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, 11 May 2018

Chocolate in the bedroom

A Dark-edged Bee-fly in the garden on Saturday was new for the garden.

My butterfly list for the meadows was pretty poor with most of my visits so far either being early in the morning, late in the afternoon/evening, overnight or on cloudy days.  So on Saturday I decided to go mid afternoon in the hope of adding some species.  In fact it was very poor for butterflies considering the lovely warm sunshine, just the same 5 species I'd already seen there: 4 Green-veined Whites, 3 Orange-tips, Brimstone, Peacock and 2 Small Tortoiseshells.

There were several Vetch Piercers Grapholita jungiella flying in one of the fields, the first time I've ever seen this species in multiples, and at least 7 Large Red Damselflies.

Large Red Damselfly, Cathedral Meadows, 5th May

This beetle proved to be my first Bembidion lampros.

Bembidion lampros, Cathedral Meadows, 5th May

There was my first green lacewing for the site, a female Chrysoperla carnea agg. and hoverflies included this fine Leucozona lucorum.

Leucozona lucorum, Cathedral Meadows, 5th May

Dark-edged Bee-fly, Cathedral Meadows, 5th May

Among the bees were 6+ Common Carder Bees, Honey Bee and over 20 Flavous Nomad Bees Nomada flava.

Common Carder Bee, Cathedral Meadows, 5th May

Honey Bee, Cathedral Meadows, 5th May

Flavous Nomad Bee Nomada flava, Cathedral Meadows, 5th May

I found some more evidence of oak gall wasps - one isolated Oak sapling was covered in them - at least 40.

Oak galls, Cathedral Meadows, 5th May

I always think of Alexanders as being a coastal plant, so I had been surprised to find a single plant of what I think is this species near the chapel ruins.  Sounds like it does occur well inland though mainly along salted roads.

Alexanders, Cathedral Meadows, 5th May

Other botanical interest included my second species of Horsetail for the site, Marsh Horsetail.

Marsh Horsetail, Cathedral Meadows, 5th May

At home this Beech Midget Phyllonorycter maestingella was flying around the garden, my first here this year.

Beech Midget Phyllonorycter maestingella, North Elmham, 5th May

That night I trapped Common Flat-body Agonopterix heracliana, Light Brown Apple Moth Epiphyas postvittana, Brindled Pug, 2 Lesser Swallow Prominents, Swallow Prominent, 3 Muslin Moths, 3 Hebrew Characters and the hoverfly Platycheirus albimanus.

Next day I found what appears to be a Large Gorse Mining Bee Andrena bimaculata in my dining room.  Unexpected as there's no gorse in my garden or very close by, but it seems to key out to this species and everything checks out ok so far as I can tell.

Large Gorse Mining Bee Andrena bimaculata, North Elmham, 6th May

A worn micro moth was netted from the Cathedral Meadows and at first I couldn't work out what it was.  When it eventually settled I could see the tell-tale signs - it was a Garden Lance-wing Epermenia chaerophyllella. I'm sure my source of vernacular names for micro moths had this down as Golden Lance-wing before, which I always thought was quite inappropriate.  Maybe it had been a typo as it's now showing as Garden Lance-wing - much better.

Garden Lance-wing Epermenia chaerophyllella, Cathedral Meadows, 6th May

I stayed until dark at which point a few more things started to appear, including the beetle Leistus spinibarbis and a couple of moths seen in torchlight: Green Carpet and Common Pug.  But temperatures were now dropping so I didn't give it long.

Leistus spinibarbis, Cathedral Meadows, 6th May

The contents of my moth trap that night were nice, if not particularly exciting: 3 Lesser Swallow Prominents, Swallow Prominent, 2 Muslin Moths, 2 Hebrew Characters and 2 Nut-tree Tussocks.  But missing my trap and heading straight in to the bedroom was this lovely Chocolate-tip, my first of the year.

Chocolate-tip, North Elmham, 5th May


  1. I think you are safe with those galls being caused by Andricus kollari ("oak marble galls"). Alexanders is common around Norwich now, as you say probably spread along the road network. Most populations have the distinctive rust Puccinia smyrnii on, so keep an eye out for that too.

    1. Great, thanks James - very helpful as always. I'll keep an eye out for the rust.