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.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Satyr surprise!

The night of Friday 22nd June was the best so far this year with over 300 moths of 92 species.  That's a good total, but not an especially remarkable total, for this time of year.  Several nice ones among them but I had no clue about the best one until over a week later.

I often keep back pugs if I'm not completely sure about their identify, even if I think they're probably Common Pugs.  That was the case with 2 pugs on this occasion, one proving as expected to be Common Pug but the other, a female, having gentitalia that I did not immediately recognise.  I still didn't recognise it after pawing through the diagrams in the Pugs book and resorted to checking each species one by one in the Dissection Group website.  Eventually I found it - it was a Satyr Pug!  This is a scarcely-recorded species and completely new to me, but there is no way I would have reached this conclusion without dissecting it.  I guess that's part of the reason they aren't recorded very often, though fresher examples are a little bit easier.

Satyr Pug (female, gen det), North Elmham, 22nd June

I'm not sure if the number of new moths for the year was testament to how good the night was or, probably more likely, how bad the year had been before, but a phenonemal 22 species were new for the year for the garden despite trapping every night.  Apart from the Satyr Pug, Purple Clay and Cream-bordered Green Pea were probably the best.

Cream-bordered Green Pea, North Elmham, 22nd June

Purple Clay, North Elmham, 22nd June

The others new for the year were Grey Rush Case-bearer Coleophora glaucicolella, Barred Fruit-tree Tortrix Pandemis cerasana, 2 Green Oak Tortrixes Tortrix viridana, Grass-veneer Crambus pascuella, Yellow Satin Veneer Crambus perlella, Pale Water-veneer Donacaula forficella, 3 Water Veneers Acentria ephemerella, 2 Meadow Greys Scoparia pyralella, Gold Triangle Hypsopygia costalis, Double-striped Tabby Hypsopygia glaucinalis, White Plume Pterophorus pentadactyla, Ghost Moth, Large Twin-spot Carpet, 2 Green Pugs, Bordered White, Uncertain, Beautiful Hook-tip, 2 Fan-foots and Small Fan-foot.

Ghost Moth, North Elmham, 22nd June

Gold Triangle Hypsopygia costalis, North Elmham, 22nd June

Double-striped Tabby Hypsopygia glaucinalis, North Elmham, 22nd June

Barred Fruit-tree Tortrix Pandemis cerasana, North Elmham, 22nd June

Green Pug, North Elmham, 22nd June

Bordered White, North Elmham, 22nd June

Large Twin-spot Carpet, North Elmham, 22nd June

Grass-veneer Crambus pascuella, North Elmham, 22nd June

Yellow Satin Veneer Crambus perlella, North Elmham, 22nd June

Pale Water-venner Donacaula forficella, North Elmham, 22nd June

White Plume Pterophorus pentadactyla, North Elmham, 22nd June

Grey Rush Case-bearer Coleophora glaucinalis (male, gen det), North Elmham, 22nd June

Water Venner Accentria ephemerella, North Elmham, 22nd June

Fan-Foot, North Elmham, 22nd June

Uncertain, North Elmham, 22nd June

Meadow Grey Scoparia pyralella, North Elmham, 22nd June

A staggering total of 48 Straw Dots was interesting and the other macros were 2 Blood-veins, 3 Small Dusty Waves, 11 Treble Brown Spots, 9 Riband Waves, 7 Silver-ground Carpets, Garden Carpet, Common Carpet, 2 Yellow Shells, 3 Sandy Carpets, 2 Foxglove Pugs, Mottled Pug, 3 Common Pugs, Clouded Border, 4 Scorched Wings, 3 Brimstone Moths, 2 Peppered Moths, 5 Willow Beauties, 2 Mottled Beauties, 2 Common White Waves, 13 Clouded Silvers, 2 Light Emeralds, Poplar Hawkmoth, 2 Elephant Hawkmoths, Pebble Prominent, Orange Footman, Common Footman, 5 White Ermines, 3 Buff Ermines, 4 Cinnabars, Least Black Arches, 3 Heart and Darts, Flame, Large Yellow Underwing, Ingrailed Clay, Pale-shouldered Brocade, 2 Common Wainscots, 2 Shoulder-striped Wainscots, Poplar Grey, 7 Brown Rustics, 2 Dark Arches, 7 Middle-barred Minors, 4 Treble Lines, 5 Mottled Rustics, 5 Burnished Brasses, Spectacle and 3 Snouts.

Yellow Shell, North Elmham, 22nd June

Pale-shouldered Brocade, North Elmham, 22nd June

Poplar Grey, North Elmham, 22nd June

Mottled Beauty, North Elmham, 22nd June

The remaining micros were 2 Cypress Tip Moths Argyresthia cupressella, 14 Diamond-back Moths Plutella xylostella, Small Clover Case-bearer Coleophora alcyonipennella, Common Rush Case-bearer Coleophora alticolella, 5 Buff Rush Case-bearers Coleophora caespititiella, 2 Little Dwarfs Elachista canapennella, Brindled Flat-body Agonopterix arenella, Black-headed Conch Cochylis atricapitana, 3 Large Fruit-tree Tortrixes Archips podana, 7 Common Marbles Celypha lacunana, 3 Plum Tortrixes Hedya pruniana, Rush Marble Bactra lancealana, 2 Triple-blotched Bells Notocelia trimaculana, 2 Red Piercers Lathronympha strigana, 5 Hook-streaked Grass-Veneers Crambus lathoniellus, 14 Common Greys Scoparia ambigualis, Marsh Grey Eudonia pallida, Little Grey Eudonia lacustrata, 2 Narrow-winged Greys Eudonia angustea, 4 Ringed China-marks Parapoynx stratiotata, 7 Small Magpies Anania hortulata, 4 False Cacao Moths Ephestia unicolorella and Common Plume Emmelina monodactyla.

Small Clover Case-bearer Coleophora alcyonipennella (male, gen det), North Elmham, 22nd June

False Cacao Moth Ephestia unicolorella, North Elmham, 22nd June

According to the books the rings on the antennae of Coleophora caespititiella fade out before the tip of the antennae.  Well they do normally but there is variatioon - some are ringed to the very tip although not normally as clearly so as on this one:

antenna tip of Buff Rush Case-bearer Coleophora caespititiella (female, gen det), North Elmham, 22nd June

One moth was so worn it didn't really show any fieldmarks.  It looked very pale sandy coloured but I wasn't sure if that was at all reflective of how it would have appeared when it had a full quota of scales.  It's square-ended wings and the way it held them made me think it was one of the larger Agonopterix species, so I took it in to find out which one.  It really was on its last legs and by the time I photographed it it didn't seem able to rest properly with its wings down, hence the awkward posture in the photo.  Anyway, the genitalia revealed that it wasn't an Agonopterix species at all, nor anything else in that family.  I tried using the Kleine Vlinders key to find what family it belongs to but that was hard given the sad state it was in.  It keyed out as a Tortrix but several features were hard to judge and I'm not convinced it was a Tortrix.  The Pyralids (which I think includes Crambids in that key) were close, and I think the genitalia are broadly close to a number of the Pyralids, so I suspect that's the family.  But having been through numerous genitalia images of Pyralids and every other family I could possibly conceive it belonging to, I can't find anything that really matches this thing.  No doubt I've overlooked something obvious, but here is the moth, the genitalia and aedeagus in case any reader recognises it... let me know if you do please!

unidentified moth, North Elmham, 22nd June

Mayflies were represented by a Green Drake Ephemera danica, a new species for the garden.  The Leafhopper Oncopsis subangulata was the second I've seen this year.

Oncopsis subangulata, North Elmham, 22nd June

Caddisflies included Polycentropus flavomaculatus, 2 Hydropsyche pellucidula, Limnephilus flavicornis, Limnephilus marmoratus and 2 Mystacides longicornis.  Also what I think must be Athripsodes aterrimus but the genitalia didn't look quite right.

probable Athripsodes aterrimus, North Elmham, 22nd June

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