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, 6 August 2015

Fenland mothing

Dave recently obtained permission for us to trap at NWT's Hilgay Fen.  There's no public access there so it was a great opportunity to see what would be there, and we had a pretty successful night on 4th July with 116 species.  Three good micros were new to me: Speckled Fanner Glyphipterix thrasonella, Wainscot Neb Monochroa palustrellus and Lesser Wax Moth Achroia grisella.

Lesser Wax Moth Achroia grisella, Hilgay Fen, 4th July

Wainscot Neb Monochroa palustrellus, Hilgay Fen, 4th July

Speckled Fanner Glyphipterix thrasonella, Hilgay Fen, 4th July

Two macros were new to me too, but one of these was reasonably common (Clouded Brindle) while the other (Brown-tail) is so common that it's quite extraordinary that I'd not managed to see one before!  I've seen quite a few in the month since so not sure how I had managed to avoid them up to this year (adults, that is - I've seen thousands of the larvae).

Clouded Brindle, Hilgay Fen, 4th July

Brown-tail, Hilgay Fen, 4th July

A real surprise given that I've only ever seen one before, were 4 Twin-spot Carpets.

Twin-spot Carpets, Hilgay Fen, 4th July

Several good micros were seconds for me too: Hemlock Yellow Conch Aethes beatricella, Mottled Marble Bactra furfurana and Thistle Ermine Myelois circumvoluta.

Hemlock Yellow Conch Aethes beatricella, Hilgay Fen, 4th July

Mottled Marble Bactra furfurana, Hilgay Fen, 4th July

Thistle Ermine Myelois circumvoluta, Hilgay Fen, 4th July

This Poplar Grey was probably the darkest I've seen:

Poplar Grey, Hilgay Fen, 4th July

Other macros were 2 Ghost Moths, 2 Leopard Moths, 2 Drinkers, Peach Blossom, 2 Figure of Eighties, 2 Common Emeralds, Small Fan-footed Wave, 3 Riband Waves, Large Twin-spot Carpet, 2 Common Carpets, 2 Yellow Shells, Barred Straw, Sandy Carpet, Wormwood Pug, Grey Pug, Green Pug, Small Yellow Wave, Clouded Border, Brimstone Moth, Swallow-tailed Moth, Peppered Moth, Willow Beauty, Mottled Beauty, Pale Oak Beauty (melanic), Engrailed, Common White Wave, Privet Hawkmoth, 2 Poplar Hawkmoths, Eyed Hawkmoth, 4 Elephant Hawkmoths, Swallow Prominent, Yellow-tail, Rosy Footman, 2 Red-necked Footmen, Scarce Footman, Common Footman, Buff Ermine, Ruby Tiger, Flame, Flame Shoulder, 2 Large Yellow Underwings, Ingrailed Clay, Double Square-spot, Nutmeg, Dot Moth, Bright-line Brown-eye, Lychnis, Brown-line Bright-eye, 5 Smoky Wainscots, 4 Poplar Greys, Angle Shades, 3 Dark Arches, 2 Light Arches, Double Lobed, 3 Tawny Marbled Minors (gen det), Uncertain, 3 Rustics, 2 Mottled Rustics, Cream-bordered Green Pea, 2 Silver Ys, 3 Spectacles, Beautiful Hook-tip, Straw Dot and 3 Snouts.

Leopard Moth, Hilgay Fen, 4th July

Nutmeg, Hilgay Fen, 4th July

Among the micros I would never have detected 4 species of Cnephasia had I not been on that dissection course last autumn.  We had at least 7 Grey Tortrices Cnephasia stephensiana, 4 Flax Tortrices Cnephasia asseclana, Dover Shade Cnephasia genitalana and Light Grey Tortrix Cnephasia incertana. Incidentally, I looked up the plural of Tortrix to check I was right in calling them Tortrices and it seems both Tortrices and Tortrixes are acceptable.  What's the norm though among other moth recorders?

Grey Tortrix Cnephasia stephensiana (male, gen det), Hilgay Fen, 4th July

Dover Shades Cnephasia genitalana (male, gen det), Hilgay Fen, 4th July

Light Grey Tortrix Cnephasia incertana (male, gen det), Hilgay Fen, 4th July

Flax Tortrix Cnephasia asseclana (male, gen det), Hilgay Fen, 4th July

And they say asseclana is supposed to be one of the strongest marked species!

Other micros were 3 Diamond-back Moths Plutella xylostella, White Sallow Case-bearer Coleophora albidella (gen det), London Dowd Blastobasis lacticolella, 15 Hook-marked Straw Moths Agapeta hamana, 2 Little Conches Cochylis dubitana, 2 Barred Fruit-tree Tortrices Pandemis cerasana, 2 Large Fruit-tree Tortrices Archips podana, 2 Variegated Golden Tortrices Archips xylosteana, Yellow-spot Tortrix Pseudargyrotoza conwagana, 2 Yellow Oak Buttons Aleimma loeflingiana, Green Oak Tortrix Tortrix viridana, 3 Common Marbles Celypha lacunana, 4 White-backed Marbles Hedya salicella, Sallow Marble Apotomis capreana, 5 Smoky-barred Marbles Lobesia abscisana, 2 Cock's-head Bells Zeiraphera isertana, 4 Hoary Bells Eucosma cana, Round-winged Drill Dichrorampha simpliciana, Bulrush Veneer Calamotropha paludella, 25 Garden Grass-veneers Chrysoteuchia culmella, 2 Yellow Satin Veneers Crambus perlella, Giant Water-veneer Schoenobius gigantella, 3 Water Veneers Acentria ephemerella, 3 Meadow Greys Scoparia pyralella, 3 Brown China-marks Elophila nymphaeata, 2 Ringed China-marks Parapoynx stratiotata, 3 Beautiful China-marks Nymphula stagnata, 2 Small China-marks Cataclysta lemnata, Lesser Pearl Sitochroa verticalis, Small Magpie Eurrhypara hortulata, Long-winged Pearl Anania lancealis, Elder Pearl Anania coronata, Fenland Pearl Anania perlucidalis, Olive Pearl Udea olivalis, Dotted Oak Knot-horn Phycita roborella, Ash-bark Knot-horn Euzophera pinguis, Ermine Knot-horn Phycitodes binaevella, Brown Plume Stenoptilia pterodactyla and 4 White Plumes Pterophorus pentadactyla

Ash-bark Knot-horn Euzophera pinguis, Hilgay Fen, 4th July

White-backed Marble Hedya salicella, Hilgay Fen, 4th July

Sallow Marble Apotomis capreana, Hilgay Fen, 4th July

Cock's-head Bell Zeiraphera isertana, Hilgay Fen, 4th July

Smoky-barred Marble Lobesia abscisana, Hilgay Fen, 4th July

Round-winged Drill Dichrorampha simpliciana, Hilgay Fen, 4th July

Dotted Oak Knot-horn Phycita roborella, Hilgay Fen, 4th July

White Sallow Case-bearer Coleophora albidella (male, gen det), Hilgay Fen, 4th July

Giant Water-veneer Schoenobius gigantella, Hilgay Fen, 4th July

Brown Plume Stenoptilia pterodactyla, Hilgay Fen, 4th July

Other insects included my first Lesser Stag Beetle...

Lesser Stag Beetle, Hilgay Fen, 4th July

...Four-spotted Chaser, 20+ Azure Damselflies and 6 Blue-tailed Damselflies...

Blue-tailed Damselfly, Hilgay Fen, 4th July

...and this tiny red mite that had attached itself to the Lesser Wax Moth.

Mite (on Lesser Wax Moth Achroia grisella), Hilgay Fen, 4th July

A Red Fox was the best of the other wildlife noted.

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