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.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Knapweed Bells (Epiblema cirsiana)

Last Sunday my garden produced my first Large White of the year and an Orange-tip, and in the evening Dave and I had a pre-dusk wander round Lolly Moor and Honeypot Wood, two small NWT reserves in the Dereham area.  We'd had some considerable success 'dusking' at Lolly Moor last year and hoped the warm evening sunshine might produce the goods again this time.

We found quite a few moths at Lolly Moor but the highlight was 3 Knapweed Bells Epiblema cirsiana.  This is a new species for me and a scarcely recorded one - just 2-3 records a year in Norfolk in the last 5 years and very few before that.  Males can be separated from the similar Thistle Bell Epiblema scutulana by their dark hindwing - I examined two of ours, both were males and both showed a dark hindwing.

Knapweed Bell Epiblema cirsiana (male, with dark hindwing), Lolly Moor, 8th May

We also recorded 10 Plain Golds Micropterix calthella, Little Slender Calybites phasianipennella, Common Cosmet Mompha epilobiella, Common Grey Scoparia ambigualis, 2 Grass Rivulets and a Brindled Beauty.

Plain Gold Micropterix calthella, Lolly Moor, 8th May

A single caddisfly proved to be my first Limnephilus sparsus (not an uncommon species - I've only just started keying these out).

Limnephilus sparsus, Lolly Moor, 8th May

A search of tree-trunks along the wooded path turned up 5 Kidney-spot Ladybirds, another new species for me.

Kidney-spot Ladybird, Lolly Moor, 8th May

Among the snails were at least 4 Two-toothed Door Snails, the first time I've identified these, and both Brown-lipped and White-lipped Snails.

Two-toothed Door Snail, Lolly Moor, 8th May

Brown-lipped Snail, Lolly Moor, 8th May

We found several clumps of Lords-and-Ladies but were surprised to see this purple example.  Not noticed one like this before, but presume it's just a variant rather than some different species (nothing like that in my book).  There was another that was intermediate showing purple edges.

presumed Lords-and-Ladies, Lolly Moor, 8th May

Honeypot Wood wasn't so successful for moths, though we did see a Common Oak Purple Dyseriocrania subpurpurella and another 15 Plain Golds Micropterix calthella (on Pendulous Sedge).  There were more Two-toothed Door Snails here and a variety of Slugs including Netted and Tree.

Two-toothed Door Snails, Honeypot Wood, 8th May

Netted Slugs, Honeypot Wood, 8th May

Tree Slug, Honeypot Wood, 8th May

That night was unexpectedly good for moths at home.  Common Oak Purple Dyseriocrania subpurpurella was new for the house and several species were new for the year here: Pebble Hook-tip, 2 Common Pugs, Scalloped Hazel, Cinnabar, Least Black Arches, Shuttle-shaped Dart and Herald.

 Herald, North Elmham, 8th May

Cinnabar, North Elmham, 8th May

Scalloped Hazel, North Elmham, 8th May

Common Pug, North Elmham, 8th May

Shuttle-shaped Dart, North Elmham, 8th May

Least Black Arches, North Elmham, 8th May

Bringing the list for the night up to 21 species were White-shouldered House Moth Endrosis sarcitrella, Light Brown Apple Moth Epiphyas postvittana, Many-plumed Moth Alucita hexadactyla, Common Plume Emmelina monodactyla, 2 Streamers, 2 Brindled Pugs, 2 Waved Umbers, 2 Swallow Prominents, Chocolate-tip, Muslin Moth, Clouded Drab, 3 Hebrew Characters and Early Grey.

White-shouldered House Moth Endrosis sarcitrella, North Elmham, 8th May

Once again caddisflies were represented by Glyphotaelius pellucidus and 3 Limnephilus auricula.

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