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, 6 August 2016

Coleophora solitariella - first modern record of an adult in Norfolk

A stroll round Syderstone Common during my lunch break on 4th July produced 16 Small Heaths, Ringlet and some Meadow Browns.  Several Skippers were too fleeting to identify but one that sat out was a Small Skipper.  The only moths seen were 4 Common Greys Scoparia ambigualis.

It's always exciting to see what you can find among the Coleophora, but if you get anything good you tend not to know it until you have it under a microscope.  Often though you can have a pretty good stab at the ID beforehand and when you get stuck on externals there's a better chance that the internals will reveal something interesting.  That was the case with one of the Coleophora on 4th July.  Not obvious what it might be on externals so I chopped it.  I didn't immediately recognise the genitalia so at this point I went back to the moth and took it through the key in MOGBI.  That often fails - a moth only has to have antennae ringed to the tip when MOGBI thinks it shouldn't and the right answer gets ruled out, for example, but on this occasion it came up trumps.  Once a provisional answer had been arrived at I checked the genitalia against that and yes, that was the boy!  Ochreous Case-bearer Coleophora solitariella.  Not many records in Norfolk and looking at the detail it seems that all the modern ones are of larvae.  There are two records from 1874 that don't say if they're adult or not, but mine seems to be the first adult to be found (and identified) in Norfolk in modern times.

That might suggest that they're rather rare, but I suspect they're not really.  Stewart Wright has found their larvae in several places over the last couple of years so they can't be all that rare.  Various references say the adults are rarely observed, so presumably it just doesn't come to light all that often for some reason.  Plus of course it's a Coleophora - not many people bother with them!

Ochreous Case-bearer Coleophora solitariella (male, gen det), North Elmham, 4th July

A couple of other micros were new for the house: Little Slender Calybites phasianipennella and Blotched Marble Endothenia quadrimaculana.

Little Slender Calybites phasianipennella, North Elmham, 4th July

Blotched Marble Endothenia quadrimaculana, North Elmham, 4th July

Most of the other additions to the garden year list were also micros: Tipped Oak Case-bearer Coleophora flavipennella, Dark Fruit-tree Tortrix Pandemis heparana, 3 Variegated Golden Tortrices Archips xylosteana, Holly Tortrix Rhopobota naevana, White-foot Bell Epiblema foenella, Pearl Grass-veneer Catoptria pinella and Scalloped Oak.

Pearl Grass-veneer Catoptria pinella, North Elmham, 4th July

White-foot Bell Epiblema foenella, North Elmham, 4th July

Scalloped Oak, North Elmham, 4th July

Vareigated Golden Tortrix Archips xtlosteana, North Elmham, 4th July

Tipped Oak Case-bearer Coleophora flavipennella (male, gen det), North Elmham, 4th July

Dark Fruit-tree Tortrix Pandemis heparana, North Elmham, 4th July

 Holly Tortrix Rhopobota naevana, North Elmham, 4th July

Of the 81 species of moth recorded that night the rest of the micros were 2 Case-bearing Clothes Moths Tinea pellionella, Beech Midget Phyllonorycter maestingella, Diamond-back Moth Plutella xylostella, 2 Brown House Moths Hofmannophila pseudospretella, Dark Groundling Bryotropha affinis, Barred Fruit-tree Tortrix Pandemis cerasana, 7 Large Fruit-tree Tortrices Archips podana, 2 Privet Tortrices Clepsis consimilana, 3 Large Ivy Tortrices Lozotaenia forsterana, Flax Tortrix Cnephasia asseclana, Light Grey Tortrix Cnephasia incertana, Yellow Oak Button Aleimma loeflingiana, 5 Barred Marbles Celypha striana, 12 Common Marbles Celypha lacunana, Plum Tortrix Hedya pruniana, 3 Marbled Orchard Tortrices Hedya nubiferana, Crescent Bell Epinotia bilunana, 29 Garden Grass-veneers Chrysoteuchia culmella, 3 Grass-veneers Crambus pascuella, 2 Common Greys Scoparia ambigualis, Base-lined Grey Scoparia basistrigalis, Little Grey Eudonia lacustrata, 3 Small Magpies Anania hortulata, Beautiful Knot-horn Rhodophaea formosa, False Cacao Moth Ephestia unicolorella and White Plume Pterophorus pentadactyla.

Beautiful Knot-horn Rhodophaea formosa, North Elmham, 4th July

Beech Midget Phyllonorycter maestingella, North Elmham, 4th July

The remaining micros were 2 Small Fan-footed Waves, Single-dotted Wave, 4 Treble Brown Spots, 7 Riband Waves, 4 Barred Straws, Sandy Carpet, 2 Grey Pugs, Green Pug, Clouded Border, Swallow-tailed Moth, 2 Peppered Moths, 5 Willow Beauties, Mottled Beauty, Clouded Silver, 3 Elephant Hawkmoths, Rosy Footman, Common Footman, Buff Ermine, 2 Heart and Darts, 10 Flames, Flame Shoulder, 5 Large Yellow Underwings, Setaceous Hebrew Character, 7 Double Square-spots, Dot Moth, Bright-line Brown-eye, Clay, 2 Smoky Wainscots, Common Wainscot, 2 Poplar Greys, 3 Brown Rustics, Small Angle Shades, 9 Dark Arches, Light Arches, Marbled Minor, Rufous Minor, Tawny Marbled Minor, 3 Middle-barred Minors, 7 Uncertains, 2 Mottled Rustics, 2 Burnished Brasses, Spectacle, 3 Straw Dots, 6 Snouts and Fan-foot.

Rufous Minor (male, gen det), North Elmham, 4th July

Caddisflies included Polycentropus flavomaculatus, Hydropsyche sp. (probably siltalai), Limnephilus auriculas, Limnephilus lunatus and Leptocerus tineiformis. Also another Summer Chafer.

The following night there were just 4 new for the year: Grey Tortrix Cnephasia stephensiana, Twin-barred Knot-horn Homoeosoma sinuella, Common Rustic and Rustic.

The others were Little Dwarf Elachista canapennella, Large Fruit-tree Tortrix Archips podana, Large Ivy Tortrix Lozotaenia forsterana, Flax Tortrix Cnephasia asseclana, 6 Barred Marbles Celypha striana, 2 Common Marbles Celypha lacunana, Marbled Orchard Tortrix Hedya nubiferana, 3 Garden Grass-veneers Chrysoteuchia culmella, Grass-veneer Crambus pascuella, 3 Small Magpies Anania hortulata, Ermine Knot-horn Phycitodes binaevella, White Plume Pterophorus pentadactyla, Small Fan-footed Wave, 2 Dwarf Cream Waves, Treble Brown Spot, Riband Wave, 3 Barred Straws, Barred Yellow, Clouded Border, Scorched Wing, Brimstone Moth, Scalloped Oak, Peppered Moth, Willow Beauty, 2 Common Footmen, 9 Buff Ermines, 2 Cinnabars, 2 Flames, Bright-line Brown-eye, Brown Rustic, 3 Dark Arches, Marbled Minor, Tawny Marbled Minor, Middle-barred Minor, 9 Uncertains, 2 Spectacles, Beautiful Hook-tip, Straw Dot, 4 Snouts and Small Fan-foot.

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