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.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Northern Drab and a new order

Dave and I headed up to Gypsy Lane, Brancaster on the evening of Wednesday 24th May.  Conditions were reasonably good and we had a good time,  We started off walking out to the saltmarsh picking up 2 Thrift Nebs Aristotelia brizella, 4 Large Saltmarsh Conches Phalonidia affinitana and Saltmarsh Plume Agdistis bennetii.

Thrift Neb Aristotelia brizella, Brancaster, 24th May

Large Saltmarsh Conch Phalonidia affinitana, Brancaster, 24th May

We set up on the path near where it opens up and soon had lots of moths coming to light.  The highlight from my perspective was a Northern Drab, a first for me.

Northern Drab, Brancaster, 24th May

Other highlights included Marbled Coronet, Flame Wainscot and 2 Reed Daggers.

Marbled Coronet, Brancaster, 24th May

Flame Wainscot, Brancaster, 24th May

Reed Dagger, Brancaster, 24th May

Other macros were Common Swift, Oak Hook-tip, Peach Blossom, Red Twin-spot Carpet, Common Carpet, 2 Common Marbled Carpets, 7 Green Carpets, Latticed Heath, 3 Brimstone Moths, Scalloped Hazel, Waved Umber, Clouded Silver, Poplar Hawk-moth, Eyed Hawk-moth, Pale Prominent, 14 Pale Tussocks, 2 Orange Footmen, 4 White Ermines, 4 Flame Shoulders, Small Square-spot, Nutmeg, Rustic Shoulder-knot, 2 Clouded-bordered Brindles, 4 Marbled Minors, Middle-barred Minor, Vine's Rustic, Straw Dot and Snout.

Oak Hook-tip, Brancaster, 24th May

Peach Blossom, Brancaster, 24th May

Latticed Heath, Brancaster, 24th May

Vine's Rustic, Brancaster, 24th May

Micros not already mentioned were Grey Rush Case-bearer Coleophora glaucicolella, 3 Buff Rush Case-bearers Coleophora caespititiella, Cyclamen Tortrix Clepsis spectrana, 2 Plum Tortrixes Hedya pruniana, 2 Red Rollers Ancylis mitterbacheriana, Yellow-faced Bell Notocelia cynosbatella, Triple-blotched Bell Notocelia trimaculana and 8 Hook-streaked Grass-Veneers Crambus lathoniellus. Also this Bactra which I suspect may be Saltern Marble Bactra robustana but am seeking advice on the gen det as the genitalia can be pretty tough to separate from Rush Marble Bactra lancealana.  It will be a new one for me if it is confirmed as robustana.

possible Saltern Marble Bactra robustana (male), Brancaster, 24th May

Red Roller Ancylus mitterbacheriana, Brancaster, 24th May

There were quite a few different caddisflies too including 2 Agraylea sexmaculata (a new species for me), Plectrocnemia conspersa, 2 Glyphotaelius pellucidus, Limnephilus auricula, Limnephilus binotatus, 2 Mystacides longicornis and Oecetis ochracea.

Mystacides longicornis, Brancaster, 24th May

Oecetis ochracea, Brancaster, 24th May

A variety of other insects included a Green Drake Ephemera danica (a Mayfly), at least 2 Slender Groundhoppers, a Common Earwig, a Panorpa germanica (a Scorpion Fly), a Hawthorn Shieldbug, a Cockchafer and a Downlooker Snipefly.

Slender Groundhoppers, Brancaster, 24th May

Panorpa germanica (male), Brancaster, 24th May

Downlooker Snipefly, Brancaster, 24th May

The pan-listing highlight belonged to a representative of a completely new order for me.  I had little idea what it was when we saw it on the sheet beneath the light.  I contemplated whether it might be one of the larger springtails but that didn't seem right.  Then I noticed that the structure of the antennae recalled some species of woodlouse and wondered if it might be a crustacean of some kind.  That lead found me discovering a whole new order that wasn't on my radar at all, the amphipods.  Eventually I narrowed it down to a species of sand hopper known as Talitrus saltator.  I'm not 100% sure as I don't have any references that clearly state whether or not there are any confusion species but it seems highly probable.  Interestingly there aren't many squares with records of this species in the NBN Atlas but it has been recorded from this location (or close to it) before.  Apparently it spends the day buried in sand but emerges at night on falling tides to feed.  What it was doing on the sea wall a little way away from the tideline I don't know...

presumed Talitrus saltator, Brancaster, 24th May

This Argyresthiid was found by the car as we packed up.  It proved to be Blackthorn Argent Argyresthia spinosella which I wasn't especially excited by at first as I thought I'd seen a few before.  Turns out I hadn't treated any of my previous records as definite so this was my first confirmed example.  The orange tegulae were obvious and the small size, and it was interesting to compare it to conjugella seen a few days later.  The genitalia checked out too, though they aren't easy to do by gen det.

Blackthorn Argent Argyresthia spinosella (female), Brancaster, 24th May

No comments:

Post a Comment