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

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

Neil

Group around the sheet light.

Group around the sheet light.

The Blair's wainscot.

The Blair’s wainscot.

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

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

Neil

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fovealis in Woolpit

With apologies for the poor photo below (I needed to get to work), this Duponchelia fovealis was a surprise find in the moth trap this morning. I vaguely recall seeing the first Suffolk record of this species when one was found indoors at Matthew’s family home in Rendham (Aug 2002), and then being present when one was taken during a moth group meet at Aldeburgh / Thorpness (Sept 2003), but have not seen one since. The website mentions two further Suffolk records – in Reydon (Sept 2003) and Eye (Sept 2004) – so it would be interesting to know if anyone else has encountered this species in the intervening years.

D.fovealis (Woolpit 10-Sept-18)

D.fovealis (Woolpit 10-Sept-18)

 

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Mothing in August 2018, Hollesley plus.

A bit up and down this August, weather and mothing wise. Not been to The Patch during the month but had a good visit to Havergate Island on 2nd and to Abbey Farm, Snape on 21st. I was joined by the voluntary warden to sort two of the traps and part of the time by the warden for the third trap at Abbey Farm. Havergate produced the expected Ground Lackeys and Sandhill Rustics for the time of year but I recorded my first two Crescent Striped for the site. It was calm weather and this produced masses of salt-marsh micros. 7 Coleophora species, including C. aestuariella. 6 Scrobipalpa species and 3 Bryotropha including the first B. desertella for me and the Island. Also a regular on the Island and good to see is Batia lambdella and a first catch for me was a Phycitodes saxicola. One then turned up at home on 12th.

An abundance of 6-striped Rustic at Abbey Farm which was a surprise. The Crescent is a regular there and the dark form is common but I had to photograph the beautifully marked paler form that turned up. Nice to see Epermenia falciformis regularly there and also took the first Rosy Wave for the site. I had a few Endothenia marginana. they turned up in two of the traps. At home I catch E. oblongana that feeds on the roots of the plantain that covers part of my front garden. I have also had E.  gentianaeana at home when I had good numbers of teasel plants but they have waned recently as has the moth. I see Neil has caught E. ustulana. Ustulana is the darkest of the four, gentianaeana is the largest and usually shows white prominently on the thorax. The marginana were noticeably more contrastingly banded ‘black and white’ than the oblongana I have at home but the text book pale hindwings of the male did not hold. They were as dark as those of the female. All these species can be separated on the forewing patterning. I confirmed my E. marginana by dissection.

At home, the Silver Y was abundant mid-month, Ancylosis oblitella all through the month and Setaceous Hebrew Character at the end of the month. There was a good showing of a second brood of Evergestis limbata. It has also been good for the Twin-spotted Wainscot and Cypress Pug. Migrants have been thin on the ground with just a few Scarce Bordered Straw, Dark Sword-grass and Nomophila noctuella with one tattered Small Mottled Willow. However there was an ‘invasion’ of the Rest Harrow reported and I managed to get two. Both males, on 6th and one on the 11th. A third Butterbur for my site was a nice catch on 12th and a first for me and for the site of a Nemapogon clematella on 6th. Perhaps one of the best catches of the month was my second Glyphipterix equitella on 27th.

Catches are now indicating the coming of autumn with moths such as Sallow, Feathered Gothic, Brown Spot Pinion and Centre-barred Sallow. Looking forward to the Black Rustic turning up.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Summer moth news from Purdis.

With summer now drawing to a close it’s time to look back on the last 2 months of moth recording here at Purdis. Been slightly disappointing overall, with warm temperatures not really bringing in that many large catches and very little evidence of migration here. Species diversity appeared to be lacking, something I’ve heard from other recorders too. High pressure with the clear skies coupled with the extreme drought to blame in my opinion. Weather then broke down towards the latter part of August with much needed rain arriving causing a flush of plant growth and a slight increase in commoner species of moths. However the rain came too late for some of the Heather and grassland on this site, with some large areas dead that will now take some time to regenerate.
Wasps have been a problem this year, with large numbers seen some nights killing part of the catch. I’ve found 3 nests in my garden so far so that shows how many are out there!
Of the common species of moth, the various underwings have had an awful season with really low counts, a blessing in some ways but also a worry as these are some of our commoner moths. Dark arches too has done poorly, as has July highflyer and Square-spot rustic. Tree-lichen beauty has had an excellent season though and there has been a strong second brood of Heart and Dart. Toadflax brocade also doing well with lots of larvae found widely across the site. A big arrival of Turnip moths (probably migrants) turned up on the 30th July, with 250 counted, possibly the most I’ve ever seen here in one night. So not all moths have done badly.
Being summer, there were still plenty of sightings of interest including new site records. Best period for this here was early August. The best night for recording this year was also at this time, with over 200 species seen from the 4 traps run on the 3rd August (don’t know exact number as data not imputed yet). Starting with the macros, moths of note included the following. Dotted footman (26th July, 6th site record), Gypsy moth (male, 2nd August, new site record and expected with the way this moth is currently expanding in the UK), Sandhill rustic (2nd and 3rd August, both different individuals, the 3rd and 4th site records), Cypress pug (3rd August, new site record, sadly just a forewing left in the bottom of the trap by the wasps!), Common lutestring (7th August, been scarce for a few years so good to see again), Square-spotted clay (a few in the latter part of August). The 6th August will be a night long remembered, with the discovery of 2 Rest harrow moths (following a large population expansion of the moth from Kent) and a Beautiful marbled (new site record, moth of the year so far here) around the outside of one trap!
I also did my annual recording session at the main reedbed site here for White-mantled wainscot on 23rd July, recording 2 individuals, so good to see it is still present. Lot of Large emerald and Sharp-angled peacock seen that night too along with a Dark spectacle.  Micros provided plenty of interest, as always. Anarsia inoxiella (2 records), Ypsolopha sylvella (15th July), Cydia amplana (regular in numbers throughout, must be breeding here), Ancylosis oblitella (a few records, not seen here many times), Clavigesta sylvestrana (new to site July 21st, possibly 3rd Suffolk record), Aristotelia brizella (26th July, 2nd site record), Acrobasis tumidana (2 records, another species possibly breeding here as almost annual), Yponomeuta sedella (26th July), Oncocera semirubella (3rd August), Pima boisduvaliella (3rd August), Cochylis implicitana (a few), Monochroa palustrella (3rd August), Carpatolechia alburnella (3rd August), Epermenia falciformis (6th August), Ptocheuusa paupella (6 on the 12th August plus a few others, a very good count for here), Monochroa hornigi (20th August), Parectopa ononidis (19th August, new to site), Cydalima perspectalis (Box-tree moth – 18th August, 3rd site record) and Endothenia ustulana (5th August, found in my greenhouse in the evening, new to site and to Suffolk).
Towards the second half of August after the rain things started to look more autumnal in the traps, with the appearance of both Pink-barred sallow and Yellow-line quaker on the 18th (both very early records, especially the quaker which is over 3 weeks earlier!). This was followed by Orange sallow (2) and Centre-barred sallow on the 21st, again quite early records for here. Be interesting to see what happens this autumn if the predicted warm conditions continue – will we see some summer stuff coming out as a second brood? Will there be any migration at all? Watch this space!
Be very interesting to see what other recorders have found this summer – have my observations on numbers etc been across the board?
Neil

Clavigesta sylvestrana

Clavigesta sylvestrana

Gypsy moth

Gypsy moth

Endothenia ustulana

Endothenia ustulana

The Beautiful marbled

The Beautiful marbled

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Some Heath’s, a Hedge and a Hummer

The ‘long hot dry‘ is over and there’s a distinct autumnal feel to the air. These past few weeks I’ve also noticed a drop in the number of sp’ visiting the garden trap. Underwings are still largely absent, so much so that the five caught on Wed night (22 Aug) was my single highest count this year! The same night also produced my first Centre-barred Sallow of the year, and a fourth garden record of Small Ranunculus. I also keep seeing a lonesome Toadflax Brocade larvae in the front garden, but have taken no adults this year. Of the trap highlights, there have been Dark Sword-grass (11 Aug), Latticed Heath (1 on 7 Aug and 2 on 19 Aug), a Hedge Rustic (19 Aug)  … which I’ve only just worked out is new to the site  … and a delightful Hummingbird Hawk-moth which spent a short time nectaring on the Red Valerian early on Tue evening (21 Aug). Still time perhaps for one more garden tick before the year is out but we shall see.

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Orfordness meeting 11th August 2018.

This meeting was re-arranged as the conditions for the 10th looked awful. Proven to be the right choice, as the regular recorders on the Ness reported an almost empty trap that night!
4 moth-ers attended this event, with some having to pull out at the last minute due to the change of date and worries about the weather conditions. It was a bit breezy out on the Ness, but not too much to stop us running traps in sheltered areas. Was a bit of rain too, again, not too much of a problem as the cloud kept the temperature up. Was a warm southerly wind too so we hoped for a few migrants and we weren’t disappointed.
10 traps deployed, covering 4 areas – the Holm oaks (an area of scrub out on the shingle), a Sallow copse (just a few scrub trees really out on the shingle too), the reedbed and around the buildings.
Not as many moths trapped as in recent visits, but it was a bit later in the season and also the recent heavy rains probably had an effect too. Still, a list of around 80 species was pretty good given the restricted habitat and conditions, with plenty of interest.
Star moth from the wow factor point of view was the pristine Convolvulus hawk in one of the building traps. Other migrants included Dark sword-grass, Nomophila noctuella and the common Silver Ys and Plutella xylostellas.
Graham Geen, a visiting recorder from Norfolk was keen to see Sandhill rustic. No problem we all said and we were proven right with over 50 seen across most of the traps including a nice pale one and a few very dark ones. Other macros of note: Ground lackey (2 males), Marbled green (2), Hedge rustic (first few for year) and Dark spinach plus Lunar yellow underwing (both very notable records for the Ness).
As is usual the micros provided more interest. Ancylosis oblitella (a good number, seen in most traps, been common on the Ness this year), Pediasia aridella, Cochylis molliculana, Caryocolum vicinella (a good number, notable as normally only seen in small numbers on the site), Argyresthia bonnetella (notable out there as there are only 2 small Hawthorn trees!), Celypha rosaceana, Acleris cristana (a good Ness record). A number of Scrobipalpas and Coleophoras were kept for later determination.

Thanks must go to the National Trust guys who helped us out with transport etc and allowing us to record on this good site. Also thanks to Mike Marsh for help with sorting our traps and allowing us to look in his trap!

Neil

Convolvulus hawk

Convolvulus hawk

 

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Which Dioryctria sp?

Am struggling with this one. Think it might be Dioryctia abietella .. which would only be third garden record. Moth was taken on Mon 6 August and is still in the fridge just in case!

Q abietella (W) 6Aug18

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Orfordness meeting re-arranged for tomorrow night – 11th August.

As the weather forecast is pretty awful for tonight (cold, clear conditions after rain) the meeting to Orfordness has been re-arranged for tomorrow night (11th). Same meeting place and time, Orford quay at 7pm. Still an overnight stay.

Neil

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Another moth to watch out for – Jersey tiger.

Following on from Paul’s capture of a Jersey tiger recently, one has been noted today at the RSPB reserve at Minsmere. It was noted during the day on Hemp agrimony flowers. With large numbers being reported at it’s known sites further south it is another moth species seemingly expanding it’s range in the warm weather. So watch out both in traps and also in the daytime as it can be seen on flowers.

Neil

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