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.

Thursday, 31 August 2017

My first Sloe Midget

Arguably the highlight on the night of Sunday 16th July was a New Poplar Pigmy Ectoedemia hannoverella, a species I'd seen for the first time in June.  Again this one keyed out quite straightforwardly and I checked its genitalia for added confidence (this time it was a female - the last one was a male) (but see 2018 comment below).

New Poplar Pigmy Ectoedemia hannoverella (female, gen det), North Elmham, 16th July - or not: see below...

* Edit 2018: OK, I got a bit suspicious after my fourth in 2018 which seems a lot for a Poplar-feeding species given the distance from here to the nearest Poplars.  Having looked into it a bit more it now seems possible - indeed likely - that they are not hannoverella but Spotted Black Pigmies Ectoedemia subbimaculella.  I cannot rule out hannoverella, nor the Holm-Oak species heringella as both the external appearance and the genitalia are very similar between all 3 species, but as there is an Oak tree close by (subbimaculella feeds on Oak) and no Poplar or Holm-Oak very close I think subbimaculella is most likely.  Not entirely sure why I overlooked this as a possibility - probably because most of the photos online show much better patterned individuals than any of mine.

A few species were new for the year: Four-spotted Obscure Oegoconia quadripuncta, Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, Dark Dagger and Herald.

Four-spotted Obscure Oegoconia quadripuncta (male, gen det), North Elmham, 16th July

Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, North Elmham, 16th July

Dark Dagger (female, gen det), North Elmham, 16th July

Herald, North Elmham, 16th July

A good selection of other micros consisted of Ribwort Slender Aspilapteryx tringipennella, Beech Midget Phyllonorycter maestingella, Horse Chestnut Leaf-miner Cameraria ohridella, 26 Bird-cherry Ermines Yponomeuta evonymella, Tipped Oak Case-bearer Coleophora flavipennella, Meadow Case-bearer Coleophora mayrella, Woundwort Case-bearer Coleophora lineolea, Little Dwarf Elachista canapennella, Small Dingy Tubic Borkhausenia fuscescens, 2 Dark Groundlings Bryotropha affinis, 2 Cinereous Groundlings Bryotropha terrella, 4 Orange Crests Helcystogramma rufescens, Scarce Obscure Oegoconia deauratella, Common Cosmet Mompha epilobiella, Hook-marked Straw Moth Agapeta hamana, 2 Dark Fruit-tree Tortrixes Pandemis heparana, 2 Grey Tortrixes Cnephasia stephensiana, Flax Tortrix Cnephasia asseclana, 3 Dover Shades Cnephasia genitalana, Barred Marble Celypha striana, 2 Common Marbles Celypha lacunana, Holly Tortrix Rhopobota naevana, Common Cloaked Shoot Gypsonoma dealbana, Bright Bell Eucosma hohenwartiana, Hoary Bell Eucosma cana, 2 Bud Moths Spilonota ocellana, 18 Garden Grass-veneers Chrysoteuchia culmella, 3 Grass-veneers Crambus pascuella, 24 Pearl Veneers Agriphila straminella, Pearl Grass-veneer Catoptria pinella, Base-lined Grey Scoparia basistrigalis, 3 Little Greys Eudonia lacustrata, Small Grey Eudonia mercurella, Beautiful China-mark Nymphula nitidulata, Chequered Straw Evergestis pallidata, 4 Small Magpies Anania hortulata, 3 Elder Pearls Anania coronata, 20 Mother of Pearls Pleuroptya ruralis, Gold Triangle Hypsopygia costalis, Grey Knot-horn Acrobasis advenella, Ermine Knot-horn Phycitodes binaevella and Chalk Knot-horn Phycitodes maritima.

Other insects included the mayfly Serratella ignita, the green lacewing Cunctochrysa albolineata and the brown lacewing Micromus variegatus.  Caddisflies included Hydroptila sparsa which was new for the year, Hydropsyche siltalai, 2 Hydropsyche pellucidula and Leptocerus tineiformis.  Beetles included the water beetle Rhantus suturalis, new-for-the-year Bradycellus verbasci (one confirmed and a second presumed) and Brown Chafer.

Hydroptila sparsa, North Elmham, 16th July

Bradycellus verbasci, North Elmham, 16th July

There were Peacock and Small Tortroiseshell in the garden next day - the Peacock apparently being my first garden record this year (really?!).  I also found a Small Purple and Gold (Mint Moth) Pyrausta aurata flying around the mint in the garden.

Earlier in July I reported my first fully-identified Phyllonorycter cerasicolella (I'd seen cerasicolella/spinicolella agg. before).  Now I can report my first fully-identified example of the other of the aggregate pair, Sloe Midget Phyllonorycter spinicolella, at home on Monday 17th July.

Sloe Midget Phyllonorycter spinicolella (female, gen det), North Elmham, 17th July

A Two-spotted Neb Eulamprotes atrella was another good moth that night - not one I see often at home (my first here was almost exactly a year ago).

Two-spotted Neb Eulamprotes atrella, North Elmham, 17th July

The only other new moth for the year that night was a Lesser Pearl Sitochroa verticalis.

Lesser Pearl Sitochroa verticalis, North Elmham, 17th July

Other moths in the garden that night were Willow Bent-wing Phyllocnistis saligna, 5 Bird-cherry Ermines Yponomeuta evonymella, Little Ermel Swammerdamia pyrella, 2 Brown House Moths Hofmannophila pseudospretella, Long-horned Flat-body Carcina quercana, Cinereous Groundling Bryotropha terrella, 3 Orange Crests Helcystogramma rufescens, 2 Hook-marked Straw Moths Agapeta hamana, Large Fruit-tree Tortrix Archips podana, 2 Flax Tortrixes Cnephasia asseclana, Dover Shade Cnephasia genitalana, Common Marble Celypha lacunana, Common Cloaked Shoot Gypsonoma dealbana, Marbled Piercer Cydia splendana, Codling Moth Cydia pomonella, 2 Garden Grass-veneers Chrysoteuchia culmella, 3 Grass-veneers Crambus pascuella, 20 Pearl Veneers Agriphila straminella, 3 Water Veneers Acentria ephemerella, Common Grey Scoparia ambigualis, Little Grey Eudonia lacustrata, Small Grey Eudonia mercurella, 8 Mother of Pearls Pleuroptya ruralis, 2 Rosy Tabbies Endotricha flammealis, Ash-bark Knot-horn Euzophera pinguis, 2 Common Plumes Emmelina monodactyla, 2 Chinese Characters, Blood-vein, 3 Least Carpets, 9 Single-dotted Waves, Small Scallop, 6 Riband Waves, Red Twin-spot Carpet, 2 Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpets, Shaded Broad-bar, Yellow Shell, 2 Magpie Moths, 2 Early Thorns, Scalloped Oak, Peppered Moth, Engrailed, Elephant Hawk-moth, Buff-tip, 2 Round-winged Muslins, 4 Rosy Footmen, 25 Dingy Footmen, 6 Scarce Footmen, 21 Common Footmen, 6 Buff Ermines, 2 Ruby Tigers, Flame Shoulder, 2 Large Yellow Underwings, 2 Double Square-spots, 2 Brown-line Bright Eyes, 2 Smoky Wainscots, 4 Dark Arches, 2 Common Rustics, 8 Uncertains, 5 Rustics, 7 Nut-tree Tussocks, Spectacle and Straw Dot.

Ash-bark Knot-horn Euzophera pinguis, North Elmham, 17th July

There were 3 species of mayfly in the trap: Pond Olive Cloeon dipterum, Green Drake Ephemera danica and Blue-winged Olive Serratella ignita.  Lacewings were less well-represtented with just one Dichochrysa flavifrons.  A selection of caddisflies included Oxyethira flavicornis, Cyrnus trimaculatus, Polycentropus flavomaculatus, Hydropsyche pellucidula and Limnephilus lunatus.  Two Aphodius rufipes were the only beetles and the only bugs were 2 Zygina angusta, a leafhopper I'd not positively identified before.

Zygina angusta (male above, female below), North Elmham, 17th July

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