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.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Dusking in the Brecks

Dave and I planned to do some moth trapping in the Brecks on Monday night but by the time we arrived the cloud cover had already gone and with temperatures dipping it was clear that trapping was going to be a waste of time.  But we had half an hour or so of light left so we wandered around in the hope of finding some good moths.

Dave found this Red Roller Ancylis mitterbacheriana before I'd got out of the car.

Red Roller Ancylis mitterbacherina, Cranwich Heath, 16th May

Two Coleophoras proved to be a new species for me, Wood-rush Case-bearer Coleophora otidipennella.

Wood-rush Case-bearers Coleophora otidipennella (males, gen det), Cranwich Heath, 16th May

Other species included Bird’s-nest Moth Tinea trinotella, Hawthorn Slender Parornix anglicella, probable Beech Midget Phyllonorycter maestingella, Little Ermel Swammerdamia pyrella, Red-brindled Dwarf Elachista rufocinerea, 8 Swan-feather Dwarfs Elachista argentella, Black-headed Conch Cochylis atricapitana, 2 Common Greys Scoparia ambigualis, Red Twin-spot Carpet, 12 Green Carpets and White-pinion Spotted.

Black-headed Conch Cochylis atricapitana, Cranwich Heath, 16th May

Swan-feather Dwarf Elachista argentella, Cranwich Heath, 16th May

Hawthorn Slender Parornix aglicella (male, gen det), Cranwich Heath, 16th May

Little Ermel Swammerdamia pyrella, Cranwich Heath, 16th May

Green Carpet was also new for the year for home that night but there weren't many other moths: Many-plumed Moth Alucita hexadactyla, Red Twin-spot Carpet, Streamer, 3 Common Pugs, Lesser Swallow Prominent, Coxcomb Prominent, Chocolate-tip, 6 Muslin Moths, Cinnabar and 2 Hebrew Characters.  A Glyphotaelius pellucidus was the only caddisfly recorded.

The following night produced a crop of new moths for the year (for the garden): Carrion Moth Monopis weaverella, Ribwort Slender Aspilapteryx tringipennella, Dark-barred Tortrix Syndemis musculana, Narrow-winged Grey Eudonia angustea, Great Prominent and Orange Footman. Always good to get a Great Prom in the garden!

Carrion Moth Monopis weaverella, North Elmham, 17th May

Ribwort Slender Aspilapteryx tringipennella, North Elmham, 17th May

Dark-barred Tortrix Syndemis musculana, North Elmham, 17th May

Orange Footman, North Elmham, 17th May

I think the Mullein was arguably better than any of those though - my third ever and second this year.  Surely a good year for these - lots of people I follow on Twitter seem to be seeing them this year.

Mullein, North Elmham, 17th May

I was almost as impressed with this Fly Bug Reduvius personatus sitting on top of my moth trap.  Not sure how scarce these are really as I've seen one before (in Norwich) but there aren't all that many dots on the National Biodiversity Network map.  Apparently they eat other bugs.

Fly Bug Reduvius personatus, North Elmham, 17th May

Caddisflies included one Glyphotaelius pellucidus and at least 10 Limnephilus auricula.  My newly-acquired Mayfly ID guide isn't, so far, proving its worth.  This one's particularly frustrating as a clearer description could have allowed ID I think.  It's a Cloeon sp. for which some features seem to match dipterum better while others (notably the absence of red stripes in the eyes) fit simile better.  The text in the guide refers to the number of cross-veins at the tip of the forewing - easy to count on my specimen and apparently diagnostic with 9-11 in simile and 3-5 in dipterum.  The annoying thing is there are no illustrations to accompany it and no description to explain how much of the wing-tip qualifies as the "tip".  My specimen had 3-5 cross-veins in the very tip and then some more (bringing it up to 9-11) a bit further in but still within the region that might (?) be described as the tip.

 Pond Olive Cloeon dipterum or Lake Olive Cloeon simile, North Elmham, 17th May

So far that's 2 out of 2 Mayflies I haven't been able to identify using the guide - a disappointing start after being extremely impressed with all the other FSC guides I've used so far.  (Incidentally, the veins look dark in my photo but in reality they weren't dark at all).

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