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.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

More Garden Tigers

On the night of Saturday 22nd July there weren't so many moths but there was another Garden Tiger, a real surprise despite having one a few days earlier.

Garden Tiger, North Elmham, 22nd July

The other moths caught that night were Willow Bent-wing Phyllocnistis saligna, 2 Bird-cherry Ermines Yponomeuta evonymella, Wainscot Smudge Ypsolopha scabrella, Common Flat-body Agonopterix heracliana, Cinereous Groundling Bryotropha terrella, Dingy Dowd Blastobasis adustella, Common Cosmet Mompha epilobiella, Common Cloaked Shoot Gypsonoma dealbana, Marbled Piercer Cydia splendana, 2 Garden Grass-veneers Chrysoteuchia culmella, 3 Grass-veneers Crambus pascuella, 50 Pearl Veneers Agriphila straminella, 7 Common Grass-veneers Agriphila tristella, 2 Pearl Grass-veneers Catoptria pinella, 2 Garden Pebbles Evergestis forficalis, Small Magpie Anania hortulata, 2 Mother of Pearls Pleuroptya ruralis, Chinese Character, 2 Blood-veins, Small Blood-vein, Dwarf Cream Wave, 3 Single-dotted Waves, 7 Riband Waves, Red Twin-spot Carpet, Shaded Broad-bar, Double-striped Pug, 2 Clouded Borders, Peppered Moth, 2 Pale Prominents, 3 Yellow-tails, Round-winged Muslin, Rosy Footman, 3 Dingy Footmen, Scarce Footman, 19 Common Footmen, Buff Ermine, 2 Ruby Tigers, Flame Shoulder, Common Rustic, Uncertain, 5 Nut-tree Tussocks and Straw Dot.

A Dichochrysa flavifrons was the only Lacewing and Limnephilus lunatus the only caddisfly.

We had another go trapping next door with their grandsons and caught some nice moths to show them there including this Oak Eggar and a lovely White Satin, both species I haven't caught at home this year.

Oak Eggar, North Elmham, 22nd July

Other moths I made a note of (by no means a complete list) were Ribwort Slender Aspilapteryx tringipennella (I was surprised how entertained the children were by such a small micro moth - I think it was the size contrast between this and the Oak Eggar that captivated them), Garden Rose Tortrix Acleris variegana, 60 Pearl Veneers Agriphila straminella, 2 Common Grass-veneers Agriphila tristella, Little Grey Eudonia lacustrata, Small Magpie Anania hortulata, 3 Mother of Pearls Pleuroptya ruralis, Buff Arches, Blood-vein, Small Blood-vein, 2 Single-dotted Waves, July Highflyer, 2 Yellow-tails, Dingy Footman, Scarce Footman, 3 Common Footmen, Ruby Tiger, Heart and Dart, Uncertain, 5 Rustics, 3 Nut-tree Tussocks and 2 Straw Dots.  The Nut-tree Tussocks are always a favourite with the children, sitting on their fingers so obligingly.

During the afternoon (Sunday 23rd) Dave and I headed out to the patch at Bittering.  There were a few moths on the wing there including 6 Colt’s-foot Bells Epiblema sticticana, 4 Pearl Veneers Agriphila straminella, Blood-vein, Lesser Cream Wave, 3 Shaded Broad-bars, Lime-speck Pug, Silver Y and 2 Straw Dots.

Colt's-foot Bell Epiblema sticticana (male, gen det), Bittering, 23rd July

Plenty of butterflies there too including Brown Argus, 2 Common Blues, 20 Meadow Browns, 2 Gatekeepers, 2 Essex Skippers and Small Skipper.  The dragonflies produced more interest.  Joe Harkness had discovered some Red-veined Darters here a while back and we hoped they might still be present.  They were, albeit looking much tattier than they had been when Joe (and later Dave) first saw them.  Hard to say how many, partly because they were quite mobile and partly because some weren't seen well enough to rule out Ruddy Darter, but I'm reasonably confident there were at least 5 Red-veined Darters.

Red-veined Darters, Bittering, 23rd July

Other dragonflies included 2 Blue-tailed Damselflies, 30+ Common Blue Damselflies, 2 Small Red-eyed Damselflies, 3 Emperors, 6+ Black-tailed Skimmers and Common Darter.

Small Red-eyed Damselflies, Bittering, 23rd July

Emperor, Bittering, 23rd July

We found several distinctive-looking leafhoppers in one place, a new species for me I was sure.  I retained one in case I wouldn't be able to ID it from photos (not least because it was hard to get any photos in the field).  They turned out to be Cicadella viridis, apparently a common species.

Cicadella viridis, Bittering, 23rd July

We also found a bush-cricket (I think there were several but I'm not sure if my memory of that is correct) which I suspected would be one of the Coneheads (should have really figured out which one, given its long wings).  It was indeed a Long-winged Conehead.  Among my photos is one that appears to have short wings, so perhaps a Short-winged Conehead too, but with just one poor photo I am not certain (say if you think I should be!).

Long-winged Conehead(s?), Bittering, 23rd July

possible Short-winged Conehead, Bittering, 23rd July

That night there were no new moths for the year at home.  Another Campion, hot on the heels of my first here, was the star moth.  The rest were 2 Bird-cherry Ermines Yponomeuta evonymella, Hedge Case-bearer Coleophora striatipennella, Speckled Case-bearer Coleophora sternipennella, Brown House Moth Hofmannophila pseudospretella, Cinereous Groundling Bryotropha terrella, 2 Orange Crests Helcystogramma rufescens, Four-spotted Obscure Oegoconia quadripuncta, Dingy Dowd Blastobasis adustella, Dark Fruit-tree Tortrix Pandemis heparana, Light Brown Apple Moth Epiphyas postvittana, Red-barred Tortrix Ditula angustiorana, 6 Marbled Piercers Cydia splendana, 4 Garden Grass-veneers Chrysoteuchia culmella, 48 Pearl Veneers Agriphila straminella, 6 Common Grass-veneers Agriphila tristella, 3 Pearl Grass-veneers Catoptria pinella, Common Grey Scoparia ambigualis, Chequered Straw Evergestis pallidata, 2 Mother of Pearls Pleuroptya ruralis, Ash-bark Knot-horn Euzophera pinguis, Brown Plume Stenoptilia pterodactyla, Common Plume Emmelina monodactyla, Large Emerald, 2 Least Carpets, 2 Small Fan-footed Waves, 5 Single-dotted Waves, 6 Riband Waves, Red Twin-spot Carpet, 2 Common Carpets, Small Rivulet, 2 Double-striped Pugs, 4 Early Thorns, Pebble Prominent, Swallow Prominent, Buff-tip, Rosy Footman, 6 Dingy Footmen, Scarce Footman, 10 Common Footmen, 2 Buff Ermines, 2 Ruby Tigers, Nutmeg, Dun-bar, 2 Dark Arches, 2 Common Rustics (and another Common Rustic agg.), Rustic, Nut-tree Tussock, Straw Dot and Snout.

Other insects included Pond Olive Cloeon dipterum (mayfly), 2 Hydropsyche siltalai (caddisflies), Nicrophorus investigator and 2 Aphodius rufipes (beetles).

Nicrophorus investigator, North Elmham, 23rd July

For reasons that are now utterly unclear I put this leafhopper down as the brown form of Iassus lanio.  Clearly it isn't that (I can't understand why I thought it was) but I no longer have the specimen and can't yet identify it from my photos.

unidentified leafhopper, North Elmham, 23rd July

Next door's grandchildren were due to head home today so this was the last time we set the trap in their garden and went through it with them.  The older boy had remembered the Buff-tip I showed them last year and recognised the one I brought round from my trap today.  I'd also brought them round the Garden Tiger I caught here the day before to show them but I needn't have done as now they got their own - and not just one but 2 Garden Tigers.  Four Garden Tigers over a few days either in my garden or next-door's is amazing these days - must be a good year for them.  Backing that up I've heard of 2-3 other people seeing them in places they don't usually get them.

I'm really kicking myself over what I identified as a Dusky Thorn.  It struck me as early so I should have looked at it more closely, but it was only after seeing my next Dusky Thorn, several weeks later, that it really struck home how early it was.  Not impossibly early, but I'm really wishing I'd checked it for August Thorn a bit more carefully - some August Thorns have a dusky rear border to the wings and I'm now not 100% sure I didn't overlook one here - it would have been a lifer for me if it was.

They also got 2 Maple Pugs, a species I've not yet recorded at home this year, and White-spotted Pug which I don't see many of.

Maple Pugs (females, gen det), North Elmham, 23rd July

Other moths included (again not complete counts) Bird-cherry Ermine Yponomeuta evonymella, Wainscot Smudge Ypsolopha scabrella, Little Dwarf Elachista canapennella, Long-horned Flat-body Carcina quercana, Orange Crest Helcystogramma rufescens, Four-spotted Obscure Oegoconia quadripuncta, Burdock Conch Aethes rubigana, Black-headed Conch Cochylis atricapitana, Cereal Tortrix Cnephasia pumicana, other Cnephasia sp., Pine Marble Piniphila bifasciana, Pearl Veneer Agriphila straminella, Common Grass-veneer Agriphila tristella, Pearl Grass-veneer Catoptria pinella, Rosy Tabby Endotricha flammealis, Small Fan-footed Wave, Single-dotted Wave, Riband Wave, Lime-speck Pug, Canary-shouldered Thorn, Scalloped Oak, Willow Beauty, Brown-tail, Yellow-tail, Rosy Footman, Dingy Footman, Scarce Footman, Common Footman, Buff Ermine, Ruby Tiger, Heart and Dart, 3 Shuttle-shaped Darts, 2 Flame Shoulders, Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, Least Yellow Underwing, Nutmeg, Small Angle Shades, Dun-bar, Dark Arches, Cloaked Minor, Common Rustic agg., Uncertain, Rustic and Straw Dot. Plenty of variety to entertain the children before they head off for another year!

Least Yellow Underwing, North Elmham, 23rd July

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