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, 27 June 2017

White-barred Clearwings

On Friday 2nd June I headed over to Potter Heigham Marsh where I immediately started seeing Swallowtail butterflies - hard to know how many but at least 4 and probably a very much higher number.  A variety of dragonflies included Large Red Damselflies, Four-spotted Chaser, Hairy Dragonfly (though I still await a photo-opportunity for these) and a brief glimpse of what was probably a Norfolk Hawker.  A Common Nettle-tap Anthophila fabriciana was the only moth found.

I knew there was a site for White-barred Clearwing near Catfield but didn't have the details of where to go so, initially unable to contact my source of info (Dave) I headed to the track running east from Catfield Common.  It wasn't the right place, but I put the lure out and in a short while my first White-barred Clearwing was buzzing around it.

White-barred Clearwing, Catfield Common, 2nd June

There was another Swallowtail butterfly here too, along with Common Carpet, Large Red Damselfly and Hairy Dragonfly.  By now I'd got the info about the other site and decided to try it too out of curiosity.  An even quicker response there with one appearing almost straight away.

White-barred Clearwing, Catfield Fen, 2nd June

I also tried for Red-tipped Clearwing at both sites but no luck this time.  I did however find a Variable Damselfly - the first I've seen for ages.

Variable Damselfy, Catfield Fen, 2nd June

There were also several Norfolk Hawkers flying around and a couple of Hairy Dragonflies.  Also a Brimstone butterfly.

Norfolk Hawker, Catfield Fen, 2nd June

Moths at Ryburgh that afternoon included 2 Common Nettle-taps Anthophila fabriciana, Buff Rush Case-bearer Coleophora caespititiella and Light Brown Apple Moth Epiphyas postvittana.

New for the year in the moth trap that night were Cypress Tip Moth Argyresthia cupressella, Buff Arches, Single-dotted Wave, Sharp-angled Carpet and 2 Snouts.

Cypress Tip Moth Argyresthia cupressella, North Elmham, 2nd June

Buff Arches, North Elmham, 2nd June

Single-dotted Wave, North Elmham, 2nd June

Sharp-angled Carpet, North Elmham, 2nd June

Other moths caught were Clover Case-bearer Coleophora alcyonipennella, 3 Buff Rush Case-bearers Coleophora caespititiella, Light Brown Apple Moth Epiphyas postvittana, Hedge Shade Isotrias rectifasciana, Barred Marble Celypha striana, 9 Common Marbles Celypha lacunana, Plum Tortrix Hedya pruniana, 2 Triple-blotched Bells Notocelia trimaculana, 3 Hook-streaked Grass-Veneers Crambus lathoniellus, Common Grey Scoparia ambigualis, 2 Small Magpies Anania hortulata, Bee Moth Aphomia sociella, 6 Common Swifts, Maiden's Blush, Blood-vein, Treble Brown Spot, 3 Silver-ground Carpets, 3 Green Carpets, 5 Common Pugs, 2 Clouded Borders, 5 Scorched Wings, Brimstone Moth, Scalloped Hazel, 2 Willow Beauties, Common White Wave, Common Wave, 3 Light Emeralds, 2 Eyed Hawk-moths, Coxcomb Prominent, Buff-tip, Orange Footman, 9 White Ermines, Buff Ermine, 2 Cinnabars, Heart and Dart, 2 Ingrailed Clays, Shears, 2 Common Wainscots, Rustic Shoulder-knot, 4 Brown Rustics, Clouded-bordered Brindle, Marbled Minor, Middle-barred Minor, 8 Treble Lines, 3 Mottled Rustics, Spectacle and 16 Straw Dots.

Eyed Hawk-moth, North Elmham, 2nd June

Caddisflies included Limnephilus auricula and new for the year, Limnephilus marmoratus and Limnephilus vittatus.  Mayflies consisted of Small Spurwing Centroptilum luteolum (new for the year) and 2 Pale Evening Duns Procloeon bifidum.  Also a Common Earwig.

Limnephilus marmoratus, North Elmham, 2nd June

Small Spurwing Centroptilum luteolum, North Elmham, 2nd June

Sunday, 25 June 2017

New for Norfolk!

On Thursday 1st June I had a first for Norfolk in my moth trap!  It wasn't a moth, but a Wax Fly, not flies but relatives of Lacewings.  Unlike the larger and more familiar green and brown lacewings these tiny insects are covered in white powdery scales.  They are otherwise pretty non-descript and there are a number of species - some can be identified by external features such as wing venation while others, including this one, require examination of the male genitalia.  Fortunately this one was a male, and I did the necessary... it proved to be Coniopteryx esbenpeterseni, a species first recognised in Britain 30 years ago but subsequently found (by checking museum specimens) to have been present here much longer.  It has proved to be fairly common and widespread across much of southern and central England and was presumed to be present in Norfolk... but until now there were no actual records in Norfolk.

Coniopteryx esbenpeterseni (male, gen det), North Elmham, 1st June - the first record for Norfolk!

Among the moths only a couple of species were new for the year: 2 Common Rush Case-bearers Coleophora alticolella and Barred Fruit-tree Tortrix Pandemis cerasana.

Common Rush Case-bearer Coleophora alticolella (male, gen det), North Elmham, 1st June

Barred Fruit-tree Tortrix Pandemis cerasana, North Elmham, 1st June

Other moths that night were 8 Buff Rush Case-bearers Coleophora caespititiella, Brown House Moth Hofmannophila pseudospretella, Hook-marked Straw Moth Agapeta hamana, 4 Common Marbles Celypha lacunana, Crescent Bell Epinotia bilunana, 2 Triple-blotched Bells Notocelia trimaculana, Hoary Bell Eucosma cana, Hook-streaked Grass-Veneer Crambus lathoniellus, 5 Common Greys Scoparia ambigualis, Small Magpie Anania hortulata, Chalk Knot-horn Phycitodes maritima, Maiden's Blush, Blood-vein, Treble Brown Spot, 2 Silver-ground Carpets, 2 Common Marbled Carpets, 4 Green Carpets, 2 Mottled Pugs, 9 Common Pugs, Clouded Border, Brimstone Moth, 2 Willow Beauties, Poplar Hawk-moth, Coxcomb Prominent, Pale Prominent, 7 White Ermines, 5 Buff Ermines, 3 Cinnabars, Heart and Dart, Shuttle-shaped Dart, Flame Shoulder, 2 Ingrailed Clays, Bright-line Brown-eye, Lychnis, Rustic Shoulder-knot, 3 Brown Rustics, Angle Shades, Clouded-bordered Brindle, 7 Treble Lines and 9 Straw Dots.

Chalk Knot-horn Phycitodes maritima, North Elmham, 1st June

Buff Ermine, North Elmham, 1st June

The Mayfly Lake Olive Cloeon simile was my first here this year.

Lake Olive Cloeon simile, North Elmham, 1st June

Caddisflies included Athripsodes aterrimus and Mystacides longicornis, the former being new for the year.

Athripsodes aterrimus, North Elmham, 1st June

This soldier beetle proved to be the reddish form of Cantharis rufa - the first time I've positively identified this species.

Cantharis rufa, North Elmham, 1st June

The bug Kleidocerys resedae was my first this year.

Kleidocerys resedae, North Elmham, 1st June

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Two garden firsts

Moths at Ryburgh on Tuesday 30th May included 2 Common Nettle-taps Anthophila fabriciana and 4 Silver-ground Carpets.  A Broad-bodied Chaser was better and a Garden Bumblebee.

There were two new moths for the garden that night - Brindled Tortrix Ptycholoma lecheana and Triangle Plume Platyptilia gonodactyla.

Brindled Tortrix Ptycholoma lecheana, North Elmham, 30th May

Triangle Plume Platyptilia gonodactyla, North Elmham, 30th May

Some more were new for the year here: Fulvous Clothes Moth Tinea semifulvella, Sloe Flat-body Luquetia lobella, 2 Barred Marbles Celypha striana and Marbled Brown.  A Small Clouded Brindle wasn't new for the year after one 5 days earlier but it was only my second here since moving in.

Fulvous Clothes Moth Tinea semifulvella, North Elmham, 30th May

Sloe Flat-body Luquetia lobella, North Elmham, 30th May

Barred Marble Celypha striana, North Elmham, 30th May

Marbled Brown, North Elmham, 30th May

Other moths were Blackthorn Slender Parornix torquillella, Buff Rush Case-bearer Coleophora caespititiella, Dark-barred Tortrix Syndemis musculana, 6 Common Marbles Celypha lacunana, 2 Yellow-faced Bells Notocelia cynosbatella, 2 Triple-blotched Bells Notocelia trimaculana, 4 Hook-streaked Grass-Veneers Crambus lathoniellus, Common Grey Scoparia ambigualis, Garden Pebble Evergestis forficalis, 4 Small Magpies Anania hortulata, Common Swift, 2 Blood-veins, Flame Carpet, Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet, 4 Silver-ground Carpets, Garden Carpet, Common Marbled Carpet, Green Carpet, Mottled Pug, 2 Currant Pugs, 12 Common Pugs, Brimstone Moth, Willow Beauty, White-pinion Spotted, 3 Light Emeralds, 2 Coxcomb Prominents, Buff-tip, Orange Footman, White Ermine, 4 Buff Ermines, Cinnabar, Heart and Dart, Flame Shoulder, 2 Ingrailed Clays, Setaceous Hebrew Character, Common Wainscot, 2 Brown Rustics, Clouded-bordered Brindle, Marbled Minor, 11 Treble Lines, Vine's Rustic, 2 Spectacles and 8 Straw Dots.

The soldier beetle Cantharis decipiens was new for the house.  The caddisfly Limnephilus flavicornis was new for the year.  Another caddis was Hydropsyche pellucidula and there were two mayflies, both Pond Olives Cloeon dipterum.

Cantharis decipiens, North Elmham, 30th May

Limnephilus flavicornis, North Elmham, 30th May

Another visit to Burnham Overy on 31st May produced a few moths: 4 Plain Fanners Glyphipterix fuscoviridella, Hook-streaked Grass-Veneer Crambus lathoniellus, Yellow Belle and 12 Cinnabars.  Butterflies included 2 Small Coppers, 5 Brown Arguses, 5 Common Blues and Painted Lady.  There were 3 Four-spotted Chasers and a Broad-bodied Chaser, while beetles included 2 Garden Chafers and a 7-spot Ladybird.

Broad-bodied Chaser, Burnham Overy, 31st May

On the way home I stopped at Ryburgh where a good selection of moths included Plain Gold Micropterix calthella, 6 Common Nettle-taps Anthophila fabriciana, 4 Cocksfoot Moths Glyphipterix simpliciella, Common Marble Celypha lacunana, 2 Square-spot Drills Dichrorampha sequana, 2 Lead-coloured Drills Dichrorampha plumbana, Silver-ground Carpet and Grass Rivulet.

Lead-coloured Drills Dichrorampha plumbana (males, gen det), Ryburgh, 31st May

Also 3 Common Blue Damselflies here and a bug nymph which I think is probably Leptopterna dolabrata - please let me know if you can confirm or otherwise.

probable Leptopterna dolabrata, Ryburgh, 31st May

Slightly fewer moths at home that night but still three new for the year: Twin-barred Knot-horn Homoeosoma sinuella, Mottled Rustic and Gold Spot. The latter is normally a magnificent creature but this one was rather worse for wear.

Twin-barred Knot-horn Homoesoma sinuella, North Elmham, 31st May

Mottled Rustic, North Elmham, 31st May

Gold Spot, North Elmham, 31st May

Other insects included the caddis Limnephilus lunatus and a Black Sexton Beetle.

Bedstraw bonanza

Dave and I headed up to the dunes in the afternoon of 29th May.  We saw a variety of moths in the west of the dunes including Plain Fanner Glyphipterix fuscoviridella, 2 Diamond-back Moths Plutella xylostella, Light Brown Apple Moth Epiphyas postvittana, Light Grey Tortrix Cnephasia incertana, 10 Common Marbles Celypha lacunana, Woodland Marble Orthotaenia undulana, Narrow-winged Grey Eudonia angustea, Silver-ground Carpet, Yellow Shell, Purple Bar, Yellow Belle, 3 Cinnabars, Straw Dot and Snout. Also the green Lacewing Chrysopa commata and both Bee Orchid and Pyramidal Orchids starting to flower.

Light Grey Tortrix Cnephasia incertana (male, gen det), Burnham Overy, 29th May

In the east dunes we found Sandy Long-horn Nematopogon schwarziellus, 2 Plain Fanners Glyphipterix fuscoviridella, Beautiful Groundling Caryocolum marmorea, 2 Light Brown Apple Moths Epiphyas postvittana, Common Marble Celypha lacunana, 3 Yellow-faced Bells Notocelia cynosbatella, Hook-streaked Grass-Veneer Crambus lathoniellus, Meadow Grey Scoparia pyralella, Common Grey Scoparia ambigualis, Common Carpet, 2 Purple Bars, 3 Green Carpets and 2 Cinnabars.

Sandy Long-horn Nematopogon schwarziellus, Burnham Overy, 29th May

In Holkham Pines we found London Dowd Blastobasis lacticolella, Common Grey Scoparia ambigualis, 2 Green Carpets, Scorched Carpet, 3 Brown Silver-lines and Straw Dot.

I'm not allowed to say where we went to look for Bedstraw Hawk-moths, but after finding a Hummingbird Hawk-moth feeding on honeysuckle we decided this would be a good spot to look for other hawkmoths.  Indeed it proved as before long we found ourselves watching the target Bedstraw Hawk-moth - and then a second and then a third!  The area was also visited by a Small Elephant Hawk-moth briefly.  Fabulous!  Later on 3 White Ermines rounded off the evening's mothing.

Hummingbird Hawk-moth, 29th May

Bedstraw Hawk-moths, 29th May

Moth of the night at home was Treble-spot Tubic Telechrysis tripuncta, my first here and one that's only been recorded in the county about 20 times.

Treble-spot Tubic Telechrysis tripuncta, North Elmham, 29th May

Other additions to the garden year list were Carrion Moth Monopis weaverella, Hoary Bell Eucosma cana, Garden Grass-veneer Chrysoteuchia culmella, Treble Brown Spot, Green Pug, 2 Willow Beauties, Elephant Hawk-moth, Lychnis, Small Angle Shades and Marbled White Spot.

Carrion Moth Monopis weaverella, North Elmham, 29th May

Hoary Bell Eucosma cana, North Elmham, 29th May

Garden Grass-veneer Chrysoteucha culmella, North Elmham, 29th May

Treble Brown Spot, North Elmham, 29th May

Green Pug, North Elmham, 29th May

Willow Beauty, North Elmham, 29th May

Elephant Hawk-moth, North Elmham, 29th May

Lychnis, North Elmham, 29th May

Small Angle Shades, North Elmham, 29th May

Marbled White Spot, North Elmham, 29th May

A total of 36 Treble Lines was more than double my previous highest count.  Other moths trapped were Ribwort Slender Aspilapteryx tringipennella, 2 Buff Rush Case-bearers Coleophora caespititiella, Crescent Bell Epinotia bilunana, 2 Hook-streaked Grass-Veneers Crambus lathoniellus, 2 Common Greys Scoparia ambigualis, Narrow-winged Grey Eudonia angustea, Ringed China-mark Parapoynx stratiotata, 2 Garden Pebbles Evergestis forficalis, Small Magpie Anania hortulata, Bee Moth Aphomia sociella, 4 Common Swifts, Maiden's Blush, Blood-vein, Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet, 2 Silver-ground Carpets, Common Marbled Carpet, Spruce Carpet, 3 Green Carpets, May Highflyer, Sandy Carpet, 3 Mottled Pugs, Currant Pug, 8 Common Pugs, Oak-tree Pug, 3 Scorched Wings, Brimstone Moth, Scalloped Hazel, Peppered Moth, Common White Wave, 5 Light Emeralds, 2 Pale Tussocks, 3 Orange Footmen, 3 White Ermines, Heart and Dart, 2 Ingrailed Clays, Small Square-spot, Setaceous Hebrew Character, Shears, Common Wainscot, Rustic Shoulder-knot, 3 Brown Rustics, Marbled Minor, 2 Burnished Brasses, Spectacle and 9 Straw Dots.  Caddisflies were Hydropsyche pellucidula, Glyphotaelius pellucidus and 2 Limnephilus auricula.

Crescent Bell Epinotia bilunana, North Elmham, 29th May

Spruce Carpet, North Elmham, 29th May

May Highflyer, North Elmham, 29th May