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.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Scallop Shell and my 44th Coleophora

I see a lot of exciting moths but every now and then I come across something that really heart-stoppingly fantastic, and on the night of Sunday 23rd June I had such a moth.  It's long been high on my wishlist and it's a remarkable-looking moth, if not a hugely rare one.  So when I was nearly finishing emptying the moth trap and turned over the last eggbox to see one sitting there, I had one of those moments - my heart leapt!  Technically I'd seen one before, but on that occasion I just saw a moth fly past which someone else managed to get a better look at to identify it - on my views it could have been anything.  That experience had made me want to see one properly even more - and now I had one, in my own garden.  It was a Scallop Shell.  What a moth!

Scallop Shell, North Elmham, 23rd June

I'd seen 43 species of Case-bearer Coleophora in Norfolk including 36 in my garden, but I had never seen the one that is supposed to be the commonest, Common Case-bearer Coleophora serratella.  On the night of 22nd June I found a candidate for this species - its external appearance was a good match - would I at last fill this glaring gap?  Well no, for on dissection it turned out to be the other species that is very similar, only much rarer, Blackthorn Case-bearer Coleophora coracipennella - my 44th Coleophora, but I am still missing the really common one!  This appears to be just the 10th record in Norfolk.

Blackthorn Case-bearer Coleophora coracipennella (female, gen det), North Elmham, 23rd June

Two more moths were new for the house: Oak Carl Tischeria ekebladella and the rather scarce Brown Oak Tortrix Archips crataegana (my first for five years).

Oak Carl Tischeria ekebladella, North Elmham, 23rd June

Brown Oak Tortrix Archips crataegana, North Elmham, 23rd June

Pale-backed Clothes Moth Monopis crocicapitella, Holly Tortrix Rhopobota naevana, Scarce Footman, 3 Buff Footmen and Mere Wainscot were all new for the year here.

Pale-backed Clothes Moth Monopis crocicapitella (male, gen det), North Elmham, 23rd June

Holly Tortrix Rhopobota naevana, North Elmham, 23rd June

Scarce Footman, North Elmham, 23rd June

Buff Footman, North Elmham, 23rd June

Mere Wainscot, North Elmham, 23rd June

Other moths were Bird’s-nest Moth Tinea trinotella, 2 Bird-cherry Ermines Yponomeuta evonymella, Diamond-back Moth Plutella xylostella, Burdock Neb Metzneria lappella, Garden Cosmet Mompha subbistrigella, Hook-marked Straw Moth Agapeta hamana, 4 Large Fruit-tree Tortrixes Archips podana, Privet Tortrix Clepsis consimilana, Large Ivy Tortrix Lozotaenia forsterana, Light Grey Tortrix Cnephasia incertana, 3 Barred Marbles Celypha striana, 8 Common Marbles Celypha lacunana, Marbled Orchard Tortrix Hedya nubiferana, 3 Triangle-marked Rollers Ancylis achatana, 2 Black-brindled Bells Epinotia signatana, Triple-blotched Bell Notocelia trimaculana, 16 Garden Grass-veneers Chrysoteuchia culmella, Grass-veneer Crambus pascuella, Hook-streaked Grass-Veneer Crambus lathoniellus, 12 Common Greys Scoparia ambigualis, 7 Little Greys Eudonia lacustrata, Small Grey Eudonia mercurella, Ringed China-mark Parapoynx stratiotata, 10 Small Magpies Anania hortulata, Elder Pearl Anania coronata, Rosy Tabby Endotricha flammealis, False Cacao Moth Ephestia unicolorella, White Plume Pterophorus pentadactyla, Drinker, 2 Buff Arches, Large Emerald, 2 Common Emeralds, Small Emerald, 5 Small Fan-footed Waves, 2 Dwarf Cream Waves, 9 Single-dotted Waves, 6 Treble Brown Spots, 24 Riband Waves, Large Twin-spot Carpet, 3 Common Carpets, 7 Barred Straws, Lime-speck Pug, Common Pug, Green Pug, 2 Clouded Borders, Brimstone Moth, Early Thorn, 3 Swallow-tailed Moths, Peppered Moth, 4 Willow Beauties, 5 Mottled Beauties, Pale Oak Beauty, Engrailed, 4 Common White Waves, 8 Clouded Silvers, Poplar Hawk-moth, 4 Elephant Hawk-moths, Coxcomb Prominent, Pale Prominent, 2 Rosy Footmen, 3 Dingy Footmen, 4 Common Footmen, 2 Buff Ermines, 2 Short-cloaked Moths, Heart and Club, Heart and Dart, 5 Flames, Ingrailed Clay, Setaceous Hebrew Character, 2 Double Square-spots, Bright-line Brown-eye, Small Angle Shades, 6 Dark Arches, 15 Uncertains, 3 Mottled Rustics, Marbled White Spot, 4 Beautiful Hook-tips, 2 Straw Dots, 6 Snouts, 2 Fan-foots and 2 Small Fan-foots.

Black-brindled Bell Epinotia signatana (male, gen det), North Elmham, 23rd June

Heart and Club, North Elmham, 23rd June

The soldier beetle Rhagonycha fulva was the first I've identified at home.

Rhagonycha fulva, North Elmham, 23rd June

Other insects included the brown lacewing Hemerobius humulinus, the caddisfly Hydropsyche pellucidula and three bugs: Phylus coryli which I first identified only a few nights earlier, Stenotus binotatus and Common Froghopper Philaenus spumarius which was new for the year.

Phylus coryli, North Elmham, 23rd June

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