7th), Oak Nycteoline (20th), Lunar Marbled Brown (14 seen on the 26th, good to see back in numbers after 2 poor years) and Herald (20th in Actinic trap at the house) were also of note. Small Quaker peaked at 101 on the 18th – this being quite a good count here. Common Quaker peaked a bit later with 45 seen on the 20th. Clouded Drab did not show very well at all – there were only 5 records during the month, all in single figures. There were no prominents at all, unlike previous springs when a few species normally have got going in late April. The only daytime observation of note was a Fox Moth larva found on the 5th.

May

May was little better than April, with more cold conditions. I was also away on holiday for 2 weeks during the month, which resulted in only 4 nights of trapping. This produced a total of 93 species (64 macros, 29 micros), well down on the 159 seen in 2005 (there were a few very warm nights during May last year however). Best night was the 16th, when 38 species were seen, well down again on the best night in 2005 (83 species late in the month).

Micros included a new species for the site – Phylloporia bistrigella, seen on the 15th. This species mines birch as a larva, cutting out a case from the leaf to complete its development. There were also records of Caloptilia stigmatella (4th), Caloptilia syringella (16th), Cedestis subfasciella (16th) and Pammene giganteana (2nd). The numbers of Eriocrania subpurpurella peaked for the year on the 4th, with 47 – still well down on normal counts. There was also a small wave of immigrants early in the month, with some Plutella xylostella seen with a peak of 9 on the 4th.

Macros included Ochreous Pug (3 on the 16th at a trap run at the house). Other pugs seen were Oak-tree (4th and 16th) and Dwarf (again 16th at the house). Again on the 16th but at the usual trapping area was a Seraphim. There was only one more record of Purple Thorn on the 4th. Brindled Beauty appeared again with 4 on the 2nd a good number here. The first hawk-moths (Lime and Poplar) and the first prominents also appeared. Some of the prominents were in quite low numbers however with 1 Iron, 1 Pebble, 5 Lesser Swallow, 2 Swallow and 2 Coxcomb seen during the month. Great Prominent appeared in usual numbers however. The Lunar Marbled Brown was also seen in reasonable numbers with 6 noted on the 4th. The first of what should be many Orange Footman appeared on the 15th (15).

Daytime sightings included 3 records of adult Broad bordered bee hawks. 2 were seen on the 14th, one nectaring at Bugle with another feeding at storksbill flowers. The other was found on the 17th, trapped in one of the club’s polytunnels for growing stocks of gorse and heather. There have only been 3 other sightings of the adult moth at the site in previous years, but caterpillars are found every year. There was also a sighting of a White-point on the 15th. This is significant as the moth was in the process of drying out its wings, perhaps providing some proof that the species is now breeding in this country.

June

The moth trapping season finally became more interesting during June, seemingly a long wait after such a poor spring.  In fact the trapping was very good on some nights, with totals over 100 species. Lights were operated on 16 nights, producing a total of 301 species (135 micros and 166 macros), much better than last year’s 268 species. The highest species count on one night was on the 17th, when 126 were seen in the garden at the house. This is lower than the highest total seen in 2005 (149 sp. – but this was with 2 traps). 

The 12th June was a very good night, not for the total of species seen but the quality of the ones caught. Warm, humid conditions with winds from the continent resulted in some exceptional moths appearing in both a trap in the garden and a trap at the work sheds area. In the garden, best capture was a new macro for the site – a Rosy Marbled. Also present was Poplar kitten (a female which laid 30+ eggs that are now being reared), Spinach and a Plutella porectella. At the sheds, the trap also contained a new macro for the site, but it was also new to Suffolk – a Little Thorn. Where this moth, which is not known for migration came from is anyone’s guess. This is the third year running that a macro new to Suffolk has appeared in the golf course traps. Also within this trap was a Red-necked Footman, again probably an immigrant. It was the 4th site record.

Rosy Marbled
Little Thorn
Rosy Marbled © Neil Sherman 2006
Little Thorn © Neil Sherman 2006

Other macros of possible interest noted during the month were Festoon (6 recorded, down on last year’s 18), Blotched Emerald (22 seen, another good year). Some interesting pugs appeared, with 3 Satyr and 2 Sloe noted, both of which are uncommon at the site. Sharp-angled Peacock appeared again (2 seen) after probable colonisation a few years ago. There were good numbers of both Brindled White-spot (35 seen) and Small Elephant Hawk-moth (11 records, 20 individuals, best year ever – 6 last year). Another Poplar Kitten was seen up at the worksheds area on the 4th, the second record for the month. More moths that were present in good numbers included Lobster (5), Orange Footman (181) and Alder Moth (7). 2 Grey arches were trapped on the 19th, only one was seen in 2005. Shaded Fan-foot bucked the trend of increased records, as only one appeared - there were 14 in 2005. Finally, there was the second site record of Dark Spectacle on the 16th.

Micros were no less interesting. There were 5 new site records during the month. First, there were 5 records of Crassa tinctella, both by day and in the traps. This very plain brassy gelechid may well have been overlooked in previous years. Another species that may have been overlooked as well was the Incurvaria oehlmanniella seen on the 11th – this species is very similar to Incurvaria masculella. 2 new Cydia species appeared in the garden trap on the same night (10th) – Cydia cosmophorana and Cydia conicolana. Cydia conicolana also appeared twice more. The final new micro was Blastodacna hellerella, seen on the 30th. This has also been seen in early July Other notable micros included Ectodemia decentella (2nd record 17th), Morophaga choragella (3 records), Argyresthia trifasciata (2nd - 4th records), Argyresthia cupressella (6 records), Eidophasia messingiella (3 records), Telechrysis tripuncta (second site record). Luqetia lobella (3rd + 4th records), Lobesia reliquana (17th), Epinotia abbreviana (11th), Gypsonoma oppressana (2 records), Ostrinia nubilalis (2 records) and Anania verbascalis (2 records). Tortrix viridana peaked as usual this month, by far the commonest moth at the site. 1163 individuals were noted, this was down on 2005 when 1369 were seen.

Telechrysis tripuncta
Currant Clearwing
Telechrysis tripuncta © Neil Sherman 2006
Currant Clearwing © Neil Sherman 2006

Daytime observations also resulted in two more new site records. After locating a group of blackcurrant bushes earlier in the year on the site that showed possible exit holes of Currant Clearwing, I tried the pheromone lure on the bush on the 20th which resulted in one individual coming in after only a few minutes. Trying again  on the 28th produced 3, again after only a short wait. The other new moth was Nemophora fasciella, found in the garden of the house not far from the foodplant, Black Horehound on the 24th. More were seen on the 28th and 29th. The first Scarce Silver-lines was noted on the 29th,  landing on the tractor window after driving past some Oak branches. Finally, a Red Chestnut larva was found while clearing brambles on the 29th, a nicely marked caterpillar.

Nemophora fasciella
Red Chestnut larva
Nemophora fasciella © Neil Sherman 2006
Red Chestnut larva © Neil Sherman 2006

Redisham -  May to June 2006 - Records from Bob Reed

Bob Reed has started moth recording in his back garden recently in a relatively under-recorded part of the county. The following species were recorded during May and June.

Angle Shades, Beautiful Golden Y, Bright-line Brown-eye, Brimstone Moth, Brown Rustic, Buff Ermine, Buff-tip, Burnished Brass, Clouded Border, Common Marbled Carpet, Common Swift, Common Wainscot, Common White Wave, Cream-bordered Green Pea, Dark Arches, Dot Moth, Double Square-spot, Elephant Hawk-moth, Eyed Hawk-moth, Figure of Eighty, Flame, Flame Shoulder, Green Carpet, Grey Dagger, Heart and Dart, Hebrew Character, Large Nutmeg, Large Yellow Underwing, Light Arches, Light Emerald, Lime Hawk-moth, Magpie Moth, Marbled Minor, Marbled White Spot, Muslin Moth, Pale Tussock, Pebble Prominent, Peppered Moth, Plain Golden Y, Poplar Grey, Poplar Hawk-moth, Privet Hawk-moth, Rustic Shoulder-knot, Scorched Wing, Setaceous Hebrew Character, Silver-ground Carpet, Smoky Wainscot, Snout, Spectacle, Swallow Prominent, Treble Lines, White Ermine and White-point.

Benhall Green - June and early July 2006 - Tony Prichard

I was invited, earlier on in the year, to do some moth recording at Benhall Green, where there is an active conservation group looking after the village green/common. The latter consists of a couple of fenny areas either side of a stream, an area of alder carr and around the fen areas are scattered willows. So far I have managed three visits to the site, on the 5th and 20th June and 4th July, with only the last visit having fair weather conditions.

Some of the more interesting species from the site have been Sharp-angled Peacock, Lychnis, Small Square-spot, Ghost Moth, May Highflyer, Poplar Grey, Middle-barred Minor, Beautiful Golden Y, Small Clouded Brindle, White-point, Dingy Shell, Poplar Hawk-moth, Elephant Hawk-moth, Orange Moth, Round-winged Muslin, Synaphe punctalis, Antler, Barred Yellow, Large Twin-spot Carpet, Olindia schumacherana, Short-cloaked, July Highflyer, Platyptilia gonodactyla, Small Fan-foot, Phtheochroa inopiana, Blue-bordered Carpet, Marbled White Spot and Twin-spot Carpet.

Bawdsey - April to June 2006 - Matthew Deans

April

Trapping was undertaken on eight nights throughout the month producing the following:

Micros were not surprisingly very scarce with the cool conditions and included Diurnea fagella (trapped on three nights), Agonopterix heracliana (18th),   Agonopterix alstromeriana (27th) and Phtheochroa rugosana (27th) and Emmelina monodactyla (20th).

Macros worthy of note included Shoulder-stripe (20th and 26th), Streamer (recorded on 26th in trap and at security light), Early Thorn (25th), Brindled Beauty (27th), Oak Beauty (12th and 18th), Muslin (27th), Shuttle-shaped Dart (27th), Northern Drab (ten recorded between 25th and 27th), Lead-coloured Drab (18th), Powdered Quaker (taken four times during the month), Mullein (26th) and Herald (two caught on 20th).

May

The Dustbin trap was run on only ten nights during the month.  This was due to Health & Safety issues that potentially threatened trapping here and I was away in Poland/Belarus for much of the latter part of the month.

Micros were virtually non-existent with a few Plutella xylostella (Diamond-back), Phtheochroa rugosana (4th and 14th), Epiphyas postvittana (14th), Epiblema scutulana (14th), Evergestis forficalis (14th) and Scoparia ambigualis on 10th.

The macros were a bit more interesting although there was nothing unexpected.  The highlights were Dotted Border (late individual on 10th), Scarce Tissue (at security light on 2nd), Scorched Carpet (10th), Purple Thorn (trapped on three nights), White-pinion Spotted (at security light on 7th), Pine Hawk-moth (3rd), Lime Hawk-moth (4th), Poplar Hawk-moth (14th), Puss Moth (8th, third site record), Great Prominent (3rd), Lunar Marbled Brown (14th), Chocolate-tip (three nights), Least Black Arches (4th and 14th), Large Yellow Underwing (early individual in polytunnel on 11th), White Colon (31st), Mullein (14th), Pine Beauty (4th) and Northern Drab (13 trapped between 2nd and 14th) and Tawny Shears (14th and 15th).

Regular migrant totals for the month were six Plutella xylostella (Diamond-back), one Dark Sword-grass (14th) and one Silver Y (31st).

June

The Dustbin trap was operated virtually nightly throughout the month with a second trap in the organic garden regularly running.

After a poor May, many micros were recorded including some notable ones.  The highlights were: Nemophora degeerella (12th), Monopis obviella (11th, 13th, 18th and 28th), Eidophasia messingiella (12th), Ethmia terminella (one on 12th - an excellent record of a very local species), Scrobipalpa costella (11th and 13th), Bactra robustana (13th), Eudonia angustea (4th), Evergestis limbata (one on 23rd, new to Suffolk, see separate article), Evergestis extimalis (regularly recorded throughout the month), Orthopygia glaucinalis (30th) and Agdistis bennetii (15th).

Ethmia terminella
Red-necked Footman
Ethmia terminella © Matthew Deans 2006
Red-necked Footman © Matthew Deans 2006

A fantastic selection of macros were recorded - the most notable including: Common Lutestring (12th), Blotched Emerald (23rd), Fern (1st, 18th and 29th), Pretty Chalk Carpet (7th and 22nd), Haworth’s Pug (12th, 23rd and 30th), Ash Pug (regularly recorded), Shaded Pug (30th), Dingy Shell (two on 12th), Clay triple-lines (12th),  Eyed Hawk-moth (recorded five times throughout the month – first records), Puss Moth (25th, fourth site record), Marbled Brown (7th and 23rd), Red-necked Footman (11th - first site record), Orange Footman (good count of six on 4th), Water Ermine (4th and 25th), Sand Dart (14th – first site record), Lunar Yellow Underwing (13th), Common Quaker (late specimen on 4th), Mathew’s Wainscot (regularly noted), L-album Wainscot (four between 23rd and 30th), Obscure Wainscot (18th, 22nd and 23rd – apparently the first County records since 1997), Flame Wainscot (11th and 12th), Striped Wainscot (18th and 25th), Bird’s Wing (regular), Double Lobed (25th and 30th),  Large Nutmeg (three records), Small Mottled Willow (30th - first site record), Bordered Straw (14th, 18th and 19th – somewhat belated first site records), Silver Barred (13th – first site record), Dark Spectacle (11th, 18th and 23rd) and Pinion-streaked Snout (12th and 13th).

Sand Dart
Obscure Wainscot
Sand Dart © Matthew Deans 2006
Obscure Wainscot © Matthew Deans 2006

Silver Barred
Silver Barred © Matthew Deans 2006

Regular migrant totals for the month were 235 Plutella xylostella (Diamond-back), one Ostrinia nubilalis (European Corn-borer), one Nomophila noctuella (Rush Veneer), two Dark Sword-grass, one Small Mottled Willow, three Bordered Straw and 30 Silver Y.

Mendlesham Green Records to 30th June 2006 - Steve Woolnough

As we all know only too well, the weather for the first half of the year was unusually cold, and May unusually wet. Hardly surprising, then, that this had a negative impacted on mothing.

I would usually start garden-trapping in mid-March, but this year the trap received its first airing on 7th April; and even then only caught two moths - a somewhat predictable Hebrew Character and Small Quaker. A double-digit species count was achieved on 15th April, when a Twin-spot Quaker and Early Grey occurred, but the remainder of the month was very quiet, with the trap being run on only 6 nights and producing only 15 species, as against an April garden average of 22.

In terms of suitable weather for mothing, May was, if anything, worse, and the trap only ran for four nights, during which just 38 species were recorded, against a May average of 71. A peak species count of a dismal 24 was achieved on 28th. A similar date last year produced 46. The only notable event was an influx of Diamond-backed Moth early in the month, with a peak count of 6 on 4th May.

The weather finally improved in June, and the trap was run on 12 nights during which 139 species were recorded, which is in keeping with the garden monthly average. There were four counts of over 50 species, with the maximum being 79 on 30th, a record for the month.

The first new garden records for the year also occurred this month, with a Small Elephant Hawk-moth on 16th finally making my garden Suffolk hawk-moth collection complete (bar Death’s Head, which I hope will be excused, but I wonder how many sites can claim both Convolvulus and Striped before Small Elephant?). Other new garden records for June were Lathronympha strigana on 23rd and Triple-spotted Clay on 24th. The total of 79 recorded on 30th included no fewer than three new records, Metzneria lappella, Ephestia parasitella, and Short Cloaked Moth.

Other notable occurrences for June were the regular appearance of White-point throughout the month. Possibly more evidence to show it is now an established resident? Also, on 10th, A Lime Hawk-moth was trapped with its right wings reversed - i.e. its hind-wing was above and in front of its fore-wing. This unusual combination did not appear to impede its flight in any way.

Lime Hawk-moth with reversed right wings
Lime Hawk-moth with 'reversed' right wings © Steve Woolnough 2006

The hot weather we are currently experiencing is now excellent for moths (if not so attractive for sleep-deprived working moth-trappers), and I am looking forward to 100+ counts for July.

Bungay - Spring to mid-Summer 2006 - Records from Leigh Davis

Leigh Davis in Bungay reports the following species from his garden actinic trap - Common Swift, Dipleurina lacustrata, Pyrausta aurata, Eurrhypara hortulata, Small Fan-footed Wave, Garden Carpet, Barred Yellow, Green Carpet, Green Pug, Brimstone Moth, Early Thorn, Waved Umber, Mottled Beauty, Pale Tussock, White Ermine, Buff Ermine, Heart and Dart, Flame, Flame Shoulder, Large Yellow Underwing, Small Square-spot, Double Square-spot, Shears, Bright-line Brown-eye, Early Grey, Angle Shades, Rustic Shoulder-knot, Tawny Marbled Minor, Middle-barred Minor, Treble Lines, Uncertain, Burnished Brass, Silver Y, Spectacle and Straw Dot.

Dunwich - April to June 2006 - Records from Clive Moore

Clive Moore as well as spending a lot of time helping with the recording of moths at Dunwich Heath NT has been running his home trap on several occasions from April to June.  Here are a selection of the species he has recorded during that period - Frosted Green, Brindled Beauty, Lesser Swallow Prominent, Powdered Quaker, Purple Thorn, Semioscopis steinkellneriana, Great Prominent, Lunar Marbled Brown, Mullein, Red Chestnut, Scorched Wing, Least Black Arches, Orange Footman, White-point, Lobesia reliquana, Rivulet, Rustic Shoulder-knot, Small Fan-foot, Shoulder-striped Wainscot, Monopis monachella, Bird's Wing, Broken-barred Carpet, Brown Rustic, Lychnis, Red-green Carpet, Barred Yellow, Foxglove Pug, Grass Rivulet, Lobster Moth, Silver Barred, Small Yellow Wave, Prays fraxinella, Schoenobius gigantella, Epiblema foenella, Anania verbascalis, Shaded Fan-foot, Peacock, Sharp-angled Peacock, Scoparia subfusca and Olindia schumacherana.

Hollesley - January to June 2006 - Records from Nick Mason

Nick Mason as well as running his trap in his garden has also been visiting friend's gardens in the Hollesley area.

Species of interest from his garden include Ash Pug, Barred Red, Barred Yellow, Beautiful Golden Y, Bird's Wing, Bordered White, Brindled Beauty, Broad-barred White, Chocolate-tip, Cream-spot Tiger, Dark Spectacle, Eyed Hawk-moth, Pempelia formosa, Grey Pug, Hummingbird Hawk-moth, L-album Wainscot, Lead-coloured Drab, Lobster Moth, Maiden's Blush, Marbled Brown, May Highflyer, Northern Drab, Epiphyas postvittana, Powdered Quaker, Puss Moth, Sharp-angled Peacock, Small Clouded Brindle, Star-wort, Streamer, V-Pug, Toadflax Pug, White Colon and White-point.

Species of interest from Nick's wanderings around Hollesley include Barred Red, Bordered Straw, Ingrailed Clay, Lobster Moth, Marbled Brown, Mathew's Wainscot, May Highflyer, Scorched Wing, White-point, Brindled Beauty, Chocolate-tip, Cream-spot Tiger, Dingy Shell, Dotted Border, Frosted Green, Great Prominent, Grey Pug, Lead-coloured Drab, Lunar Marbled Brown, Oak Beauty, Orange Footman, Twin-spotted Quaker, White Satin, Bird's Wing, Chamomile Shark, Dark Spectacle, Dark Sword-grass, Dusky Brocade, Ostrinia nubilalis, Lozotaenia forsterana and Sharp-angled Peacock.

And finally from Shingle Street - Ethmia bipunctella, Bird's Wing, Cream-bordered Green Pea, Cream-spot Tiger, Dark Spectacle, Dog's Tooth, Dusky Brocade, Latticed Heath, Mullein Wave, Shaded Pug, Small Elephant Hawk-moth, Small Square-spot, Rivulet, Water Ermine, White-point and White Colon.

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 : tony@suffolkmothgroup.org.uk

Suffolk Moths web site (home of the SMG): www.suffolkmoths.org.uk also www.suffolkmothgroup.org.uk

SMG Email Discussion Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/suffolkmothgroup

Essex County Moth Recorder : Brian Goodey, 298 Ipswich Road, Colchester, Essex. CO4 0ET. E-mail: essexmoths@dsl.pipex.com
 

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.
 

Adverts


Anglian Lepidopterist Supplies
www.angleps.btinternet.co.uk


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 www.angleps.btinternet.co.uk 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 jon.clifton@btinternet.com
Proprietors: J Clifton & A Wander