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, 5 June 2016

Diamond-back invasion

I should imagine most of my readers will be aware that we are amidst an impressive invasion of migrant Diamond-back Moths Plutella xylostella.  These have been the dominant species in my moth trap over the last few nights.  It started last Sunday night, though I only saw one that night.  A pale indidivual, as many have been this invasion.

Diamond-back Moth Plutella xylostella, North Elmham, 29th May

The best moth on Sunday night was this Dark Spectacle.

Dark Spectacle, North Elmham, 29th May

Also new for the year were Heart and Dart and Tawny Marbled Minor.

Tawny Marbled Minor (male, gen det), North Elmham, 29th May

Heart and Dart, North Elmham, 29th May

Other moths on Sunday night were Yellow-faced Bell Notocelia cynosbatella, Common Swift, Silver-ground Carpet, 2 Common Pugs, Scalloped Hazel, Poplar Hawkmoth, Coxcomb Prominent, 5 White Ermines, Cinnabar, 2 Shuttle-shaped Darts, 4 Flame Shoulders, Light Brocade, Angle Shades and 6 Treble Lines.

Yellow-faced Bell Notocelia cynosbatella, North Elmham, 29th May

Glyphotaelius pellucidus and Limnephilus auricula were the only Caddisflies.

On Monday night Lime Hawkmoth was new for the house and Clouded Silver new for the year.

Lime Hawkmoth, North Elmham, 30th May

Clouded Silver, North Elmham, 30th May

Not many other moths but 11 Diamond-back Moths Plutella xylostella, Brindled Flat-body Agonopterix arenella, Cinnabar, 2 Shuttle-shaped Darts, 2 Flame Shoulders and Treble Lines. Two hoverflies in the trap both proved to be species I'd not identified before (though common): Eupeodes corollae and Syrphus torvus.

Eupeodes corollae, North Elmham, 30th May

Syrphus torvus, North Elmham, 30th May

By far the most dominant feature of Tuesday night was an impressive 135 Diamond-back Moths Plutella xylostella, my peak count up to the time of writing.

Diamond-back Moths Plutella xylostella, North Elmham, 31st May

They weren't the only migrants - this Silver Y sneaked in too.

Silver Y, North Elmham, 31st May

A Vine's Rustic was new for the year but the only other moths were Brimstone Moth and 5 Treble Lines.  Also a caddisfly Limnephilus auricula.

Vine's Rustic, North Elmham, 31st May

A quick look round the garden on Wednesday evening got me White Oak Midget Phyllonorycter harrisella, new for the house, and Common Marble Celypha lacunana, new for the year here.

White Oak Midget Phyllonorycter harrisella, North Elmham, 1st June

In and around the trap that night there was a slight reduction to 120 Diamond-back Moths Plutella xylostella.  The only other moths were Narrow-winged Grey Eudonia angustea, 2 Common Swifts, Poplar Hawkmoth, Muslin Moth, 2 Flame Shoulders and 5 Treble Lines. This Mayfly, a Pond Olive Cloeon dipterum was new for the year, one of the few Mayflies I had identified prior to this year.

Pond Olive Cloeon dipterum, North Elmham, 1st June

If you're a Snail and there's a big Snail in the way, what do you do?  Go round it?  Nope, you go over it.  This Kentish Snail (I think) walked straight over the top of a Garden Snail.  Also 2 Strawberry Snails and Brown-lipped Snails in the garden.

Kentish Snail (I think) walking all over a Garden Snail, North Elmham, 1st June

Thursday night produced 63 Diamond-back Moths Plutella xylostella, White-shouldered House Moth Endrosis sarcitrella, Common Marble Celypha lacunana, Common Swift, 2 Garden Carpets, Common Marbled Carpet, Green Carpet, Poplar Hawkmoth, 3 Flame Shoulders, Clouded-bordered Brindle, 4 Treble Lines, Silver Y, Cockchafer and antoher Eupeodes corollae (Hoverfly).

Garden Carpet and Common Marbled Carpet, North Elmham, 2nd June

Clouded-bordered Brindle, North Elmham, 2nd June

There will be more to say about Diamond-backs in a post covering Saturday when I didn't catch so many in the trap but saw 10s if not 100s of 1000s in the field.

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