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, 21 May 2015

Weekend moths

Dave recently acquired permission to moth-trap at a private reserve in south-west Norfolk so we headed over there on Saturday afternoon to check it out.  Could prove very interesting I reckon.  We didn't see many different moths in the cold wind - a Common Nettle-tap Anthophila fabriciana and somewhere near 100 Cocksfoot Moths Glyphipterix simpliciella.  I usually expect to see the latter on flowers like Ox-eye Daisies but these were on nettles.  We also saw this caterpillar on an Oak tree - not 100% sure of its identity but looks like Dun-bar (most Dun-bars seem to lack the dark line though).  Let me know what you think.

probable Dun-bar, SW Norfolk, 16th May

On the same trunk were a few late instar Rhabdomiris striatellus:

Rhabdomiris striatellus, SW Norfolk, 16th May

Nearby a few damselflies included a couple of Blue-tailed and Azure Damselflies.

Blue-tailed Damselfly, SW Norfolk, 16th May

 Brown Hare, SW Norfolk, 16th May

That evening was the first organised event this season for the Norfolk Moth Survey, at Little Snoring water meadows.  It was a cold night and at times it seemed like there were more people than moths.  Eventually a few moths did appear, just about making it a worthwhile trip. We got 4 Large Long-horns Nematopogon swammerdamella, Hawthorn Slender Parornix anglicella, Red Twin-spot Carpet, 2 Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpets, Common Marbled Carpet, Green Carpet, 2 Oak-tree Pugs, Brimstone Moth, Iron Prominent, Swallow Prominent, 2 Great Prominents, 2 Pale Tussocks, 2 White Ermines, Least Black Arches, 4 Flame Shoulders, Small Square-spot, Common Quaker, Hebrew Character, Clouded-bordered Brindle, Treble Lines and 2 Nut-tree Tussocks.

Some of us hadn't seen the dark form of Clouded-bordered Brindle very often so this was one of the more interesting moths of the night.

Clouded-bordered Brindle, Little Snoring, 16th May

Not many moths at home either, but best was new for the year Black-speckled Groundling Carpatolechia proximella.

 Black-speckled Groundling Carpatolechia proximella, North Elmham, 16th May

Others moths at home were Brindled Flat-body Agonopterix arenella, Double-striped Pug, Poplar Hawkmoth, White Ermine, 2 Muslin Moths, Early Grey and Spectacle.

Sunday saw me up at Burnham Overy in the afternoon/evening.  The Brown-tail caterpillars are getting fewer in number but larger in size.

Brown-tail caterpillar, Burnham Overy, 17th May

Also making tents but in the Spindle were Spindle Ermine Yponomeuta cagnagella caterpillars.

Spindle Ermine Yponomeuta cagnagella caterpillars, Burnham Overy, 17th May

Several moths were netted in the dunes: a Skin Moth Monopis laevigella first, followed by 4 Downloand Conches Aethes tesserana.  The latter clearly common here but the first time I've recorded the species.

Skin Moth Monopis laevigella, Burnham Overy, 17th May

Downland Conches Aethes tesserana, Burnham Overy, 17th May

Finally a distinctive-looking moth was netted which I could not immediately put a name to.  It looked a lovely shiny silvery grey colour with a distinct glowing white tips bordered by dark subterminal band (the photos don't really do it justice).  My initial research led to Copper Ermel Roeslerstammia erxlebella which, though normally more coppery in colour, can look quite grey judging by one or two photos online.  I published it here as such but a few days later came across photos of Plain Fanner Glyphipterix fuscoviridella that looked very similar to my moth.  However none of the photos showed such shiny white tips to the termen bordered by a dark band, so I remained unconvinced - but suspicious enough to dissect it to make sure.  Turns out it was in fact fuscoviridella.

Plain Fanner Glyphipterix fuscoviridella, Burnham Overy, 17th May

At home the moth trap on Sunday night produced 17 moths of 16 species.  New for the year, at least for home, were Blood-vein, Common White Wave, Marbled Brown, Small Square-spot and Clouded-bordered Brindle.

Blood-vein, North Elmham, 17th May

Common White Wave, North Elmham, 17th May

Small Square-spot, North Elmham, 17th May

Clouded-bordered Brindle, North Elmham, 17th May

Marbled Brown, North Elmham, 17th May

The others were Little Dwarf Elachista canapennella, Frosted Green, Common Pug, Brimstone Moth, Pale Prominent, Chocolate-tip, 2 Buff-tips, Heart and Dart, Shuttle-shaped Dart, Hebrew Character and Early Grey.

Chocolate-tip, North Elmham, 17th May

Buff-tip, North Elmham, 17th May

Frosted Green, North Elmham, 17th May

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