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, 12 March 2017

New centipede and beetle

At Strumpshaw Fen last Saturday some black fungi caught our attention.  It reminded me of Jelly Ear, but black, and I wondered if it might be that species having blackened with age.  Other options were considered but a knowledgable chap at the reception informed us they were indeed Jelly Ear.  Well, thanks to James E for coming to the rescue once again... turns out it's Black Bulgar Bulgaria inquinans.

Black Bulgar, Strumpshaw Fen, 4th March

We also saw at least 3 Chinese Water Deer at Buckenham Marshes.

The only moths in my trap that evening were March Moth, Pale Brindled Beauty and Dotted Border.  Sunday night was no better with just Hebrew Character and Chestnut.

A Stoat and 2 Common Seals were the non-avian highlights of a birding visit to Burnham Overy on Monday and that night the garden trap produced March Moth, Shoulder Stripe, 2 Dotted Borders and 3 Hebrew Characters.

On Tuesday I walked round Haddiscoe Island (a long way!) and encountered at least 25 Chinese Water Deer, very probably more.  Moths at home that night were Oak Beauty, 5 Hebrew Characters and Chestnut.

On Wednesday evening the good mothing weather promised by the forecast didn't materialise but Dave and I spent an hour or so at Thursford Wood with headtorches to see if we could pick anything up.  We managed to find Pale Red Slender Caloptilia elongella, 9 Common Flat-bodies Agonopterix heracliana, 6+ Dotted Borders, 4 Engraileds (including a mating pair) and 2 Chestnuts.

Engrailed, Thursford Wood, 8th March

Among lots of woodlice that looked like they were probably Common Rough Woodlice, the one I encounter by far the most, one was tiny and yellow-blotched.  Hoping it would turn out to be something more interesting I keyed it out only to find it was just a Common Rough Woodlouse too, presumably a young one.  The pale spots looked much yellower in life than they do in the photo.

 Common Rough Woodlouse Porcellio scaber, Thursford Wood, 8th March

A couple of millipedes turned out to be White-legged Snake-Millipedes I think but a centipede was more interesting, if only because it was my first since owning the key to centipedes allowing a confident identification.  Unsurprisingly it turned out to tbe a very common species, but nevertheless the first time I'd identified Common Lithobius Lithobius forficatus.

Common Lithobius Lithobius forficatus, Thursford Wood, 8th March

White-legged Snake-Millipede Tachypodoiulus niger, Thursford Wood, 8th March

The home trap caught Oak Beauty, Dotted Border, Hebrew Character and Chestnut.

On Thursday night moth numbers started picking up but variety was still very lacking - 5 Dotted Borders, 3 Hebrew Characters and Chestnut.

Likewise on Friday night there were 2 Shoulder Stripes, 3 Dotted Borders, 5 Hebrew Characters and Chestnut.

On Saturday morning I found the very small beetle Epuraea biguttata in my bathroom, a new species for me.

Epuraea biguttata, North Elmham, 11th March


  1. I respectfully disagree with the person at Strumpshaw about the fungus, it's Black Bulgar (Bulgaria inquinans). Jelly Ear tends to start fleshy brown and if anything it fades, in 20+ years of seeing it I've never seen a black specimen. The key feature though is the underside - Jelly Ear is smooth, or maybe a bit felty, but never as granualted as shown on your second photo. Bulgaria inquinans is quite variable, it can be brown and black, button shape etc, but this isn't too atypical. The only other black jelly fungi you are likely to come across are the Exidia spp.

    1. Aha, brilliant - thanks James. To be fair to him he didn't see my photos and was basing it on (a) our description and (b) the fact that he had (or he thought he had) seen quite a bit of it around the reserve (but black examples if I remember what he said rightly, so perhaps it was all this really?).