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, 22 May 2016

A new site for Bluebell Conch, on my patch

Recently Matthew Casey discovered multiple Bluebell Conches Hysterophora maculosana at different sites in Ringland and Costessey, a significant discovery given that there have only been two records in the county since 1881.  Even more unusual for a micro, the discovery generated quite a bit of interest with several moth-ers going to see and photograph them.  I resisted the temptation and decided to go and find my own, so when there was a glimmer of sunshine on Thursday I headed for a small patch of bluebells on the local patch.  I was joined by Dave, and almost as soon as I reached the bluebells I scored.  Bluebell Conch Hysterophora maculosana under the belt, on my patch and a new site for this supposedly-rare species.  It's also the first post-Victorian record for the vice-county.  Great stuff!

Bluebell Conch Hysterophora maculosana, near Bittering, 19th May

We continued hunting through the patch of bluebells but couldn't find any more, except possibly one that Dave saw in flight but didn't manage to catch.

Other moths at this site included Common Nettle-tap Anthophila fabriciana, 8 Cocksfoot Moths Glyphipterix simpliciella and Grey Gorse Piercer Cydia ulicetana.

Cocksfoot Moth Glyphipterix simpliciella, near Bittering, 19th May

Grey Gorse Piercer Cydia ulicetana, near Bittering, 19th May

Also this caterpillar appears to be Yellow-tail.

Yellow-tail, near Bittering, 19th May

Moths weren't the only attraction.  We did quite well for beetles too - here are a selection:

Red-headed Cardinal, near Bittering, 19th May

Green Nettle Weevil Phyllobius pomaceus, near Bittering, 19th May

Common Leaf Weavil Phyllobius pyri, near Bittering, 19th May

10-spot Ladybird, near Bittering, 19th May

14-spot Ladybird, near Bittering, 19th May

Among the hoverflies I identified were some Leucozona lucorum.

Leucozona lucorum, near Bittering, 19th May

This Scorpion Fly, my first this year, gave me a chance to learn new ID skills (though it did have to sacrifice itself in the process).

Panorpa germanica (female, gen det), near Bittering, 19th May

It was the Bees that gave me the most new species, if only because I've not spent much effort identifying Bees until the recent publication of Falk & Lewington's excellent field guide on Bees.  Four Bees retained for checking proved to be male and female Orange-tailed Mining Bees, Wilke's Mining Bee and the very striking Lathbury's Nomad Bee, all species I had not identified previously.

Orange-tailed Mining Bees Andrena haemorrhoa (male above, female below), near Bittering, 19th May

Wilke's Mining Bee Andrena wilkella, near Bittering, 19th May

Lathbury's Nomad Bee Nomada lathburiana, near Bittering, 19th May

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