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, 23 May 2018

Hawk-moth double act and a new Springtail

I found this Yellow-barred Brindle by the trap as I went to check it on the evening of Tuesday 15th, a new one for the year.

Yellow-barred Brindle, North Elmham, 15th May

There didn't seem to be many other moths in the trap and sure enough when I went through it in the morning there were only a dozen.  But these included my first two hawk-moths for the year, side by side on the same egg tray: Poplar Hawk-moth and Eyed Hawk-moth.  The others were Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet, Common Pug, Brindled Pug, 2 Brimstone Moths, Waved Umber, Pale Tussock, White Ermine, Early Grey and Nut-tree Tussock (and there was a Case-bearing Clothes Moth Tinea pellionella indoors).

Poplar Hawk-moth, North Elmham, 15th May

Eyed Hawk-moth, North Elmham, 15th May

White Ermine, North Elmham, 15th May

Next day Common Wave and 2 Spectacles were new for the year.  There were also Beech Midget Phyllonorycter maestingella, Common Pug, 2 Scalloped Hazels, Muslin Moth, Flame Shoulder, Hebrew Character and a Common Earwig.

Common Wave, North Elmham, 16th May

Spectacle, North Elmham, 16th May

Scalloped Hazel, North Elmham, 16th May

The following night Garden Pebble Evergestis forficalis and Small Square-spot were added to the garden year list, and there were also Green Carpet, 3 Common Pugs, 2 Scalloped Hazels, Lesser Swallow Prominent, Coxcomb Prominent, Shuttle-shaped Dart, Flame Shoulder and Hebrew Character.

Garden Pebble Evergestis forficalis, North Elmham, 17th May

Small Square-spot, North Elmham, 17th May

There was one other thing in the trap of note, a springtail.  Unlike the springtail I saw at the meadows a few days earlier the third segment of the antennae was of an even width, indicating this was genus Tomocerus.  This one had spines on the dens that I could see clearly (well, clearly once I had gently prised the two prongs of the furcula apart), and they were simple, not tri-dentate, indicating (I think) that it was Tomocerus vulgaris, a new species for me.  Although it was alive and kicking (or rather jumping) when I got it out of the trap, by the time I went to photograph it an hour or two later it had already died, so my only shots are of a dead springtail I'm afraid.  It doesn't show very well in the photo but under the microscope you could clearly see how the irridescent scales formed discrete bands around each segment of the abdomen, which I believe is characteristic of this species.

Tomocerus vulgaris, North Elmham, 17th May

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