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, 6 February 2019

Bat survey results, an aberrant Rivulet and a new leafhopper

The highlight at home on 12th August was a new leafhopper, Arboridia ribauti.  It's another one where the NBN Atlas doesn't show any records from Norfolk, but this isn't a reliable indicator of status unfortunately.

Arboridia ribauti, North Elmham, 12th August

Other bugs were Hawthorn Shieldbug (new for the year at home), Birch Shieldbug and another Compsidolon salicellumBradycellus verbasci and Nicrophorus investigator were the only beetles and the hoverfly Eupeodes latifasciatus was new for the year here.

The only lacewings were Dichochrysa prasina and 2 Micromus variegatus but there was a selection of caddisflies: Polycentropus flavomaculatus, 3 Hydropsyche siltalai, Limnephilus auricula, Limnephilus lunatus, Limnephilus marmoratus and Limnephilus sparsus.

None of the moths were new for the year but Beech Pigmy Stigmella hemargyrella was good.  The others were Apple Leaf-miner Lyonetia clerkella, Blackthorn Slender Parornix torquillella, Dingy Dowd Blastobasis adustella, 2 Dark Fruit-tree Tortrixes Pandemis heparana, Light Brown Apple-moth Epiphyas postvittana, Maple Button Acleris forsskaleana, 3 Garden Rose Tortrixes Acleris variegana, Barred Marble Celypha striana, Blotched Marble Endothenia quadrimaculana, Marbled Piercer Cydia splendana, 4 Straw Grass-veneers Agriphila straminella, 41 Common Grass-veneers Agriphila tristella, Ringed China-mark Parapoynx stratiotata, 9 Mother of Pearls Pleuroptya ruralis, Wax Moth Galleria mellonella, 2 Grey Knot-horns Acrobasis advenella, 2 Common Plumes Emmelina monodactyla, Orange Swift, Single-dotted Wave, Red Twin-spot Carpet, Common Carpet, Double-striped Pug, Scorched Carpet, Brimstone Moth, 2 Willow Beauties, Dingy Footman, Shuttle-shaped Dart, 3 Flame Shoulders, 2 Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwings, 2 Square-spotted Clays, Six-striped Rustic, Cabbage Moth, Antler Moth, Common Wainscot, Straw Underwing, 4 Flounced Rustics, Spectacle and 4 Straw Dots.

Beech Pigmy Stigmella hemargyrella (male, gen det), North Elmham, 12th August

Perhaps the most unusual moth the following night was a Rivulet.  Not because they're rare here (though they are quite uncommon - not quite annual) but because it had an unusual extent of white on its forewings.  With a 15mm forewing there wasn't much doubt about its identity but given its unusual appearance I did check its genitalia just to make sure.

oddly-patterned female Rivulet, North Elmham, 13th August

The following night Elbow-stripe Grass-veneer Agriphila geniculea was new for the year.  It must have been a record night for Agriphila species with 5 different species (the others being Pale-streak Grass-veneer Agriphila selasella, 3 Straw Grass-veneers Agriphila straminella, 58 Common Grass-veneers Agriphila tristella and Barred Grass-veneer Agriphila inquinatella, the latter less than annual here).

Elbow-stripe Grass-veneer Agriphila geniculea, North Elmham, 13th August

Barred Grass-veneer Agriphila inquinatella, North Elmham, 13th August

The other moths that night were 2 Ermine sp. Yponomeuta padella/malinellus/cagnagella, Diamond-back Plutella xylostella, 2 Dingy Dowds Blastobasis adustella, Light Brown Apple-moth Epiphyas postvittana, 4 Garden Rose Tortrixes Acleris variegana, Barred Marble Celypha striana, 2 Common Marbles Celypha lacunana, 2 Blotched Marbles Endothenia quadrimaculana, 3 Garden Pebbles Evergestis forficalis, Pale Straw Pearl Udea lutealis, 3 Mother of Pearls Pleuroptya ruralis, Common Plume Emmelina monodactyla, Orange Swift, Blood-vein, Riband Wave, Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet, 2 Common Carpets, Tawny Speckled Pug, 2 Double-striped Pugs, Yellow-barred Brindle, Latticed Heath, 4 Brimstone Moths, 3 Dusky Thorns, Willow Beauty, 3 Poplar Hawk-moths, Shuttle-shaped Dart, Flame Shoulder, 2 Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwings, 2 Setaceous Hebrew Characters, 3 Square-spotted Clays, 3 Six-striped Rustics, Cabbage Moth, 3 Straw Underwings, 12 Flounced Rustics, Vine's Rustic and 5 Straw Dots.

Blotched Marble Endothenia quadrimaculana, North Elmham, 13th August

Latticed Heath, North Elmham, 13th August

3 Pond Olives Cloeon dipterum were the only mayflies and the caddisflies were 3 Hydropsyche siltalai, Mottled Sedge Glyphotaelius pellucidus and Limnephilus lunatus.

There were 4 Forest Bugs and the only bug was new for the year, Phytocoris tiliae.

Phytocoris tiliae, North Elmham, 13th August

Beetles were 6 Bradycellus verbasci and an Aphodius rufipes.  The only other insects I recorded were 2 Hornets.

Early the following morning I went to the meadows to collect the bat detector equipment I left at the meadows overnight for the final one of six nights recording.  This was part of the Norfolk Bat Survey programme and after analysing my recordings they told me what species I had recorded.  They gave me a host of information and a very intrestesting breakdown of the number of passes of each species each night, but in summary the following speceis were recorded, with the numbers being the number of passes the bats made past the recording equipment:
  1. Whiskered/Brandt's Bat Myotis mystacinus/brandti 1
  2. Daubenton's Bat Myotis daubentonii 20
  3. Natterer's Bat Myotis nattererii 25 (also another 15 unidentified Myotis sp.)
  4. Leisler's Bat Nyctalus leisleri 3
  5. Noctule Nyctalus noctula 13 (also another 4 unidentified Nyctalus sp.)
  6. Common Pipistrelle Pipistrellus pipistrellus 306
  7. Soprano Pipistrelle Pipistrellus pygmaeus 625 (also another 155 unidentified Pipistrelles)
  8. Serotine Eptesicus serotinus 64
  9. Barbastelle Barbastella barbastellus 6
  10. Brown Long-eared Bat Plecotus aruitus 35
So a total of 1272 recordings about half of which were Soprana Pipistrelles and a further quarter of which were Common Pipistrelles.  But particularly interesting to me was the variety of other species recorded.  The single Whiskered/Brandt's Bat was a good one.  These two species can't be separated acoustically so most records are lumped as either-or.  There are only a scattering of records across the county, with just 13 records in 2017 (when there was very good coverage thanks to the bat survey).  Leisler's Bat was also good to find, with the three passes all from different fields on different nights.  This is mainly a Breckland species, particularly scarce elsewhere in Norfolk.

Excluding one that hasn't been recorded in Norfolk since the 1950s and one migrant species that only occurs here as a rare vagrant, there is only one other species of bat that occurs in Norfolk, the Nathusius's Pipistrelle which is mainly found in the Broads and would be quite unexpected here in mid Norfolk I think (at least there were no records anywhere near here in 2017).  So a much better result than expected and really as good as could possibly have been hoped for.

Anyway, although that was as good a time as any to give you the results of the bat survey, the point of me starting to write about collecting the equipment was to introduce this leafhopper nymph that was on top of the bat detector box when I collected it on 14th August.  Given its yellow colouration I imagined it would be one of the Fagocyba or Edwardsiana species, but it subsequently moulted and proved to be a female Kybos sp., either Kybos virgator, strigilifer or perhaps calyculus (females cannot be fully identified).

Kybos sp. nymph, North Elmham, 13th August

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