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, 4 October 2017

Second Agonopterix lifer in 3 days

Saturday 19th August I set the trap as usual before heading out to Winterton and returned to find what turned out to be the best moth of the evening.  It looked superficially similar to the Dark-fringed Flat-body Agonopterix nervosa that I'd had for the first time two nights earlier but apart from anything else it lacked a dark fringe.  I did consider Dusted Flat-body Agonopterix assimilella quite early on but ruled that out as its supposed to fly from April to June and in the absence of any other contenders I spent a while wondering if it might turn out to be another nervosa despite the lack of a dark fringe.  The genitalia of many of the Agonopterix aren't enormously different from one another so looking at it under the microscope didn't yield an immediate answer.  Eventually I felt I'd eliminated everything apart from assimilella and it was only then that I discovered that the hindwing pattern was helpful in determining this species.  Sure enough the hindwing ticked the final box and confirmed that it was indeed a Dusted Flat-body Agonopterix assimiliella, another new moth for me and my 780th species for North Elmham since August 2014.

Dusted Flat-body Agonopterix assimilella (male, gen det), North Elmham, 19th August

Two other moths were new for the year that night: Straw Conch Cochylimorpha straminea (my second here) and Rosy Rustic.

Straw Conch Cochylimorpha straminea (male, gen det), North Elmham, 19th August

Rosy Rustic, North Elmham, 19th August

Other moths that night were Brown Birch Slender Parornix betulae, Orchard/Apple/Spindle Ermine Yponomeuta padella/malinellus/cagnagella agg., Cinereous Groundling Bryotropha terrella, House Groundling Bryotropha domestica, Light Brown Apple Moth Epiphyas postvittana, Garden Rose Tortrix Acleris variegana, 7 Common Marbles Celypha lacunana, Garden Grass-veneer Chrysoteuchia culmella, 2 Pearl Veneers Agriphila straminella, 7 Common Grass-veneers Agriphila tristella, 2 Elbow-stripe Grass-veneers Agriphila geniculea, Pale Straw Pearl Udea lutealis, 2 Mother of Pearls Pleuroptya ruralis, Single-dotted Wave, 2 Canary-shouldered Thorns, Willow Beauty, Light Emerald, Poplar Hawk-moth, 3 Flame Shoulders, Large Yellow Underwing, Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, 2 Small Square-spots, 2 Setaceous Hebrew Characters, 2 Common Wainscots, Flounced Rustic, Vine's Rustic and Straw Dot.  There were 4 Pond Olives Cloeon dipterum and caddisflies were Hydropsyche siltalai, Mottled Sedge Glyphotaelius pellucidus and Limnephilus lunatus.

The next day an afternoon wander round the local gravel pits produced Borderd Carl Coptotriche marginea, Marbled Cosmet Mompha propinquella (feeding on Fleabane), 4 Common Marbles Celypha lacunana, Pearl Veneer Agriphila straminella and Common Grass-veneer Agriphila tristella.

Marbled Cosmet Mompha propinquella, Bittering, 20th August

There was also this bug which I'm pretty sure is a nymph of Notostira elongata and as such a new species for me.

Notostira elongata nymph, Bittering, 20th August

A Dusky Thorn was the only new moth for the year that night; other moths being Bordered Carl Coptotriche marginea, Blackthorn Slender Parornix torquillella, Clover Case-bearer Coleophora alcyonipennella, Brown House Moth Hofmannophila pseudospretella, Long-horned Flat-body Carcina quercana, 2 House Groundlings Bryotropha domestica, 3 Light Brown Apple Moths Epiphyas postvittana, 3 Common Marbles Celypha lacunana, Smoky-barred Marble Lobesia abscisana, Marbled Piercer Cydia splendana, Pearl Veneer Agriphila straminella, 16 Common Grass-veneers Agriphila tristella, 2 Chequered Grass-veneers Catoptria falsella, 2 Mother of Pearls Pleuroptya ruralis, Maiden's Blush, Blood-vein, Riband Wave, Garden Carpet, Yellow Shell, 2 Common Marbled Carpets, 2 Double-striped Pugs, 6 Brimstone Moths, Canary-shouldered Thorn, 2 Willow Beauties, Light Emerald, Pebble Prominent, Swallow Prominent, 2 Flame Shoulders, 6 Large Yellow Underwings, 4 Lesser Yellow Underwings, 2 Small Square-spots, 3 Setaceous Hebrew Characters, Six-striped Rustic, Square-spot Rustic, 3 Common Wainscots, 3 Flounced Rustics, 2 Vine's Rustics, Burnished Brass, Spectacle and 4 Straw Dots. There was also a presumed Case-bearing Clothes Moth Tinea pellionella indoors but its identity couldn't be confirmed as it had been eaten by its own larvae before I dissected it - a frequent problem with this species when I'm behind with my dissections!

Blackthorn Slender Parornix torquillella (male, gen det), North Elmham, 20th August

That wasn't a bad selection but the caddisflies were better as they contained my 50th species identified at home, an entirely new one for me, Small Siver Sedge Lepidostoma hirtum.

Small Silver Sedge Lepidostoma hirtum (female), North Elmham, 20th August

Other caddisflies were Polycentropus flavomaculatus, 3 Hydropsyche pellucidula, Mottled Sedge Glyphotaelius pellucidus and Limnephilus sparsus.  Other insects recorded were the green lacewing Chrysoperla carnea and the beetle Aphodius rufipes.

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