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, 20 May 2017

Bluebell Conch, a new hoverfly and some beetles

I forgot to add this photo of a Muslin Moth to my last post - I don't recall seeing the pale patches on this species before though it seems that they do vary a bit in this respect.

Muslin Moth, North Elmham, 10th May

On 11th May I discovered Meadow Long-horn Cauchas rufimitrella on Garlic Mustard at Ryburgh, only the second site I've seen this species.  Also Common Nettle-tap Anthophila fabriciana.

Meadow Long-horn Cauchas rufimitrella, Ryburgh, 11th May

I then headed up to Thursford Wood where I hoped to find two scarce Norfolk species - Hysterophora maculosana on the Bluebells and, a bit more ambitiously as there are no modern records in Norfolk, Coleophora lutarea on the Greater Stitchwort.  The bluebells were beautiful but I couldn't find either species among them.

Bluebells, Thursford Wood, 11th May

I did find a few moths including 5 Large Long-horns Nematopogon swammerdamella, Green Long-horn Adela reaumurella, Oak Satin Lift Heliozela sericiella and 2 Cocksfoot Moths Glyphipterix simpliciella.  But it wasn't until I'd left the main bluebell area and was walking through a relatively bare patch of woodland that I spotted one of my targets, Bluebell Conch Hysterophora maculosana in flight, and duly netted it to confirm. Looks like this may only be the third vice-county record following two last year (the first of which I found at Bittering).

Bluebell Conch Hysterophora maculosana, Thursford Wood, 11th May

I also saw a Maiden's Blush near the rhododendrons which were looking splendid.

Maiden's Blush, Thursford Wood, 11th May

Rhododendron, Thursford Wood, 11th May

I also found this bug which I eventually resolved as Anthocoris nemorum, a species I'd not identified previously.

Anthocoris nemorum, Thursford Wood, 11th May

I saw one Large Red Damselfly here and 10 more at Brancaster where I headed next (along with 2 Common Nettle-taps Anthophila fabriciana) and another at Titchwell Chalkpit.

As yet I haven't been able to put a name to this spider at home:

unidentified Spider, North Elmham, 11th May

That night was better than of late with 19 moths of 14 species, though still pretty rubbish for this time of year.  New for the year here were 2 Beech Midgets Phyllonorycter maestingella, Black-headed Conch Cochylis atricapitana, Small Magpie Anania hortulata and 2 Common Pugs. The others were 3 Little Dwarfs Elachista canapennella, 2 Brindled Flat-bodies Agonopterix arenella, Narrow-winged Grey Eudonia angustea, Garden Carpet, Green Carpet, White Ermine, Muslin Moth, Cinnabar, Flame Shoulder and Hebrew Character.  There was also the caddisfly Glyphotaelius pellucidus and a Black Sexton Beetle.

Beech Midgets Phyllonorycter maestingella (males, gen det), North Elmham, 11th May

Small Magpie Anania hortulata, North Elmham, 11th May

Common Pug, North Elmham, 11th May

Narrow-winged Grey Eudonia angustea, North Elmham, 11th May

Next day I headed up to Burnham Overy where Stoat and Natterjack were among the non-avian highlights.  Moths consisted of Plain Fanner Glyphipterix fuscoviridella, Yellow Belle and 2 Cinnabars - and quite a few Spindle Ermine Yponomeuta cagnagella larvae.

Yellow Belle, Burnham Overy, 12th May

I stopped off at Ryburgh on the way home and found 3 Common Nettle-taps Anthophila fabriciana and a Sulphur Tubic Esperia sulphurella.  There was also a Common Carder Bee and the hoverfly Platycheirus manicatus, a new one for me.

Platycheirus manicatus, Ryburgh, 12th May

I retained 3 beetles for identifying at home.  Perhaps I should have been able to manage the Cantharis decipiens in the field (where I think it was one of a number on Hawthorn flowers) but I certainly wouldn't have been able to do the other two without careful keying out under the microscope - unsurprisingly (as I haven't been doing this for long) both were new to me: the ground beetle Amara anthobia and the leaf beetle Phaedon armoraciae.

Cantharis decipiens, Ryburgh, 12th May

Amara anthobia, Ryburgh, 12th May

Phaedon armoraciae, Ryburgh, 12th May

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