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.

Monday, 14 May 2018

A rush of moths

Bank Holiday Monday was nice at the meadows with a number of new species for the site recorded.  I counted at least 13 Large Red Damselflies and butterflies included 8 Orange-tips, 4 Brimstones, 2 Holly Blues, 2 Small Tortoiseshells and 3 Speckled Woods. Moths weren't especially well represented with just Common Nettle-tap Anthophila fabriciana and another Vetch Piercer Grapholita jungiella.  There were Dark-edged Bee-flies and bees included Buff-tailed Bumblebee.

I haven't been using my new sweep net very much as it provides so much material I end up spending all my hours working through it all in my study and not having enough time to go outside - it's bad enough anyway!  This was exemplified today when a single sweep through some grass and Ground Ivy produced the bug Stenodema laevigata, the planthopper Javesella pellucida, a rove beetle Tachyporus sp. (probably Tachyporus hypnorum), a Pea-leaf Weevil Sitona lineatus and a spider Metellina mengei, the first time I've identified this species.

Javesella pellucida, North Elmham Cathedral Meadows, 7th May

Tachyporus sp., probably Tachyporus hypnorum, North Elmham Cathedral Meadows, 7th May

Metellina mengei, North Elmham Cathedral Meadows, 7th May

Among the flora, Greater Celandine was a new species for me.

Greater Celandine, North Elmham Cathedral Meadows, 7th May

Common Field Speedwell, North Elmham Cathedral Meadows, 7th May

That evening a White-shouldered House Moth Endrosis sarcitrella was new for the year (appearing in my study) while the moth trap delivered two more additions to the garden year list, Pebble Prominent and Flame Shoulder.

 White-shouldered House Moth Endrosis sarcitrella, North Elmham, 7th May

Pebble Prominent, North Elmham, 7th May

Flame Shoulder, North Elmham, 7th May

The following night was remarkably good compared to recent nights, or indeed any night this year so far.  Surprisingly a couple of other moth-trappers I've spoken to didn't have the same experience but for me it was massive!  Ok, 45 moths of 25 species may not sound like an extroadinary catch, but no less than 14 of these were new for the year.  Bear in mind that I trap every night, new moths for the year tend to be fairly well spread out.  The best night for new additions so far this year was 21st April with 6, and these 14 increased my year-list by over 20% in one foul swoop.  More nights like this please!

The 14 additions to the garden year list were: Little Ermel Swammerdamia pyrella, Pearl Dwarf Elachista apicipunctella, 3 Little Dwarfs Elachista canapennella, Chinese Character, Garden Carpet, Grey Pine Carpet, 2 Common Pugs, Brimstone Moth, White-pinion Spotted, Coxcomb Prominent, 2 Orange Footmen, Cinnabar, Least Black Arches and 2 Shuttle-shaped Darts.

Little Ermel Swammerdamia pyrella, North Elmham, 8th May

Pearl Dwarf Elachista apicipunctella, North Elmham, 8th May

Little Dwarf Elachista canapennella, North Elmham, 8th May

Chinese Character, North Elmham, 8th May

Garden Carpet, North Elmham, 8th May

Grey Pine Carpet, North Elmham, 8th May

Common Pug, North Elmham, 8th May

Brimstone Moth, North Elmham, 8th May

White-pinion Spotted, North Elmham, 8th May

Coxcomb Prominent, North Elmham, 8th May

Orange Footman, North Elmham, 8th May

Cinnabar, North Elmham, 8th May

Least Black Arches, North Elmham, 8th May

Shuttle-shaped Dart, North Elmham, 8th May

The other moths caught that night were 2 Beech Midgets Phyllonorycter maestingella, Common Flat-body Agonopterix heracliana, Light Brown Apple Moth Epiphyas postvittana, Bee Moth Aphomia sociella, Red Twin-spot Carpet, 4 Brindled Pugs, 4 Waved Umbers, another 4 Chocolate-tips, 4 Muslin Moths, Hebrew Character and 3 Nut-tree Tussocks.

It was good for other insects too.  My first Mayfly of the year was a Large Dark Olive Baetis rhodani, actually a new species altogether for me, although I think some of my earlier attempts to identify mayflies were flawed so it may be that I've misidentified them in the past (I made a significant breakthrough with mayflies half way through last year when I realised how easy they were to sex).

Large Dark Olive Baetis rhodani (male imago), North Elmham, 8th May

Three species of caddisfly tripled my caddis year-list: Mottled Sedge Glyphotaelius pellucidus, Limnephilus affinis and 3 Limnephilus auricula.

Limnephilus affinis, North Elmham, 8th May

Limnephilus auricula, North Elmham, 8th May

Beetles included Great Diving Beetle Dytiscus marginalis, Black Sexton Beetle and my first Cantharis cryptica (one of the soldier-beetles) of the year.  Check out the suction pads on the underside of one of the Diving Beetles tarsal segments...

Great Diving Beetle Dytiscus marginalis, North Elmham, 8th May

Cantharis cryptica, North Elmham, 8th May

No comments:

Post a Comment