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, 30 August 2016

Thyme Plume

Edit: oops - now re-titled this post as the star of the show was clearly a Thyme Plume not a Thyme Pug!  Now that would be good!

26th July produced 384 moths of 119 species - reasonable if unremarkable but a night more of quality than quantity.  The highlight was a new species for me and one that has only been recorded in Norfolk five times in the last 20+ years: Thyme Plume Merrifieldia leucidactyla.  A really lovely-looking Plume, in my opinion, though not straightforward to identify as the even rarer Western Thyme Plume (tridactyla) looks very similar externally.

Thyme Plume Merrifieldia leucodactyla (female, gen det), North Elmham, 26th July

A Bog Dwarf Elachista utonella was a surprise addition to the garden list - a rare species of wet bogs and acid heaths.  Not sure where my nearest wet bog or acid heath is, but most Norfolk records are from the Broads or the acid heaths of west Norfolk, so one smack bang in the middle and over 20 km away from the nearest previous record was notable.

Bog Dwarf Elachista utonella (male, gen det), North Elmham, 26th July

Also new for the house were Large Grey Scoparia subfusca and Thistle Ermine Myelois circumvoluta.

Large Grey Scoparia subfusca, North Elmham, 26th July

Thistle Ermine Myelois circumvoluta, North Elmham, 26th July

Three other micros were new for the year: Ash-coloured Sober Acompsia cinerella, Chamomile Conch Cochylidia implicitana and Chalk Knot-horn Phycitodes maritima.

None of the macros recorded were new for the year, but one I narrowly missed recording might have been.  A large white moth was seen in flight in the first glimmers of dawn, landing briefly but almost entirely obscured in the hedge before flying on through the hedge and away.  Pretty sure, but not 100% sure, it was a Puss Moth.

It was a day of things escaping!  A Coleophora (probably lineolea) escaped without me determining it, a Cnephasia escaped - I'm putting that one down as stephensiana because it was so big, but I prefer to dissect them to confirm.  A Pug, probably Slender Pug, escaped before I could resolve it and a Dagger (large and pale so likely Grey) also made a dash for it.  Macros I did record were Leopard Moth, Pebble Hook-tip, 4 Chinese Characters, 2 Buff Arches, Common Emerald, Blood-vein, 14 Small Fan-footed Waves, 3 Single-dotted Waves, 12 Riband Waves, Red Twin-spot Carpet, Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet, Common Carpet, Dark Umber, Green Pug, 2 Brimstone Moths, 2 Early Thorns, Purple Thorn, Scalloped Oak, Peppered Moth, Willow Beauty, 2 Clouded Silvers, 2 Light Emeralds, Poplar Hawkmoth, 3 Pebble Prominents, Swallow Prominent, Coxcomb Prominent, 4 Yellow-tails, 6 Rosy Footmen, 17 Dingy Footmen, 11 Scarce Footmen, 2 Buff Footmen, 54 Common Footmen, 2 Buff Ermines, 4 Ruby Tigers, Cinnabar, Heart and Dart, 2 Shuttle-shaped Darts, 3 Lesser Yellow Underwings, Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, Setaceous Hebrew Character, 3 Double Square-spots, Nutmeg, Dot Moth, 3 Bright-line Brown-eyes, 2 Brown-line Bright-eyes, 2 Clays, 10 Smoky Wainscots, Coronet, Dun-bar, 5 Dark Arches, Light Arches, Rufous Minor, Cloaked Minor, 2 Common Rustics, Lesser Common Rustic, 2 Dusky Sallows, 31 Uncertains, 2 Rustics, Nut-tree Tussock, Spectacle and Snout.

Purple Thorn, North Elmham, 26th July

A good selection of other micros too: Bordered Carl Coptotriche marginea, Golden Argent Argyresthia goedartella, 20 Bird-cherry Ermines Yponomeuta evonymella, Little Ermel Swammerdamia pyrella, Hawthorn Ermel Paraswammerdamia nebulella, 8 Diamond-back Moths Plutella xylostella, Common Oak Case-bearer Coleophora lutipennella, Small Clover Case-bearer Coleophora alcyonipennella, 3 Little Dwarfs Elachista canapennella, Triple-spot Dwarf Elachista maculicerusella, New Tawny Tubic Batia lunaris, Small Dingy Tubic Borkhausenia fuscescens, Brown House Moth Hofmannophila pseudospretella, 2 Dark Groundlings Bryotropha affinis, Gorse Crest Brachmia blandella, Orange Crest Helcystogramma rufescens, Four-spotted Obscure Oegoconia quadripuncta, 2 Bulrush Cosmets Limnaecia phragmitella, Hook-marked Straw Moth Agapeta hamana, Burdock Conch Aethes rubigana, 2 Dark Fruit-tree Tortrixes Pandemis heparana, Large Fruit-tree Tortrix Archips podana, Privet Tortrix Clepsis consimilana, 2 Light Brown Apple Moths Epiphyas postvittana, Cereal Tortrix Cnephasia pumicana, Dover Shade Cnephasia genitalana, 3 Barred Marbles Celypha striana, 4 Common Marbles Celypha lacunana, Marbled Orchard Tortrix Hedya nubiferana, Holly Tortrix Rhopobota naevana, 2 Common Cloaked Shoots Gypsonoma dealbana, 4 Marbled Piercers Cydia splendana, Many-plumed Moth Alucita hexadactyla, 3 Garden Grass-veneers Chrysoteuchia culmella, 14 Pearl Veneers Agriphila straminella, 6 Little Greys Eudonia lacustrata, Brown China-mark Elophila nymphaeata, 4 Beautiful China-marks Nymphula nitidulata, Chequered Straw Evergestis pallidata, 6 Pale Straw Pearls Udea lutealis, 2 Dusky Pearls Udea prunalis, 12 Mother of Pearls Pleuroptya ruralis, Gold Triangle Hypsopygia costalis, Rosy Tabby Endotricha flammealis, Bee Moth Aphomia sociella and 2 Grey Knot-horns Acrobasis advenella.

Four-spotted Obscure Oegoconia quadripuncta (male, gen det), North Elmham, 26th July

Other stuff in the trap included both 7-spot and Harlequin Ladybirds and this thing which I hoped would turn out to be a Bee I could key out with the new Bees book.  Sadly it appears to be a wasp, not a bee, and although it looks pretty distinctive there are in fact about a zillion different species of wasp that all look pretty much like it and I don't have any references that allow be to get close to resolving its ID.

unidentified wasp, North Elmham, 26th July

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