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, 30 September 2017

One moth, two caddis and two bug lifers all in a night's work

This Dark-fringed Flat-body Agonopterix nervosa was one of several highlights on Thursday 17th August, a new species of moth for me.

Dark-fringed Flat-body Agonopterix nervosa (male, gen det), North Elmham, 17th August

I suspected that this peculiar-looking moth would turn out to be a Common Carpet despite it looking very different from the normal appearance of this species, and so it was - but I have never seen one looking anything like this before - has anyone else?  The dark band across the middle is very much narrower than normal and the outer darkish band is much broader than normal filling up the space.

Common Carpet (male, gen det), North Elmham, 17th August

This Six-striped Rustic was new for the year.

Six-striped Rustic, North Elmham, 17th August

The other moths were Brown Birch Slender Parornix betulae, Bird-cherry Ermine Yponomeuta evonymella, Dark Fruit-tree Tortrix Pandemis heparana, Light Brown Apple Moth Epiphyas postvittana, Dover Shade Cnephasia genitalana, Garden Rose Tortrix Acleris variegana, Common Marble Celypha lacunana, Garden Grass-veneer Chrysoteuchia culmella, 2 Pearl Veneers Agriphila straminella, 17 Common Grass-veneers Agriphila tristella, Elbow-stripe Grass-veneer Agriphila geniculea, Ringed China-mark Parapoynx stratiotata, 3 Garden Pebbles Evergestis forficalis, 2 Pale Straw Pearls Udea lutealis, 3 Mother of Pearls Pleuroptya ruralis, 2 Grey Knot-horns Acrobasis advenella, Beautiful Plume Amblyptilia acanthadactyla, Common Plume Emmelina monodactyla, Orange Swift, Maiden's Blush, Single-dotted Wave, Garden Carpet, another normal Common Carpet, Common Marbled Carpet, Currant Pug, 2 Brimstone Moths, 3 Willow Beauties, 3 Pale Prominents, 9 Flame Shoulders, 5 Large Yellow Underwings, 2 Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwings, 8 Setaceous Hebrew Characters, Bright-line Brown-eye, Common Wainscot, Straw Underwing, Flounced Rustic and 4 Straw Dots.

As if a new moth wasn't good enough there were also a few other insect lifers.   There were 8 caddisflies and all 8 were different species.  I've not been doing caddisflies for long but even so it already seems quite unusual to get a new species at home, so this haul was remarkable - two lifers Limnephilus hirsutus and Micropterna sequax and one new for the house Holocentropus picicornis.

Limnephilus hirsutus (female), North Elmham, 17th August

Micropterna sequax (male), North Elmham, 17th August

I'd had my first picicornis just 3 days earlier at Potter Heigham - if you read my diary entry for that excursion you may recall reading about it being the unspotted form rather than the usual spotted one - this time it was the typical form and very striking it was too.

Holocentropus picicornis (male), North Elmham, 17th August

The other 5 caddisflies were Hydropsyche pellucidula, Agrypnia pagetana, Crunoecia irrorata, Mottled Sedge Glyphotaelius pellucidus and Limnephilus lunatus.  Other insects included 5 species of bug including two lifers, the mirid bug Neolygus contaminatus and the water boatman Sigara dorsalis.  Now strictly speaking the Water Boatman could have been Sigara striata (there is a subtle difference in the genitalia but I couldn't resolve this one) but my understanding is that dorsalis is very common in Norfolk whereas striata is, or at least was, very much rarer.  Other bugs were 2 Forest Bugs and the leafhoppers Oncopsis subangulata and Empoasca vitis.

Neolygus contaminatus, North Elmham, 17th August

presumed Sigara dorsalis (male), North Elmham, 17th August

Oncopsis subangulata, North Elmham, 17th August

The rest of the insects I recorded were 5 Pond Olives Cloeon dipterum (mayflies), 2 Chrysoperla carnea (female agg. and male carnea) (green lacewings), Rhantus suturalis (water beetle) and Aphodius rufipes (dung beetle).  Also 2 Common Frogs watching proceedings, one from the lid of the trap.

A visit to Ryburgh the next day produced a Mouse Moth and a Common Nettle-tap Anthophila fabriciana. That night at home there were far fewer insects.  Square-spot Rustic was new for the year.

Square-spot Rustic, North Elmham, 18th August

The other moths were Beech Midget Phyllonorycter maestingella, Dark-triangle Button Acleris laterana, 2 Garden Rose Tortrixes Acleris variegana, Marbled Piercer Cydia splendana, 5 Common Grass-veneers Agriphila tristella, Single-dotted Wave, 2 Brimstone Moths, Poplar Hawk-moth, Pale Prominent, 2 Flame Shoulders, Large Yellow Underwing, Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, Setaceous Hebrew Character, 3 Six-striped Rustics, 2 Common Wainscots, Burnished Brass and Snout.

There weren't many other insects either but two beetles were both new for the house: Eyed Ladybird and Cortinicara gibbosa (I wouldn't have identified the gibbosa in previous years but I think the ladybird was genuinely a good record here).

Eyed Ladybird, North Elmham, 18th August

Cortinicara gibbosa, North Elmham, 18th August

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