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, 19 May 2017

Schreckensteiniella festaliella (or Bramble False-feather)

On Monday 8th May this Yellow-triangle Slender Caloptilia alchimiella was new for the year.  There were also 2 Little Dwarfs Elachista canapennella, Garden Carpet, Streamer, Brindled Pug, Muslin Moth, Cinnabar and Flame Shoulder, and I'd had a Light Brown Apple Moth Epiphyas postvittana in the house earlier. A Common Toad in the garden was also new for the year.

Yellow-triangle Slender Caloptilia alchimiella (male, gen det), North Elmahm, 8th May

The following evening I found this Nut Leaf Blister Moth Phyllonorycter coryli on my front door.   I also found 2 Varied Carpet Beetles in the house but with a frosty night there wasn't a single moth in the moth trap the following morning - really crazy to be getting nil returns at this time of year - come on spring!

Nut Leaf Blister Moth Phyllonorycter coryli (female, gen det), North Elmahm, 9th May

On Wednesday 10th Dave and I headed down to Frost's Common to see what we could find. The highlight was a Bramble False-feather Schreckensteinia festaliella, a new species and a new family for both of us and quite a distinctive looking moth.

Bramble False-feather Schreckensteinia festaliella, Frost's Common, 10th May

Other moths were Large Long-horn Nematopogon swammerdamella, Green Long-horn Adela reaumurella, Oak Satin Lift Heliozela sericiella and 12 Horse Chestnut Leaf-miners Cameraria ohridella but it seemed quieter than expected.  Quite a few butterflies: Large White, 2 Green-veined Whites, 10 Orange-tips, 12 Brimstones, 2 Small Coppers, 4 Holly Blues, 2 Peacocks, Small Tortoiseshell, Comma and 3 Speckled Woods.  Dragonflies were well represented too with perhaps 120 Large Red Damselflies, Hairy Dragonfly and Four-spotted Chaser (plus Dave saw an unspecified blue damselfly).  I'd have liked to have seen the Hairy Dragonfly better - I don't see many of these and haven't had a decent look at one for decades.

I retained two beetles for checking, both proving to be Phyllobius weevils: Phyllobius maculicornis and Phyllobius pyri.

Phyllobius pyri, Frost's Common, 10th May

Phyllobius maculicornis, Frost's Common, 10th May

We then had a quick look at Thompson Water though didn't stay long as the wind was getting up.  Long enough to see over 100 Azure Damselflies that had recently emerged.  Also more Brimstones and Orange-tips.

Azure Damselflies, Thompson Water, 10th May

Dave had to head off but I stopped at Lolly Moor on the way back, expecting it to be more sheltered.  It's a good site for Grass Rivulet and I saw at least 8 (probably a fair few more) including this mating pair.

Grass Rivulets, Lolly Moor, 10th May

It's also the site where I saw my first Meadow Long-horn Cauchas rufimitrella and I saw another one here this time.

Meadow Long-horn Cauchas rufimitrella, Lolly Moor, 10th May

Another species we recorded here last year was Knapweed Bell Epiblema cirsiana, though its a hard one to separate from its congener Thistle Bell Epiblema scutulana.  I saw at least a couple that I thought were Knapweed Bell Epiblema cirsiana and the male I retained for checking did indeed have a dark hindwing (the genitalia only confirm it was one or the other but the hindwing clinches it).  I collected another one from a slightly drier thistly part of the moor and it crossed my mind that it might be scutulana, and sure enough the hindwing was pale - it was a Thistle Bell Epiblema scutulana.  Good to know both species are present on site but it will make recording them harder!  The scutulana was paler overall and had slightly more white towards the tornus than the cirsiana which is typically the case (though probably not reliable except where there's a lot more).  The differences were subtle though perhaps a little more obvious in life than they seem in the photos.

Knapweed Bell Epiblema cirsiana (male, hindwing checked), Lolly Moor, 10th May

Thistle Bell Epiblema scutulana (male, hindwing checked), Lolly Moor, 10th May

Other moths here were 7 Plain Golds Micropterix calthella, Common Nettle-tap Anthophila fabriciana, Bittersweet Smudge Acrolepia autumnitella and Common Marble Celypha lacunana.

Bittersweet Smudge Acrolepia autumnitella, Lolly Moor, 10th May

There was Large Red Damselfly here too, and Orange-tip and Comma plus a few Turnip Sawflies Athalia rosae.

Comma, Lolly Moor, 10th May

Orange-tip, Lolly Moor, 10th May

Turnip Sawfly, Lolly Moor, 10th May

Only 3 moths in the trap that night - a new-for-the-year Spectacle and 2 Muslin Moths.  Also 2 Common Earwigs.

Spectacle, North Elmham, 10th May

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