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, 4 August 2017

Fritillaries, Six-belts and a Norfolk Owlet

On Monday 26th June, after finding Peacock, Comma and Meadow Brown in the garden (Comma was new for the year here) early on, I headed up to Burnham Overy.  I was hoping to see, among other things, Dark Green Fritillaries.  I wasn't disappointed - I must have seen at least 20 Dark Green Fritillaries, quite possibly a lot more.  And I didn't have to wait until I reached the dunes - these were feeding along the seawall.

Dark Green Fritillaries, Burnham Overy, 26th June

A good selection of other butterflies included 2 Small Whites, 5 Brown Arguses, Common Blue, 9 Small Tortoiseshells, at least 140 Meadow Browns, 5 Ringlets, 5 Small Heaths, 4 Essex Skippers and 4 Small Skippers.

I had another go at attracting Six-belted Clearwings to lure and this time I was successful - I saw my first two.  I also saw a Five-spot/Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet agg. in the same area.

Six-belted Clearwing, Burnham Overy, 26th June

There were about 15 Welsh Chafers in the same area - the same place I saw them a while back.  I'd started to doubt my ID given that they're not shown as occurring here on the NBN Atlas so I retained one for re-checking.  I keyed it out very carefully and apart from being a little on the small side it keyed out perfectly for Welsh Chafer Hoplia philanthus.

Welsh Chafer Hoplia philanthus, Burnham Overy, 26th June

I was pleased to bump into this Forester, a species I've rarely seen before.

Forester, Burnham Overy, 26th June

I often see Spindle Ermines Yponomeuta cagnagella around the spindle trees in the dunes, either the adults or the larvae in their coccoons.  Sometimes the caterpillars strip the trees completely.  It was interesting to see huge numbers of adults today that had clearly just emerged - and also to see even more huge numbers of pupae at the bases of the trees.  I must have seen at least 500 adults and I should think that there must have been thousands of pupae, many still clealy occupied.

Spindle Ermine Yponomeuta cagnagella pupae, Burnham Overy, 26th June

At the east end of the dunes I met a chap looking at bugs who was on holiday with his family.  Turns out that he's a county recorder for bugs and he had a couple of interesting ones with him which he showed me.  I can't remember the names of either, but one he said was easily identified by its disctinctive diamond-shaped markings and even in my really awful photo I think these are clear enough to identify it as Graptopeltus lynceus.

Graptopeltus lynceus, Burnham Overy, 26th June

He had been looking for one of two rare species that live under Storksbill (if I remember rightly) and I thought he had said he had found one, and that that was the other bug he showed me.  According to my recollection he wasn't yet sure which of the two it was.  Having looked it up I'm guessing he was referring to the Arenocoris spp. but although the bug he showed me looks a bit like one of those, I'm not sure it is.  Maybe he never said it was and I just remembered wrong, or maybe I got confused and photographed the wrong insect, or maybe I'm now wrong and it really is one of the Arenocoris spp. as I thought he'd said, but I can't help thinking that it is in fact Coranus woodroffei.  Please let me know if you know better though.

Coranus woodroffei I think?, Burnham Overy, 26th June

Anyway, he was a lovely guy and I enjoyed meeting him and chatting about bugs and things.  I went on to find a couple more bugs - Rhopalus parumpunctatus, a new one for me, and Common Green Caspid Lygocoris pabulinus.

Rhopalus parumpunctatus, Burnham Overy, 26th June

Common Green Caspid Lygocoris pabulinus, Burnham Overy, 26th June

I also found a lovely Sulphur Beetle Cteniopus sulphureus, another new species for me.

Sulphur Beetle Cteniopus sulphureus, Burnham Overy, 26th June

My main moth target for today was a Rosebay Willowherb specialist that is only found here.  It was found to be common here in 1980 when it was added to the British list, though a couple of earlier records from the west of the county came to light subsequently.  I believe it has been recorded in Suffolk and in Lincolnshire too, but so far as I know Holkham NNR (which includes Burnham Overy Dunes) is the only place it is regularly recorded in the UK - and even here there was only one record between 1980 and 2014.  Anyway, I found my first - a Norfolk Owlet Scythris inspersella.

Norfolk Owlet Scythris inspersella, Burnham Overy, 26th June

Other moths included Downland Conch Aethes tesserana, 2 Barred Grass-veneers Agriphila inquinatella, 2 Pearl Grass-veneers Catoptria pinella, Common Carpet, Lime-speck Pug, Common Footman and 2 Cinnabars.

I keyed the following bee out to Black-headed Leafcutter Bee Megachile circumcincta - hope I got that right!

Black-headed Leafcutter Bee Megachile circumcincta, Burnham Overy, 26th June

Other insects of note included Dune Villa Villa modesta, Swollen-thighed Beetle Oedemera nobilis and my first identified Red-legged Spider Wasp Episyron rufipes (pretty sure I've seen them before without knowing what they were).

Dune Villa Villa modesta, Burnham Overy, 26th June

Swollen-thighed Beetle Oedemera nobilis, Burnham Overy, 26th June

Red-legged Spider Wasp Episyron rufipes, Burnham Overy, 26th June

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