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.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Foulden Common

My first night back after my trip to Cornwall was a poor one for moths with just Yellow-barred Brindle, Early Thorn and 2 Hebrew Characters.  The first of those was a new species for the year.

Yellow-barred Brindle, North Elmham, 8th April

There was also this tiny juvenile Common Earwig and, in the house, another Varied Carpet Beetle.

Common Earwig, North Elmham, 8th April

Sunshine the next day produced Brimstone butterflies at a couple of places and in the evening I headed off to have a look round Foulden Common.  This is a site I've never visited before but have heard it mentioned a few times in the context of mothing.  The exposed parts of the west side of the common were too breezy to be any good but I caught Brown Birch Slender Parornix betulae and Double-striped Pug here, along with the green and brown lacewings Chrysoperla canea and Hemerobius humulinus.

Brown Birch Slender Paronix betulae (male, gen det), Foulden Common, 9th April

Hemerobius humulinus, Foulden Common, 9th April

The eastern side was more sheltered and I netted another Double-striped Pug and an Early Purple Eriocrania semipurpurella.  The latter are quite hard to identify with certainty and although I had probably seen it before I hadn't managed to confirm any of the previous ones, so good to get one I was happy with at last.

Early Purple Eriocrania semipurpurella (female, gen det), Foulden Common, 9th April

Actually "gen det" simplifies it a bit too much - the ID was done through a combination of the hindwing scale width, the size and separaton of the sensoria (basically holes) on the bottom of the abdomen and a tiny little bit of its genitalia.

This leafhopper was a very common species, Empoasca vitis.

Empoasca vitis, Foulden Common, 9th April

As it got dark I decided conditions weren't good enough to bother setting up the MV light but did another quick circuit of the common with a headtorch.  This confirmed my suspicion that conditions were not good as all I added were Water Carpet and Early Thorn.  Oh, and a few click-beetles flying around which all looked the same and the one I retained for checking proved to be Dalopius marginatus.

Dalopius marginatus, Foulden Common, 9th April

Not many moths at home either, although 3 different micros made for a change.  These were Streaked Flat-body Depressaria chaerophylli (new for the year and a species I've only seen twice before) Common Flat-body Agonopterix heracliana and another new one for the year, Narrow-winged Grey Eudonia angustea.  Macros consisted of Shoulder Stripe, 2 Streamers and 3 Hebrew Characters.

Streaked Flat-body Depressaria chaerophylli (female, gen det), North Elmham, 9th April

Other insects in the trap were a Black Sexton Beetle and a new hoverfly species for me, Platycheirus albimanus.  Most examples of this genus (which I'd never encountered before) are characterised by the modifications on the front tarsi which you can see in the image below (the yellow feet sticking out behind the eyes).

Platycheirus albimanus, North Elmham, 9th April

The following night another Streaked Flat-body Depressaria chaerophylli was the highlight.  Muslin Moth was new for the year and there were also Streamer, Early Thorn, Oak Beauty and 2 Hebrew Characters. A German Wasp was also new for the year.

Streaked Flat-body Depressaria chaerophylli (male, gen det), North Elmham, 10th April

Muslin Moth, North Elmham, 10th April

German Wasp, North Elmham, 10th April

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