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, 9 May 2018

First moth-trapping at the meadows

I returned to the Cathedral Meadows early on 4th.  I found six species of moths on the wing: Oak Satin Lift Heliozela sericiella, Common Thorn Midget Phyllonorycter oxyacanthae, 6 Beech Midgets Phyllonorycter maestingella, 4 Horse Chestnut Leaf-miners Cameraria ohridella, Sulphur Tubic Esperia sulphurella and Vetch Piercer Grapholita jungiella.

Sulphur Tubic Esperia sulphurella, Cathedral Meadows, 4th May

Vetch Piercer Grapholita jungiella, Cathedral Meadows, 4th May

Oak Satin Lift Heliozela sericiella, Cathedral Meadows, 4th May

A variety of other things noted including Muntjac, Large Red Damselfly, Orange-tip, Hemerobius lutescens (a brown lacewing), 3 species of hoverfly (Melanostoma scalares, Syrphus ribesii and one that keys out as Eristalis tenax, looks very much like Eristalis tenax, but lacks any of the 3 characteristics listed in the guide for that species - not sure where I went wrong there or what else it might be!).  Also Small Black Ant Lasius niger, Garden Bumblebee and Common Carder Bees, Kentish Snail and a lifer for me in abundance running through the leaf-litter, Common Fox-spider Alopecosa pulverulenta.

Common Fox-spider Alopecosa pulverulenta, Cathedral Meadows, 4th May

Garden Bumblebee, Cathedral Meadows, 4th May

Does anyone know if the species of Oak Gall Wasp can be identified from these galls?

Oak galls, Cathedral Meadows, 4th May

Back at home a beetle dropped onto my outside window sill next to where I was sitting, so I duly potted it up for examination.  It proved to be my first Onthophagus similis.

Onthophagus similis, North Elmham, 4th May

With cloud forecast from before dusk after a warm sunny day I thought tonight would be a good one to have my first moth trapping session at the meadows.  By the time dusk came the arrival time of the cloud had pushed back to just after dusk, but it was still warm as it got dark and there wasn't much wind, so it promised good.  Sadly the cloud never arrived, at least not before half past midnight, and temperatures soon dropped resulting in a poorer catch than hoped - but not at all bad considering.

The first moth in was this Lunar Marbled Brown - a nice way to begin.

Lunar Marbled Brown, Cathedral Meadows, 4th May

One of the next up was this Knot Grass, a species I never used to encounter before I moved to North Elmham in 2014.  I see them every year now but still good to get so soon.

Knot Grass, Cathedral Meadows, 4th May

Also among the first 5 moths to arrive was this Powdered Quaker, my first this year as I don't get many at home (and never seem to get them for a while after others are reporting them).

Powdered Quaker, Cathedral Meadows, 4th May

By now things were really slow, but in the end I did notch up a semi-respectable (given the lack of warmth) 20 species, the others being: Common Oak Purple Dyseriocrania subpurpurella, Parornix sp., Pebble Hook-tip, Frosted Green, Red Twin-spot Carpet, Water Carpet, Small Phoenix, 2 Brindled Pugs, White-pinion Spotted, Iron Prominent, 2 Pebble Prominents, Red Chestnut, 3 Common Quakers, 2 Clouded Drabs, 2 Hebrew Characters, Angle Shades and 3 Nut-tree Tussocks.

Hawthorn Slender Parornix anglicella, Cathedral Meadows, 4th May

Pebble Hook-tip, Cathedral Meadows, 4th May

White-pinion Spotted, Cathedral Meadows, 4th May

Pebble Prominent, Cathedral Meadows, 4th May

Red Chestnut, Cathedral Meadows, 4th May

Nut-tree Tussock, Cathedral Meadows, 4th May

There were also 2 Mottled Sedges Glyphotaelius pellucidus (caddisflies) and 2 Black Sexton Beetles.  Nearby there were a couple of White-legged Snake Millipedes and a Common Striped Woodlouse among lots of Common Rough Woodlice.

Black Sexton Beetle, Cathedral Meadows, 4th May

Common Rough Woodlouse, Cathedral Meadows, 4th May

I didn't catch much at home that night, though Red Twin-spot Carpet was new for the year here.  The rest were Common Plume Emmelina monodactyla, 3 Lesser Swallow Prominents, Swallow Prominent, Muslin Moth and Hebrew Character (also Common Wasp).

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