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, 26 January 2018

Scarce Bordered Straw and a host of bugs

It was a good year for Scarce Bordered Straw but it took me until late October before I added this species to my largely migrant-free garden list.  24th October wasn't a particularly remarkable night for moths in general but this scarce migrant more than made up for that.  Very pleased to finally get one here.

Scarce Bordered Straw, North Elmham, 24th October

Other moths were Garden Midget Phyllonorycter messaniella, Long-horned Flat-body Carcina quercana, 7 Light Brown Apple Moths Epiphyas postvittana, Rusty Oak Button Acleris ferrugana, Common Marbled Carpet, 6 November Moths, 2 Pale November Moths, 4 Feathered Thorns, Light Emerald, Large Yellow Underwing, Setaceous Hebrew Character, Sprawler, 3 Black Rustics, 4 Green-brindled Crescents, Merveille du Jour, 7 Yellow-line Quakers, 2 Beaded Chestnuts and 2 Straw Dots.

It was actually a better night for bugs (including leafhoppers) than for moths.  Heteropteran bugs consisted of a Parent Bug, the first time I've recorded that here, a Birch Catkin Bug Kleidocerys resedae and a noteworthy 3 Tarnished Plant Bugs Lygus rugulipennis.  I've not been doing the trickier-to-ID bugs like this for long but I have been checking them for the whole of this year and I'd only seen a single up to now so 3 in a night must be pretty good for here.

Parent Bug, North Elmham, 24th October

At least 6 species of leafhopper in the moth trap can't be bad either, and they included one species I'd not recorded before: Eupteryx decemnotata (though this had to be identified from photos as it escaped - I think it's a safe ID but please shout if you disagree).  In the same genus Eupteryx urticae was also new for the garden.  The others were 2 Empoasca vitis, 3 Kybos sp. (all females so not fully identifiable - most probably betulicola but possibly smaragdula), 2 Fagocyba cruenta and an Edwardsiana sp. (female so not fully identifiable).

Eupteryx decemnotata, North Elmham, 24th October

Eupteryx urticae, North Elmham, 24th October

Other inects included 4 Chrysoperla carnea (2 confirmed males), the water beetle Rhantus suturalis and the barkfly Valenzuela flavidus.

A Common Carder Bee next day was the first I'd positively identified in my garden this year, though I'm pretty sure there have been lots that I haven't nailed (I tend to only look hard at the ones that come inside or get caught in the moth trap).

Moths trapped on 25th were 3 Light Brown Apple Moths Epiphyas postvittana, Rusty Oak Button Acleris ferrugana, Narrow-winged Grey Eudonia angustea, Common Plume Emmelina monodactyla, 2 November Moths, 3 Feathered Thorns, Large Yellow Underwing, Lesser Yellow Underwing, Black Rustic, Merveille du Jour, 5 Yellow-line Quakers, Barred Sallow, Pale Mottled Willow and Snout.

Having failed to convince myself about a likely Empoasca decipiens a few days earlier it was good to get another chance.  No doubt about this one, a new addition to the garden leafhopper list.

Empoasca decipiens, North Elmham, 25th October

There wasn't much else - the caddisflies Limnephilus auricula and Limnephilus lunatus were all I recorded.

Perhaps the biggest surprise the following night was a Common Quaker - a common species in spring but one I'd not seen in autumn before.

Common Quaker, North Elmham, 26th October

Although that was unexpected the best moth of the night was a Bindweed Bent-wing Bedellia somnulentella, a new species for the garden.  It also appears to be the first adult to be recorded in the vice-county (there are mine and larval records).  It wasn't my first - one at my previous house was the first adult to be recorded in the whole county.

Bindweed Bent-wing Bedellia somnulentella, North Elmham, 26th October

Other moths that night were Garden Midget Phyllonorycter messaniella, Diamond-back Moth Plutella xylostella, 2 Light Brown Apple Moths Epiphyas postvittana, 3 November Moths, Pale November Moth (plus a female November Moth agg.), 2 Feathered Thorns, Large Yellow Underwing, Black Rustic, Blair's Shoulder-knot, Green-brindled Crescent, 2 Merveille du Jours, Satellite, 4 Yellow-line Quakers, Beaded Chestnut, Large Wainscot and Straw Dot. Caddisflies were Limnephilus affinis and Limnephilus lunatus.

The moth trap was very poor on my birthday night: just Narrow-winged Grey Eudonia angustea, November Moth, Black Rustic, Blair's Shoulder-knot, 3 Green-brindled Crescents, 2 Yellow-line Quakers and Beaded Chestnut.

The following night wasn't much better for moths (though Rusty-dot Pearl Udea ferrugalis was a migrant and only my second this year) but it picked up a few other interesting things.  The other moths were Garden Midget Phyllonorycter messaniella, November Moth agg., 2 Feathered Thorns, Black Rustic, Brick, 2 Yellow-line Quakers, Straw Dot and Snout.  Caddisflies consisted of 4 Limnephilus lunatus and Halesus radiatus and there was a Birch Catkin Bug Kleidocerys resedae.  The barkfly Ectopsocus briggsi was new for the year.

Ectopscocus briggsi (male), North Elmham, 28th October

Leafhoppers consisted of a Fagocyba cruenta and 2 of a new species for me (although they looked familiar so I think I've seen them before without identifying them) - Lindbergina aurovittata.

Lindbergina aurovittata, North Elmham, 28th October

The following night produced only Light Brown Apple Moth Epiphyas postvittana, Sprawler, 2 Bricks, 2 Yellow-line Quakers and the barkfly Valenzuela flavidus.

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