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.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Second and third vice-county records

One good thing about micro moths is that if you look carefully at them it's relatively easy to find "rare" moths.  In reality they may not be rare, but the number of records suggests they are.  Last year and the year before I caught 3 moths at my old house in Bawdeswell that proved to be Fen Flat-body Depressaria ultimella.  There hadn't been any other records in the county for over 10 years, and only two records since the 1800s.

Last week Dave brought me some moths that he wanted me to look more closely and one of them looked like another ultimella.  Superficially rather like the much commoner Parsnip Moth Depressaria heraclei and some other Depressaria this one is disctinctively small and the dark lines continue through to the end of the wing without interruption.

On Sunday night I caught a Depressaria which looked less distinctive.  It wasn't nearly so small although it did measure to within the top end of the range for ultimella.  It was also more strongly marked than any of the ultimella I'd seen before, though the markings did seem consistent with ultimella. I wasn't 100% sure - it had quite warm tones reminding me a bit of chaerophylli though I didn't think it could be that species.  I decided to dissect both moths and check.

Dave's turned out to be a male ultimella and mine a female ultimella.  So two records of Fen Flat-body Depressaria ultimella, both in VC28 (West Norfolk vice county) where there had only been one record previously.

  Fen Flat-body Depressaria ultimella (male, gen det), collected from Dereham by DN, 3rd May

 Fen Flat-body Depressaria ultimella (female, gen det), North Elmham, 10th May

Other new moths for the year on Sunday night were Common Marble Celypha lacunana, Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet, Common Pug, Pebble Prominent and Lesser Swallow Prominent.

Common Marble Celypha lacunana, North Elmham, 10th May

Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet (male, gen det), North Elmham, 10th May

Pebble Prominent, North Elmham, 10th May

Lesser Swallow Prominent, North Elmham, 10th May

I also recorded Little Dwarf Elachista canapennella, Brindled Flat-body Agonopterix arenella, Chinese Character, Red Twin-spot Carpet, Brindled Beauty, 2 Waved Umbers, Swallow Prominent, Pale Tussock, 2 Muslin Moths and 2 Nut-tree Tussocks. 

Pale Tussock, North Elmham, 10th May

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