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.

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Warming up in mid April

Moths on 12th April consisted of 4 March Tubics Diurnea fagella, Red Chestnut, 4 Small Quakers, 3 Common Quakers, 2 Clouded Drabs, Twin-spotted Quaker, 6 Hebrew Characters and Early Grey.  There was also a Carabid Beetle that has defied identification so far.  I've spent far more time than I have keying it out and no matter which way I go when the couplets are ambiguous or uncertain I always end up at a dead end.

Next day a look round the patch at Bittering with Dave produced relatively little in the way of inverts, but a few things of note.  The only adult moth was a March Tubic Diurnea fagella on an Oak trunk.  Also on an Oak was this algae-covered caterpillar.  I think it belongs to a Virgin Bagworm Luffia ferchaultella, a new species for me.  I will see if I can rear it through - I've already had to go back to find some more algae-covered bark as it soon cleaned up the algae off the bit of bark I took it home on!  As I write, over a week later, it's still chomping away. [Update May 2018: I reared it through successfully and it turns out it was in fact a White-speckled Bagworm Narycia duplicella!]

White-speckled Bagworm Narycia duplicella, Bittering, 13th April

I recently acquired a sweep net and used it for the first time today.  A couple of sweeps and I had enough insects to identify that would keep me busy for long enough!  One was a new beetle for me, Epuraea silacea.  Two other beetles have so far defied identification, so I'll hold them back for another day when I have more time.

Epuraea silacea, Bittering, 13th April

A couple of these curious little knobbly creatures came out of a Norway Maple tree.  They turned out to be aphids, and look like Periphyllus testudinaceus.

Periphyllus testudinaceus, Bittering, 13th April

That night was arguably the best of the year so far for moths with Scarce Alder Slender Caloptilia falconipennella, Ruddy Flat-body Agonopterix subpropinquella, Brindled Beauty and Pale Pinion all new for the year here, and apart from the Brindled Beauty all species that I don't quite record annually here.  Indeed the falconipennella was only my third anywhere.

 Scarce Alder Slender Caloptilia falconipennella (male, gen det), North Elmham, 13th April

Ruddy Flat-body Agonopterix subpropinquella (male, gen det), North Elmham, 13th April

Brindled Beauty, North Elmham, 13th April

Pale Pinion, North Elmham, 13th April

Other moths that night were 2 March Tubics Diurnea fagella, 2 Common Flat-bodies Agonopterix heracliana, 2 Shoulder Stripes, Red Chestnut, 3 Small Quakers, 3 Common Quakers, Clouded Drab, 5 Hebrew Characters and Chestnut.  There was also the green lacewing Chrysoperla carnea and 3 Black Sexton Beetles.

The following night there were a few moths but not much variety and nothing new: 3 Brindled Beauties, Red Chestnut, 6 Small Quakers, 4 Common Quakers, 3 Clouded Drabs, 11 Hebrew Characters and Early Grey.

When I went out to check the light was going on the next night I moved the electrics box and this beetle came out from underneath.  It turned out to be Harpalus affinis, a new species for me.

Harpalus affinis, North Elmham, 13th April

Frosted Green, Double-striped Pug and Herald were all new for they year that night and I also recorded Common Flat-body Agonopterix heracliana, Engrailed, Small Quaker, Common Quaker, Clouded Drab, 6 Hebrew Characters and 2 Black Sexton Beetles.

Frosted Green, North Elmham, 15th April

Double-striped Pug, North Elmham, 15th April

Herald, North Elmham, 15th April

There was another Varied Carpet Beetle in the house on 16th and that night I trapped Common Plume Emmelina monodactyla, Frosted Green, Early Thorn, Small Quaker, Common Quaker, Clouded Drab, 7 Hebrew Characters, Early Grey and 3 Black Sexton Beetles.

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