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, 7 September 2017

Field Grasshopper, new for the moth trap

The night of Friday 21st July was another good one with 109 species recorded at home.  These included another New Poplar Pigmy Ectoedemia hannoverella, my third this summer - surprising for a species that has never been recorded further north than this in Norfolk at all, not even by its leaf-mines which are usually the easiest way to record Ectoedemia species.  This one was much more worn so I wouldn't have been confident about the ID without recognising the genitalia (though there were enough scales left on it for me to suspect the correct ID).

* Edit 2018: OK, a bit too surprising.  I got a bit more suspicious after having another in 2018 - all these records seem 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.

Five new species for the year were also small micros - Brown Birch Slender Parornix betulae, White Oak Midget Phyllonorycter harrisella, Garden Midget Phyllonorycter messaniella, Gold-ribbon Argent Argyresthia brockeella and Golden Argent Argyresthia goedartella.

Brown Birch Slender Parornix betulae (male, gen det), North Elmham, 21st July 2017

A count of 14 Horse Chestnut Leaf-miners Cameraria ohridella was twice my previous best for my garden trap - I'm sure I wouldn't have to go far to find its foodplant but there's none in the immediate vicinity so far as I know.

The other micros were Carrion Moth Monopis weaverella, Oak Bent-wing Bucculatrix ulmella, Common Oak Midget Phyllonorycter quercifoliella, Red Hazel Midget Phyllonorycter nicellii, Willow Bent-wing Phyllocnistis saligna, 24 Bird-cherry Ermines Yponomeuta evonymella, Common Oak Case-bearer Coleophora lutipennella, Little Dwarf Elachista canapennella, 4 Golden-brown Tubics Crassa unitella, Small Dingy Tubic Borkhausenia fuscescens, 2 Brown House Moths Hofmannophila pseudospretella, 6 Long-horned Flat-bodies Carcina quercana, Common Flat-body Agonopterix heracliana, 5 Cinereous Groundlings Bryotropha terrella, Gorse Crest Brachmia blandella, Four-spotted Obscure Oegoconia quadripuncta, 6 Dingy Dowds Blastobasis adustella, Common Cosmet Mompha epilobiella, Hawthorn Cosmet Blastodacna hellerella, Hook-marked Straw Moth Agapeta hamana, 4 Dark Fruit-tree Tortrixes Pandemis heparana, 2 Light Brown Apple Moths Epiphyas postvittana, Red-barred Tortrix Ditula angustiorana, Grey Tortrix Cnephasia stephensiana, Dover Shade Cnephasia genitalana, Maple Button Acleris forsskaleana, Dark-triangle Button Acleris laterana, Garden Rose Tortrix Acleris variegana, Common Marble Celypha lacunana, 3 Common Cloaked Shoots Gypsonoma dealbana, Summer Rose Bell Notocelia roborana, Large Beech Piercer Cydia fagiglandana, 3 Marbled Piercers Cydia splendana, 9 Garden Grass-veneers Chrysoteuchia culmella, 2 Grass-veneers Crambus pascuella, 26 Pearl Veneers Agriphila straminella, 6 Common Grass-veneers Agriphila tristella, 2 Pearl Grass-veneers Catoptria pinella, Water Veneer Acentria ephemerella, Common Grey Scoparia ambigualis, 2 Little Greys Eudonia lacustrata, 7 Small Greys Eudonia mercurella, 2 Garden Pebbles Evergestis forficalis, Elder Pearl Anania coronata, 2 Pale Straw Pearls Udea lutealis, 2 Dusky Pearls Udea prunalis, 17 Mother of Pearls Pleuroptya ruralis, 6 Rosy Tabbies Endotricha flammealis, 8 Grey Knot-horns Acrobasis advenella, Brown Plume Stenoptilia pterodactyla and Common Plume Emmelina monodactyla.

Oak Bent-wing Bucculatrix ulmella (male, gen det), North Elmham, 21st July 2017

Red Hazel Midget Phyllonorycter nicellii (male, gen det), North Elmham, 21st July 2017

Large Beech Piercer Cydia fagiglandana, North Elmham, 21st July 2017

Among the macros Copper Underwing and 2 Fen Wainscots were new for the year.

Copper Underwing (male, gen det), North Elmham, 21st July 2017

Fen Wainscot, North Elmham, 21st July 2017

The other macros were 4 Chinese Characters, Buff Arches, 3 Blood-veins, Least Carpet, 3 Small Fan-footed Waves, Dwarf Cream Wave, 8 Single-dotted Waves, 2 Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpets, Large Twin-spot Carpet, 2 Common Carpets, Yellow Shell, Lime-speck Pug, Wormwood Pug, 2 Currant Pugs, 3 Double-striped Pugs, Yellow-barred Brindle, Magpie Moth, 2 Clouded Borders, Scorched Carpet, 2 Brimstone Moths, Early Thorn, Scalloped Oak, Swallow Prominent, 2 Yellow-tails, 3 Rosy Footmen, 14 Dingy Footmen, 3 Scarce Footmen, 2 Buff Footmen, 7 Common Footmen, 3 Buff Ermines, 2 Ruby Tigers, 2 Shuttle-shaped Darts, 3 Large Yellow Underwings, Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, Setaceous Hebrew Character, Double Square-spot, 5 Nutmegs, 2 Smoky Wainscots, Dun-bar, 4 Dark Arches, Cloaked Minor, Common Rustic, Lesser Common Rustic (plus 2 Common Rustic aggs. that escaped), 3 Uncertains, 2 Rustics, Cream-bordered Green Pea, 4 Nut-tree Tussocks, 2 Straw Dots and 3 Snouts.

A Field Grasshopper in the trap was, perhaps surprisingly, a species I'd not recorded in the garden before.

Field Grasshopper, North Elmham, 21st July 2017

There were 3 species of mayfly: 2 Pond Olives Cloeon dipterum, Lake Olive Cloeon simile and Blue-winged Olive Serratella ignita. Having the recent experience of catching relatively large numbers of Cloeon dipterum and seeing both sexes moulting from sub-imago to imago increaesd my confidence in identifying mayflies but with no subsequent records of Cloeon simile until now I'd started to wonder about some of my older records of that species.  At some point I'll check my photos but at least I now know that this species definitely does occur here sometimes.

Lake Olive Cloeon simile, North Elmham, 21st July 2017

A good number of green lacewings too, if not a huge variety: 5 Cunctochrysa albolineata, 16 Dichochrysa flavifrons and Dichochrysa prasina. Caddisflies consisted of 3 Hydropsyche siltalai, Medium Sedge Goera pilosa, Limnephilus flavicornis, 2 Athripsodes aterrimus and Ceraclea dissimilis.

Limnephilus flavicornis (male), North Elmham, 21st July 2017

I had to dissect it to figure out what it was but eventually identified this leafhopper as Alebra albostriella, a new species for me.

Alebra albostriella (male, gen det), North Elmham, 21st July 2017

Other bugs were the mirid bugs Lygus pratensis (new for the year) and Pinalitus cervinus and the leafhoppers Iassus lanio and Lamprotettix nitidulus.

Pinalitus cervinus, North Elmham, 21st July 2017

Two beetles were new for the house (not that I would have identified them prior to this year): the water beetle Ilybius ater and the click beetle Stenagostus rhombeus.  Other beetles were the Sexton beetle Nicrophorus investigator, 3 Aphodius rufipes and a Harlequin Ladybird.

 Ilybius ater, North Elmham, 21st July 2017

Stenagostus rhombeus, North Elmham, 21st July 2017

Last year when the next door neighbour's grandson was staying I loaned them my spare trap and went round in the mornings to go through it with them.  He evidently enjoyed it and popped round to see if I would do it again this year, which of course I was delighted to do.

A good variety of macro moths kept him entertained inlcuding Pebble Hook-tip, Large Emerald, Blood-vein, Small Blood-vein, Single-dotted Waves, Riband Waves, 3 Magpie Moths, 2 Clouded Borders, Brimstone Moth, Canary-shouldered Thorn, Early Thorn, Scalloped Oak, 2 Willow Beauties, Rosy Footman, Buff Ermines, 2 Ruby Tigers, Flame Shoulder, 2 Large Yellow Underwings, Clay, Dun-bar, Dusky Sallow, Uncertains, Rustics, Nut-tree Tussocks and Straw Dot.

I didn't attempt to keep a complete count or list of every species but the micros I noted were Clover Case-bearer Coleophora alcyonipennella, Yarrow Conch Aethes smeathmanniana, Cnephasia sp., Maple Button Acleris forsskaleana, Garden Grass-veneers Chrysoteuchia culmella, Grass-veneers Crambus pascuella, Yellow Satin Veneer Crambus perlella, Pearl Veneers Agriphila straminella, Common Grass-veneers Agriphila tristella and Mother of Pearls Pleuroptya ruralis.

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