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.

Friday, 20 October 2017

Dark Sword-grass and a new leafhopper

It's always nice to find migrant moths in the garden trap - and this year it's been a particularly unusual to do so even when including the "common" migrant species like Diamond-back Moth, Rusty-dot Pearl and Silver Y.  But even knowing how poor my garden is for migrants I was a little surprised when I realised that this Dark Sword-grass on Sunday 3rd September was a new species for the garden.

Dark Sword-grass, North Elmham, 3rd September

Other moths that night were Hawthorn Slender Parornix anglicella, Hazel Slender Parornix devoniella, Garden Midget Phyllonorycter messaniella, Purple Argent Argyresthia albistria, Brindled Flat-body Agonopterix arenella, Large Fruit-tree Tortrix Archips podana, 3 Light Brown Apple Moths Epiphyas postvittana, Garden Rose Tortrix Acleris variegana, Notch-wing Button Acleris emargana, 5 Common Marbles Celypha lacunana, Red Piercer Lathronympha strigana, Common Grass-veneer Agriphila tristella, 3 Elbow-stripe Grass-veneers Agriphila geniculea, Beautiful Plume Amblyptilia acanthadactyla, Small Dusty Wave, Single-dotted Wave, 4 Common Marbled Carpets, 3 Green Carpets, Currant Pug, Double-striped Pug, 3 Brimstone Moths, Early Thorn, Willow Beauty, Light Emerald, 6 Large Yellow Underwings, 6 Lesser Yellow Underwings, 3 Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwings, Setaceous Hebrew Character, 3 Square-spot Rustics, 5 Common Wainscots, 8 Flounced Rustics, 2 Burnished Brasses, Straw Dot and 6 Snouts.

Notch-wing Button Acleris emargana, North Elmham, 3rd September

The caddisflies were Oxyethira flavicornis, Tinodes waeneri, Hydropsyche siltalai, 4 Hydropsyche pellucidula, 2 Small Silver Sedges Lepidostoma hirtum, Limnephilus flavicornis and 3 Limnephilus sparsus.  Beetles included another Amara bifrons and 4 Aphodius rufipes.  Unless I'm mistaken, this leafhopper is Alebra coryli, a hazel-feeding species I've never identified before.  The NBN Atlas doesn't show any records for Norfolk, but although the atlas is an excellent tool some of the datasets are quite incomplete so this probably doesn't mean much.  I await to hear from the county recorder as to its real status in Norfolk.

apparent Alebra coryli, North Elmham, 3rd September

Next day I was birding at Burnham Overy and came across a few moths too: 3 Spindle Ermines Yponomeuta cagnagella, Black-headed Conch Cochylis atricapitana, 22 Elbow-stripe Grass-veneers Agriphila geniculea, Straw-barred Pearl Pyrausta despicata, Rush Veneer Nomophila noctuella, Dowdy Plume Stenoptilia zophodactylus and Yellow Shell.

Dowdy Plume Stenoptilia zophodactylus (male, gen det), Burnham Overy, 4th September

This snail proved to be a Wrinkled Snail Candidula intersecta, a species I've identified from here before.

Wrinkled Snail Candidula intersecta, Burnham Overy, 4th September

That night there weren't all that many moths at home but there were some interesting ones.  This Mugwort Plume Hellinsia lienigianus was my third this year (second here) but a species I'd only seen once previously.

Mugwort Plume Hellinsia lienigianus (female, gen det), North Elmham, 4th September

Nearly as good was this Large Clothes Moth Morophaga choragella.

Large Clothes Moth Morophaga choragella, North Elmham, 4th September

This Cherry Midget Phyllonorycter cerasicolella was only my second fully-identified example following my first in July.

Cherry Midget Phyllonorycter cerasicolella (female, gen det), North Elmham, 4th September

The caddisfly Polycentropus irroratus was new for the year (only one last year).  Other caddisflies were Hydropsyche pellucidula, Small Silver Sedge Lepidostoma hirtum and Mottled Sedge Glyphotaelius pellucidus.  There was also the brown lacewing Hemerobius lutescens.

Polycentropus irroratus (male), North Elmham, 4th September

The mirid bug Phytocoris longipennis was a lifer, my fourth species in the genus.  Other bugs were 4 Birch Shieldbugs and 3 Forest Bugs.  There were also 4 dung beetles Aphodius rufipes.

Phytocoris longipennis, North Elmham, 4th September

The following night's moths were Red Birch Midget Phyllonorycter ulmifoliella, Garden Rose Tortrix Acleris variegana, 3 Common Marbles Celypha lacunana, Holly Tortrix Rhopobota naevana, 2 Elbow-stripe Grass-veneers Agriphila geniculea, 7 Narrow-winged Greys Eudonia angustea, 2 Blood-veins, 3 Green Carpets, Brimstone Moth, Canary-shouldered Thorn, Large Yellow Underwing, 2 Lesser Yellow Underwings, Small Square-spot, 2 Square-spot Rustics, Common Wainscot, 2 Flounced Rustics, Vine's Rustic, Burnished Brass, Straw Dot and 9 Snouts.

The best caddisfly was Hydropsyche angustipennis, only my second here.  Others were Small Silver Sedge Lepidostoma hirtum, 2 Mottled Sedges Glyphotaelius pellucidus, Limnephilus auricula, 2 Limnephilus lunatus and Limnephilus marmoratus.   Beetles included a copulating pair of Pterostichus niger on the lawn and 2 Aphodius rufipes.  There were also 2 Forest Bugs.

Pterostichus niger, North Elmham, 5th September

Next day's moths were Beech Midget Phyllonorycter maestingella, Little Dwarf Elachista canapennella, Dark-triangle Button Acleris laterana, 3 Common Marbles Celypha lacunana, Elbow-stripe Grass-veneer Agriphila geniculea, 11 Narrow-winged Greys Eudonia angustea, Common Plume Emmelina monodactyla, Blood-vein, Single-dotted Wave, 3 Brimstone Moths, Canary-shouldered Thorn, Flame Shoulder, Large Yellow Underwing, 11 Lesser Yellow Underwings, 5 Square-spot Rustics, Common Wainscot, 4 Flounced Rustics, Straw Dot and 6 Snouts.  Also an Aphodius rufipes (beetle).

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