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, 21 August 2016

A 124 species night

19th July was another good night - the best of the year so far with 432 moths of 124 species.  Probably the best one was one of 5 species of Coleophora: Southern Case-bearer Coleophora badiipennella [ - or so I thought - see the update below].  They're tricky to identify even when looking at the genitalia, especially males.  Pretty sure this was one anyway - had a female last year which was marginally easier, so I know they're in the area.  Only 10 records in Norfolk, though I suspect that has more to do with the diffiiculty in confirming ID than their actual rarity.  I include a pic of the genitalia in case anyone wants to comment on the ID (the inset is the cornuti that came out of the aedeagus)...

[update 22nd September - well, I wasn't comfortable enough with this ID to record it formally without checking so sent the following pics to Jon Clifton and Jim Wheeler.  Jon thought it might be milvipennis but the situation with these two is very difficult not only because they are so alike but because the figures in MOGBI are apparently the wrong way round and consequently a lot of online images of their genitalia may well be misidentified.  Anyway, Jon forwarded them on to Jukka Tabell in Finland who is apparently an expert on these.  The response came back that it is indeed Buff Birch Case-bearer Coleophora milvipennis.  According to the NMS database this birch-feeding species is recorded a bit more frequently than the elm-feeding badiipennella, but from my perspective it's good news as milvipennis is a new species for me.

Buff Birch Case-bearer Coleophora milvipennis (male, gen det confirmed by Jukka Tabell (Finland) via J Clifton), North Elmham, 19th July

New for the garden and only the second time I've seen one anywhere was this Gold Pine Ermel Cedestis gysseleniella.

Gold Pine Ermel Cedestis gysseleniella, North Elmham, 19th July

Others new for the year were Golden Lance-wing Epermenia chaerophyllella, Hedge Case-bearer Coleophora striatipennella, Buff Cosmet Mompha ochraceella, Maple Button Acleris forsskaleana, Round-winged Drill Dichrorampha simpliciana, 2 Small Yellow Waves, 2 Ruby Tigers and one of the best macros of the night, Lunar-spotted Pinion.

Small Yellow Wave, North Elmham, 19th July

Maple Button Acleris forsskaleana, North Elmham, 19th July

Golden Lance-wing Epermenia chaerophyllella, North Elmham, 19th July

Round-winged Drill Dichrorampha simpliciella, North Elmham, 19th July

Hedge Case-bearer Coleophora striatipennella (male, gen det), North Elmham, 19th July

Great to see another Scarce Silver-lines and a slightly fresher Blue-bordered Carpet than yesterday's.

Scarce Silver-lines, North Elmham, 19th July

 Blue-bordered Carpet, North Elmham, 19th July

I dissected a Wormwood Pug to check it wasn't Currant as it seemed a bit small.  Currant Pug has very different genitalia and was easily ruled out on dissection, but the genitalia were an exact match for the diagram of Bleached Pug in Riley's Pugs book.  Bleached Pug hasn't occurred in Norfolk but sadly I don't think this was one - it was pretty worn but there were enough scales left to see it was a dark reddish-brown moth, quite unlike Bleached Pug.  Just goes to show that examining the genitalia doesn't always give you the right answers!

 Wormwood Pug (male), North Elmham, 19th July

Riley's Pug book shows Wormwood Pug as having hardly any indent in the top of the abdominal plate, but the majority of examples online show an indent, if not always as deep as on this individual:

 Wormwood Pug (abdominal plate), North Elmham, 19th July

The real difference between Wormwood and Bleached genitalia is supposed to be the form of this cornutus from the aedeagus.  On Wormwood there are supposed to be fewer projections round the outside and front face and long projection on the right hand side.  Bleached, on the other hand, is supposed to show projections round the edge and front just like this.  There may be a small projection on the right hand side - this was hard to see as it's a bit hidden below the folds of the vesica.  But they are evidently a bit variable and given the appearance of the forewings it must be a Wormwood Pug, unfortunately.

Wormwood Pug (cornutus in aedeagus), North Elmham, 19th July

Other macros were Ghost Moth, 2 Chinese Characters, Large Emerald, 2 Common Emeralds, Small Emerald, Small Blood-vein, 3 Lesser Cream Waves, 13 Small Fan-footed Waves, 8 Single-dotted Waves, 12 Riband Waves, Large Twin-spot Carpet, Yellow Shell, Phoenix, July Highflyer, 2 Green Pugs, Clouded Border, 2 Brimstone Moths, 3 Early Thorns, 4 Scalloped Oaks, 4 Swallow-tailed Moths, 2 Willow Beauties, Elephant Hawkmoth, 3 Yellow-tails, 4 Round-winged Muslins, 24 Rosy Footmen, 15 Dingy Footmen, Scarce Footman, Buff Footman, 28 Common Footmen, 3 Buff Ermines, 2 Large Yellow Underwings, 3 Double Square-spots, Bright-line Brown-eye, 2 Brown-line Bright-eyes, 2 Clays, 13 Smoky Wainscots, Marbled Beauty, Dun-bar, 3 Dark Arches, Common Rustic, Lesser Common Rustic (plus 2 Common Rustic aggs.), 21 Uncertains, Rustic, 2 Nut-tree Tussocks, Burnished Brass, 2 Spectacles, Beautiful Hook-tip, 2 Straw Dots, 6 Snouts, 2 Fan-foots and Small Fan-foot.

Other highlights among the micros included Hazel Slender Parornix devoniella, Dull Red Groundling Bryotropha senectella and Lesser Pearl Sitochroa verticalis.

Hazel Slender Parornix devoniella (female, gen det), North Elmham, 19th July

Dull Red Groundling Bryotropha senectella (male, gen det), North Elmham, 19th July

Lesser Pearl Sitochroa verticalis, North Elmham, 19th July

The Robinson's moth trap is round so casts a circular shadow round it, with a ring of light on the ground beyond the shadow.  In a circle round the trap along the inner edge of the light were Water Veneers.  Saw lots there in the evening but most had disappeared by the morning - perhaps burrowed into the grass out of sight rather than gone?  I counted 54 Water Veneers Acentria ephemerella but suspect there were far more in reality.

More than half the moth species were micros, the ones not yet mentioned being 4 Bird-cherry Ermines Yponomeuta evonymella, Little Ermel Swammerdamia pyrella, 12 Diamond-back Moths Plutella xylostella, 2 Woundwort Case-bearers Coleophora lineolea, White Sallow Case-bearer Coleophora albidella, 4 Grey Rush Case-bearers Coleophora glaucicolella, 2 Little Dwarfs Elachista canapennella, 2 Golden-brown Tubics Crassa unitella, 2 Long-horned Flat-bodies Carcina quercana, Common Groundling Teleiodes vulgella, Dark Groundling Bryotropha affinis, 3 Cinereous Groundlings Bryotropha terrella, Gorse Crest Brachmia blandella, Orange Crest Helcystogramma rufescens, 2 Bulrush Cosmets Limnaecia phragmitella, Hawthorn Cosmet Blastodacna hellerella, 2 Hook-marked Straw Moths Agapeta hamana, Burdock Conch Aethes rubigana, 3 Dark Fruit-tree Tortrixes Pandemis heparana, 4 Large Fruit-tree Tortrixes Archips podana, 5 Privet Tortrixes Clepsis consimilana, Red-barred Tortrix Ditula angustiorana, 2 Yellow-spot Tortrixes Pseudargyrotoza conwagana, 5 Grey Tortrixes Cnephasia stephensiana, 2 Flax Tortrixes Cnephasia asseclana, Light Grey Tortrix Cnephasia incertana, Yellow Oak Button Aleimma loeflingiana, Garden Rose Tortrix Acleris variegana, 3 Barred Marbles Celypha striana, 8 Common Marbles Celypha lacunana, Pine Marble Piniphila bifasciana, 4 Marbled Orchard Tortrixes Hedya nubiferana, 2 Triangle-marked Rollers Ancylis achatana, Holly Tortrix Rhopobota naevana, Common Cloaked Shoot Gypsonoma dealbana, Marbled Piercer Cydia splendana, Wainscot Veneer Chilo phragmitella, 6 Garden Grass-veneers Chrysoteuchia culmella, Grass-veneer Crambus pascuella, 2 Pearl Veneers Agriphila straminella, 2 Chequered Grass-veneers Catoptria falsella, Pale Water-veneer Donacaula forficella, 3 Common Greys Scoparia ambigualis, 6 Little Greys Eudonia lacustrata, 3 Small Greys Eudonia mercurella, Brown China-mark Elophila nymphaeata, Beautiful China-mark Nymphula nitidulata, 3 Chequered Straws Evergestis pallidata, Small Magpie Anania hortulata, 5 Elder Pearls Anania coronata, Fenland Pearl Anania perlucidalis, 2 Dusky Pearls Udea prunalis, 10 Mother of Pearls Pleuroptya ruralis, Grey Knot-horn Acrobasis advenella, Ermine Knot-horn Phycitodes binaevella and 3 White Plumes Pterophorus pentadactyla.

 Common Cloaked Shoot Gypsonoma dealbana, North Elmham, 19th July

Wainscot Veneer Chilo phragmitella, North Elmham, 19th July

Pale Water-veneer Donacaula forficella, North Elmham, 19th July

White Sallow Case-bearer Coleophora albidella (male, gen det), North Elmham, 19th July

Other insects included the Brown Lacewing Hemerobius humulinus.

Hemerobius humulinus, North Elmham, 19th July

Caddisflies included 6 Athripsodes aterrimus, Leptocerus tineiformis and 2 Mystacides longicornis.

The only other insect of note that day was a Small Tortroiseshell that flew in through my study window earlier in the day.

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