Influx of the White-speck (M. unipuncta)

There is currently a widespread national influx of unipuncta taking place.

I have been fortunate enough to obtain four examples over the past week at Bawdsey; which is about the same number I have seen over the past 15 years in the district!

Another was also noted at Wrentham (A. Wren).

There is still time, over the next few mild nights for more, so keep a look out!

 

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Oak Rustic arrives at Bawdsey

The anticipated arrival of the Oak Rustic at Bawdsey has occurred with a singleton attracted to my lamps on 7 November.

With much Holm Oak around the Bawdsey district, this moth is likely to become abundant and a regular feature here in late autumns to come.

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October 2018 moths at Purdis.

As Raymond has mentioned in his post, October this year was all about the warm spell mid month, producing migrants, out of season summertime moths and good numbers of some of the autumnal regulars. Not too much happened here before the 10th, with just a steady trickle of the usual species around. I didn’t trap after the 25th, with a spell of much colder weather arriving with the first frosts.
I’ll start with the out of season species. These included: Phyllonorycter coryli, Lozotaeniodes formosana, Pediasia contaminella, Crambus pascuella, Gypsonoma dealbana, Blood-vein, Latticed heath, Least carpet, Riband and Plain waves, Pebble and Oak hook-tips, Mottled rustic, Heart and Dart and Mouse moth. Some of these appeared more than once too.
Onto the regulars. Had Dusky-lemon sallow, Buttoned snout, Dotted chestnut (a few), Streak (good numbers, 19 on 21st highest number), Deep-brown dart (good numbers), Flounced chestnut (again did well), Merveille du Jour (lots, high of 21 on 15th), Turnip (loads, some possibly migrants). Both Blair’s shoulder knot and L-Album wainscot were poor, probably due to the summer drought (my large conifer in the garden died and all the grassland burnt out on site). Mallow wasn’t seen at all, normally regular. A good sighting for here was the Tachystola acroxantha on the 16th, my second record.
Now onto the main event of the month, the warm spell with the winds from southern Europe/north Africa. Like Raymond, I too failed to get any Spoladea recurvalis. However I did get Four-spotted footman (male, 10th), Palpita vitrealis (12th and 20th), Clancy’s rustic (12th, 13th and 16th, all different ones, new to my site list), Small mottled willow (17th) and my personal highlight a Clifden Nonpareil (new site record, 15th). The best night during the warm spell was the 13th  in fact it is almost certainly my best ever October night here. Had 74sp and over 550 moths in 3 traps, never seen so many moths in October before was like a summer’s night! Amongst this catch was a Blair’s wainscot, another new site record. Also found were Vestal (and had another 3 on the 16th), the Clancy’s rustic already mentioned, 4 Cydalima perspectalis (Box-tree moth, also seen on the 15th and 21st) and Adoxophyes orana.
With the three new macro moths I’ve seen this month (along with some other species of moth), I’m finding it is becoming very difficult now to tell whether they are immigrants, internal UK wanderers or local breeders in Suffolk. I guess only time will tell if we start seeing lots more of them.
With November moths and Mottled umbers appearing in the latter half of the recording period, it’s feeling like the season is drawing to a close. Will the warm weather potentially returning for a while at the start of November bring in anything interesting? Has been very cold in France and Northern Spain recently with early snow falls, has this killed off any potential immigrants?

Neil

Clancy's rustic

Clancy’s rustic

Blair's wainscot

Blair’s wainscot

Clifden Nonpareil

Clifden Nonpareil

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Convolvulus larvae camouflage

I have done very little moth recording this year and  was completely unaware of the migrant bonanza of mid October until well after the event had occurred, much to my disappointment. Therefore on the 23rd I was very pleased and surprised to find two Convolvulus Hawk-moth larvae on a patch of native climbing Convolvulus plant which I hadn’t got around to spraying off in my garden. Gardeners among you will know that it smothers plants and is difficult to eradicate but from now on I will transfer some pieces of the root to some of my wild areas in hope of hosting further larvae in the future.

These two were found while cutting grass and were both feeding on the bindweed covering the ground. There may have been more hidden by the nettles. There were signs that they had previously fed higher up the plants but perhaps they spend their last few days feeding close to the ground due to size and weight. I have not seen images of them on climbing bind-weeds before as they are often found wandering to perhaps pupate or in search of more food. The green form is well camouflaged being the same shade of green as the foliage and the round dark dots represent the shot holes frequently found on the leaves as illustrated in the photo

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Hollesley October 2018 moths

The weather forecast suggests tonight will not be good for moth trapping so I report now for the month. Moths caught during October have fallen into three categories. regular autumn species, out of season species and immigrants.

There has not been anything unusual amongst the routine autumn species. Blair’s Shoulder-knot and Cypress Carpet have had a good year as too has Clancy’s Rustic, though this may be partly immigrant. I took my first November Moth on 12th along with the second Pale November for my home location. I have yet to see any later autumn species such as the December or the Umbers.

There have been a number of unseasonal (second or third brood) moths. These have included, Phyllonorycter salicicolella, Cedestis subfasciella, Ditula angustiorana, Lozotaeniodes formosana, Least Carpet, Treble Brown Spot, Swallow-tailed, Yellow-tail, Common, Buff, Dingy and Rosy Footmans, and the Dark Arches.

October has been the month for immigrants in 2018, however there is also promise for early next week too. The crunch period was from 10th to 14th, when strong southerly winds, that had carried over France and the Iberian Peninsula, hit the UK. Night-time temperatures were above 15 centigrade and above 17 on 12th here. Many of the regular immigrants for the UK were caught during this period. I did not trap on 11th, which unfortunately for me, saw a peak of Spoladea recurvalis that I missed out on. Immigrants have continued to trickle in (else have hung around) since the 14th. Out of my catches there were three species of particular note. Antigastra catalaunalis on 12th, Hellula undalis on 13th and Zelleria oleastrella on 25th. The Z. oleastrella is probably the rarest. It was first recorded in the UK in 2006 but does seem to have been found more commonly since then. There have been at least 11 records prior to mine. The moth can be a pest in olive growing regions. In addition to recognised immigrants there was a exceptional peak of Large Wainscots on 16th which was also recorded at other coastal locations. I also found a sharp rise in numbers of the Yellow-line Quaker on the same date. I took a single Ancylosis oblitella on 12th. This species is common locally but I had not seen one for some time prior to this one turning up, so it is potentially an immigrant addition to the local population.

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Suffolk Moth Group leaf miner meeting 7th October 2018.

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

Searching the saltmarsh

Searching the saltmarsh

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

 

 

 

 

Coleophora aestuariella case on Annual Sea blite

Coleophora aestuariella case on Annual Sea blite

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

Coleophora deviella case

Coleophora deviella case

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coleophora salicornae case on Glasswort

Coleophora salicornae case on Glasswort

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

Coleophora atriplicis case on Sea purslane

Coleophora atriplicis case on Sea purslane

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Overall a very successful day enjoyed by all.

Neil.

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Clifden Nonpareil in Suffolk

Iken Cliff, 10 October 2018

Iken Cliff, 10 October 2018

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

Paul

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

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

Follow the link below to find out more.

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

Neil

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

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

Neil

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Time to look out for Cydia inquinatana

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

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