A diary of my mothing activity covering highlights and photos from my moth trapping activities. Mainly Norfolk (UK), occasionally beyond. I may mention other wildlife sightings here, especially insects, but for birds see my birding diary.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

New for Norfolk!

On Thursday 1st June I had a first for Norfolk in my moth trap!  It wasn't a moth, but a Wax Fly, not flies but relatives of Lacewings.  Unlike the larger and more familiar green and brown lacewings these tiny insects are covered in white powdery scales.  They are otherwise pretty non-descript and there are a number of species - some can be identified by external features such as wing venation while others, including this one, require examination of the male genitalia.  Fortunately this one was a male, and I did the necessary... it proved to be Coniopteryx esbenpeterseni, a species first recognised in Britain 30 years ago but subsequently found (by checking museum specimens) to have been present here much longer.  It has proved to be fairly common and widespread across much of southern and central England and was presumed to be present in Norfolk... but until now there were no actual records in Norfolk.

Coniopteryx esbenpeterseni (male, gen det), North Elmham, 1st June - the first record for Norfolk!

Among the moths only a couple of species were new for the year: 2 Common Rush Case-bearers Coleophora alticolella and Barred Fruit-tree Tortrix Pandemis cerasana.

Common Rush Case-bearer Coleophora alticolella (male, gen det), North Elmham, 1st June

Barred Fruit-tree Tortrix Pandemis cerasana, North Elmham, 1st June

Other moths that night were 8 Buff Rush Case-bearers Coleophora caespititiella, Brown House Moth Hofmannophila pseudospretella, Hook-marked Straw Moth Agapeta hamana, 4 Common Marbles Celypha lacunana, Crescent Bell Epinotia bilunana, 2 Triple-blotched Bells Notocelia trimaculana, Hoary Bell Eucosma cana, Hook-streaked Grass-Veneer Crambus lathoniellus, 5 Common Greys Scoparia ambigualis, Small Magpie Anania hortulata, Chalk Knot-horn Phycitodes maritima, Maiden's Blush, Blood-vein, Treble Brown Spot, 2 Silver-ground Carpets, 2 Common Marbled Carpets, 4 Green Carpets, 2 Mottled Pugs, 9 Common Pugs, Clouded Border, Brimstone Moth, 2 Willow Beauties, Poplar Hawk-moth, Coxcomb Prominent, Pale Prominent, 7 White Ermines, 5 Buff Ermines, 3 Cinnabars, Heart and Dart, Shuttle-shaped Dart, Flame Shoulder, 2 Ingrailed Clays, Bright-line Brown-eye, Lychnis, Rustic Shoulder-knot, 3 Brown Rustics, Angle Shades, Clouded-bordered Brindle, 7 Treble Lines and 9 Straw Dots.

Chalk Knot-horn Phycitodes maritima, North Elmham, 1st June

Buff Ermine, North Elmham, 1st June

The Mayfly Lake Olive Cloeon simile was my first here this year.

Lake Olive Cloeon simile, North Elmham, 1st June

Caddisflies included Athripsodes aterrimus and Mystacides longicornis, the former being new for the year.

Athripsodes aterrimus, North Elmham, 1st June

This soldier beetle proved to be the reddish form of Cantharis rufa - the first time I've positively identified this species.

Cantharis rufa, North Elmham, 1st June

The bug Kleidocerys resedae was my first this year.

Kleidocerys resedae, North Elmham, 1st June

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Two garden firsts

Moths at Ryburgh on Tuesday 30th May included 2 Common Nettle-taps Anthophila fabriciana and 4 Silver-ground Carpets.  A Broad-bodied Chaser was better and a Garden Bumblebee.

There were two new moths for the garden that night - Brindled Tortrix Ptycholoma lecheana and Triangle Plume Platyptilia gonodactyla.

Brindled Tortrix Ptycholoma lecheana, North Elmham, 30th May

Triangle Plume Platyptilia gonodactyla, North Elmham, 30th May

Some more were new for the year here: Fulvous Clothes Moth Tinea semifulvella, Sloe Flat-body Luquetia lobella, 2 Barred Marbles Celypha striana and Marbled Brown.  A Small Clouded Brindle wasn't new for the year after one 5 days earlier but it was only my second here since moving in.

Fulvous Clothes Moth Tinea semifulvella, North Elmham, 30th May

Sloe Flat-body Luquetia lobella, North Elmham, 30th May

Barred Marble Celypha striana, North Elmham, 30th May

Marbled Brown, North Elmham, 30th May

Other moths were Blackthorn Slender Parornix torquillella, Buff Rush Case-bearer Coleophora caespititiella, Dark-barred Tortrix Syndemis musculana, 6 Common Marbles Celypha lacunana, 2 Yellow-faced Bells Notocelia cynosbatella, 2 Triple-blotched Bells Notocelia trimaculana, 4 Hook-streaked Grass-Veneers Crambus lathoniellus, Common Grey Scoparia ambigualis, Garden Pebble Evergestis forficalis, 4 Small Magpies Anania hortulata, Common Swift, 2 Blood-veins, Flame Carpet, Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet, 4 Silver-ground Carpets, Garden Carpet, Common Marbled Carpet, Green Carpet, Mottled Pug, 2 Currant Pugs, 12 Common Pugs, Brimstone Moth, Willow Beauty, White-pinion Spotted, 3 Light Emeralds, 2 Coxcomb Prominents, Buff-tip, Orange Footman, White Ermine, 4 Buff Ermines, Cinnabar, Heart and Dart, Flame Shoulder, 2 Ingrailed Clays, Setaceous Hebrew Character, Common Wainscot, 2 Brown Rustics, Clouded-bordered Brindle, Marbled Minor, 11 Treble Lines, Vine's Rustic, 2 Spectacles and 8 Straw Dots.

The soldier beetle Cantharis decipiens was new for the house.  The caddisfly Limnephilus flavicornis was new for the year.  Another caddis was Hydropsyche pellucidula and there were two mayflies, both Pond Olives Cloeon dipterum.

Cantharis decipiens, North Elmham, 30th May

Limnephilus flavicornis, North Elmham, 30th May

Another visit to Burnham Overy on 31st May produced a few moths: 4 Plain Fanners Glyphipterix fuscoviridella, Hook-streaked Grass-Veneer Crambus lathoniellus, Yellow Belle and 12 Cinnabars.  Butterflies included 2 Small Coppers, 5 Brown Arguses, 5 Common Blues and Painted Lady.  There were 3 Four-spotted Chasers and a Broad-bodied Chaser, while beetles included 2 Garden Chafers and a 7-spot Ladybird.

Broad-bodied Chaser, Burnham Overy, 31st May

On the way home I stopped at Ryburgh where a good selection of moths included Plain Gold Micropterix calthella, 6 Common Nettle-taps Anthophila fabriciana, 4 Cocksfoot Moths Glyphipterix simpliciella, Common Marble Celypha lacunana, 2 Square-spot Drills Dichrorampha sequana, 2 Lead-coloured Drills Dichrorampha plumbana, Silver-ground Carpet and Grass Rivulet.

Lead-coloured Drills Dichrorampha plumbana (males, gen det), Ryburgh, 31st May

Also 3 Common Blue Damselflies here and a bug nymph which I think is probably Leptopterna dolabrata - please let me know if you can confirm or otherwise.

probable Leptopterna dolabrata, Ryburgh, 31st May

Slightly fewer moths at home that night but still three new for the year: Twin-barred Knot-horn Homoeosoma sinuella, Mottled Rustic and Gold Spot. The latter is normally a magnificent creature but this one was rather worse for wear.

Twin-barred Knot-horn Homoesoma sinuella, North Elmham, 31st May

Mottled Rustic, North Elmham, 31st May

Gold Spot, North Elmham, 31st May

Other insects included the caddis Limnephilus lunatus and a Black Sexton Beetle.

Bedstraw bonanza

Dave and I headed up to the dunes in the afternoon of 29th May.  We saw a variety of moths in the west of the dunes including Plain Fanner Glyphipterix fuscoviridella, 2 Diamond-back Moths Plutella xylostella, Light Brown Apple Moth Epiphyas postvittana, Light Grey Tortrix Cnephasia incertana, 10 Common Marbles Celypha lacunana, Woodland Marble Orthotaenia undulana, Narrow-winged Grey Eudonia angustea, Silver-ground Carpet, Yellow Shell, Purple Bar, Yellow Belle, 3 Cinnabars, Straw Dot and Snout. Also the green Lacewing Chrysopa commata and both Bee Orchid and Pyramidal Orchids starting to flower.

Light Grey Tortrix Cnephasia incertana (male, gen det), Burnham Overy, 29th May

In the east dunes we found Sandy Long-horn Nematopogon schwarziellus, 2 Plain Fanners Glyphipterix fuscoviridella, Beautiful Groundling Caryocolum marmorea, 2 Light Brown Apple Moths Epiphyas postvittana, Common Marble Celypha lacunana, 3 Yellow-faced Bells Notocelia cynosbatella, Hook-streaked Grass-Veneer Crambus lathoniellus, Meadow Grey Scoparia pyralella, Common Grey Scoparia ambigualis, Common Carpet, 2 Purple Bars, 3 Green Carpets and 2 Cinnabars.

Sandy Long-horn Nematopogon schwarziellus, Burnham Overy, 29th May

In Holkham Pines we found London Dowd Blastobasis lacticolella, Common Grey Scoparia ambigualis, 2 Green Carpets, Scorched Carpet, 3 Brown Silver-lines and Straw Dot.

I'm not allowed to say where we went to look for Bedstraw Hawk-moths, but after finding a Hummingbird Hawk-moth feeding on honeysuckle we decided this would be a good spot to look for other hawkmoths.  Indeed it proved as before long we found ourselves watching the target Bedstraw Hawk-moth - and then a second and then a third!  The area was also visited by a Small Elephant Hawk-moth briefly.  Fabulous!  Later on 3 White Ermines rounded off the evening's mothing.

Hummingbird Hawk-moth, 29th May

Bedstraw Hawk-moths, 29th May

Moth of the night at home was Treble-spot Tubic Telechrysis tripuncta, my first here and one that's only been recorded in the county about 20 times.

Treble-spot Tubic Telechrysis tripuncta, North Elmham, 29th May

Other additions to the garden year list were Carrion Moth Monopis weaverella, Hoary Bell Eucosma cana, Garden Grass-veneer Chrysoteuchia culmella, Treble Brown Spot, Green Pug, 2 Willow Beauties, Elephant Hawk-moth, Lychnis, Small Angle Shades and Marbled White Spot.

Carrion Moth Monopis weaverella, North Elmham, 29th May

Hoary Bell Eucosma cana, North Elmham, 29th May

Garden Grass-veneer Chrysoteucha culmella, North Elmham, 29th May

Treble Brown Spot, North Elmham, 29th May

Green Pug, North Elmham, 29th May

Willow Beauty, North Elmham, 29th May

Elephant Hawk-moth, North Elmham, 29th May

Lychnis, North Elmham, 29th May

Small Angle Shades, North Elmham, 29th May

Marbled White Spot, North Elmham, 29th May

A total of 36 Treble Lines was more than double my previous highest count.  Other moths trapped were Ribwort Slender Aspilapteryx tringipennella, 2 Buff Rush Case-bearers Coleophora caespititiella, Crescent Bell Epinotia bilunana, 2 Hook-streaked Grass-Veneers Crambus lathoniellus, 2 Common Greys Scoparia ambigualis, Narrow-winged Grey Eudonia angustea, Ringed China-mark Parapoynx stratiotata, 2 Garden Pebbles Evergestis forficalis, Small Magpie Anania hortulata, Bee Moth Aphomia sociella, 4 Common Swifts, Maiden's Blush, Blood-vein, Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet, 2 Silver-ground Carpets, Common Marbled Carpet, Spruce Carpet, 3 Green Carpets, May Highflyer, Sandy Carpet, 3 Mottled Pugs, Currant Pug, 8 Common Pugs, Oak-tree Pug, 3 Scorched Wings, Brimstone Moth, Scalloped Hazel, Peppered Moth, Common White Wave, 5 Light Emeralds, 2 Pale Tussocks, 3 Orange Footmen, 3 White Ermines, Heart and Dart, 2 Ingrailed Clays, Small Square-spot, Setaceous Hebrew Character, Shears, Common Wainscot, Rustic Shoulder-knot, 3 Brown Rustics, Marbled Minor, 2 Burnished Brasses, Spectacle and 9 Straw Dots.  Caddisflies were Hydropsyche pellucidula, Glyphotaelius pellucidus and 2 Limnephilus auricula.

Crescent Bell Epinotia bilunana, North Elmham, 29th May

Spruce Carpet, North Elmham, 29th May

May Highflyer, North Elmham, 29th May

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Coleophora City

The most numerous moth in the trap on Sunday 28th May was Buff Rush Case-bearer Coleophora caespititiella - there were 20 of them.  Lurking among them was another Coleophora, slightly different in appearance.  This one proved to be Wood-rush Case-bearer Coleophora otidipennella, a new one for the house, and indeed for the 10k square.  There are fewer than 20 records in Norfolk and apart from one at Holme all come from either the Brecks or the Broads, so good to get one well outside its recorded range.

Buff Rush Case-bearer Coleophora caespititiella (male, gen det), North Elmham, 28th May

Wood-rush Case-bearer Coleophora otidipennella (male, gen det), North Elmham, 28th May

The following moths were new for the year here: Skin Moth Monopis laevigella, Yellow-spot Tortrix Pseudargyrotoza conwagana, Crescent Bell Epinotia bilunana, Marsh Grey Eudonia pallida, Small Seraphim, Ingrailed Clay and Setaceous Hebrew Character.

Skin Moth Monopis laevigella (male, gen det), North Elmham, 28th May

Yellow-spot Tortrix Pseudargyrotoza conwagana, North Elmham, 28th May

Crescent Bell Epinotia bilunana, North Elmham, 28th May

Small Seraphim, North Elmham, 28th May

Ingrailed Clay, North Elmham, 28th May

Other moths were Ribwort Slender Aspilapteryx tringipennella, 2 Light Brown Apple Moths Epiphyas postvittana, 2 Common Marbles Celypha lacunana, Rush Marble Bactra lancealana, Yellow-faced Bell Notocelia cynosbatella, 2 Triple-blotched Bells Notocelia trimaculana, 2 Hook-streaked Grass-Veneers Crambus lathoniellus, Meadow Grey Scoparia pyralella, Common Grey Scoparia ambigualis, Garden Pebble Evergestis forficalis, 3 Small Magpies Anania hortulata, Bee Moth Aphomia sociella, 2 False Cacao Moths Ephestia unicolorella, Chalk Knot-horn Phycitodes maritima, 5 Common Swifts, Blood-vein, Red Twin-spot Carpet, 6 Silver-ground Carpets, Garden Carpet, Common Marbled Carpet, 7 Green Carpets, 2 Small Rivulets, 3 Mottled Pugs, 3 Common Pugs, Brown Silver-line, 3 Scorched Wings, Pale Oak Beauty, 5 Light Emeralds, Pale Tussock, Orange Footman, White Ermine, 2 Buff Ermines, Shuttle-shaped Dart, Flame Shoulder, Small Square-spot, Nutmeg, Shears, Bright-line Brown-eye, 2 Brown Rustics, 11 Treble Lines, 2 Straw Dots and Small Fan-foot.

dark form of Common Marble Celypha lacunana (male, gen det), North Elmham, 28th May

Shears - also darker than normal (male, gen det), North Elmham, 28th May

Triple-blotched Bell Notocelia trimaculana, North Elmham, 28th May

There was a variety of by-catch too including the Mayflies Pond Olive Cloeon dipterum and Pale Evening Dun Procloeon bifidum, the caddisflies Cyrnus flavidus, Hydropsyche siltalai, Hydropsyche pellucidula (new for the year), Glyphotaelius pellucidus and Limnephilus lunatus (new for the year).   Two beetles too - a Harlequin Ladybird and the soldier beetle Cantharis nigricans, the latter my first positively identified here.

sub-imago Pale Evening Dun Proloeon bifidum, North Elmham, 28th May

Cantharis nigricans, North Elmham, 28th May