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, 24 October 2016

1500 Beetles and my 700th garden moth

In my last post I reported that things started to pick up on 21st August after a quiet spell in mid August.  The next night wasn't just warming up, it was positively hot.  306 moths of 92 species, though well short of the July peak was a pretty ok total for the second half of August.  But the main event wasn't the moths at all - it was an incredible arrival/emergence of beetles!  The trap was covered in and full of small reddish brown beetles.  Every egg box had dozens of them on and the bottom of the trap was literally piled high with them.  With them being in piles it was pretty hard to count them but my estimate of 1500 was as careful as I could, veering on the conservative side.  I had no idea what species was involved but it was clear from Twitter that many other moth-trappers in the county had experienced the same phenomenon, and some of them were competent to identify them as Bradycellus verbasci, with some reporting a smaller number of Bradycellus harpalinus among them.  I can't confirm the latter in my haul but verbasci was a new species for me.

Bradycellus verbasci, North Elmham, 22nd August

Among the moths an impressive 9 species were new for the year here.  Two of them were new for the garden, namely Poplar Bent-wing Phyllocnistis unipunctella and Brown Pine Knot-horn Dioryctria simplicella. The former had so few scales left on it I had to chop it to work out what genus it was even.  These brought my garden moth list to over 700 - not bad considering I only moved here in August 2014!

Brown Pine Knot-horn Dioryctria simplicella, North Elmham, 22nd August

The others new for the year were 5 Oak Bent-wings Bucculatrix ulmella, Yellow-triangle Slender Caloptilia alchimiella, Cherry Fruit Moth Argyresthia pruniella, Dark Ash Bud Moth Prays ruficeps, Honeysuckle Moth Ypsolopha dentella, White-shouldered Smudge Ypsolopha parenthesella and Small Purple and Gold (Mint Moth) Pyrausta aurata.

Oak Bent-wing Bucculatrix ulmella, North Elmham, 22nd August

Yellow-triangle Slender Caloptilia alchimiella (male, gen det), North Elmham, 22nd August

Cherry Fruit Moth Argyresthia pruniella, North Elmham, 22nd August

Dark Ash Bud Moth Prays ruficeps, North Elmham, 22nd August

Honeysuckle Moth Ypsolopha dentella, North Elmham, 22nd August

White-shouldered Smudge Ypsolopha parenthesella, North Elmham, 22nd August

Small Purple and Gold Pyrausta aurata, North Elmham, 22nd August

An excellent selection of other micros: Apple Leaf Miner Lyonetia clerkella, 2 New Oak Slenders Caloptilia robustella, Brown Birch Slender Parornix betulae, Blackthorn Slender Parornix torquillella, 3 Garden Midgets Phyllonorycter messaniella, Long-streak Midget Phyllonorycter salicicolella, Beech Midget Phyllonorycter maestingella, 4 Horse Chestnut Leaf-miners Cameraria ohridella, 5 Golden Argents Argyresthia goedartella, 2 Bird-cherry Ermines Yponomeuta evonymella, Orchard/Apple/Spindle Ermine agg. Yponomeuta padella/malinellus/cagnagella, Little Ermel Swammerdamia pyrella, Diamond-back Moth Plutella xylostella, Small Clover Case-bearer Coleophora alcyonipennella, Brown House Moth Hofmannophila pseudospretella, Long-horned Flat-body Carcina quercana, House Groundling Bryotropha domestica, Vetch Sober Aproaerema anthyllidella, 4 Dingy Dowds Blastobasis adustella, Chequered Fruit-tree Tortrix Pandemis corylana, 5 Light Brown Apple Moths Epiphyas postvittana, White-triangle Button Acleris holmiana, 5 Dark-triangle Buttons Acleris laterana, 4 Garden Rose Tortrixes Acleris variegana, 2 Common Marbles Celypha lacunana, 2 Rush Marbles Bactra lancealana, 2 Common Birch Bells Epinotia immundana, Marbled Piercer Cydia splendana, 2 Round-winged Drills Dichrorampha simpliciana, 6 Pearl Veneers Agriphila straminella, 9 Common Grass-veneers Agriphila tristella, 9 Elbow-stripe Grass-veneers Agriphila geniculea, 3 Water Veneers Acentria ephemerella, Brown China-mark Elophila nymphaeata, 6 Ringed China-marks Parapoynx stratiotata, Garden Pebble Evergestis forficalis, Pale Straw Pearl Udea lutealis, 3 Rusty-dot Pearls Udea ferrugalis, Rush Veneer Nomophila noctuella, 8 Mother of Pearls Pleuroptya ruralis, 3 Grey Knot-horns Acrobasis advenella, Ermine Knot-horn Phycitodes binaevella and 2 Common Plumes Emmelina monodactyla.

New Oak Slender Caloptilia robustella (male, gen det), North Elmham, 22nd August

Horse Chestnut Leaf-miner Cameraria ohridella, North Elmham, 22nd August

In comparison the macros were relatively mundane, although a count of 63 Straw Dots was notable.  The other macros were 5 Orange Swifts, Pebble Hook-tip, Maiden's Blush, Blood-vein, Single-dotted Wave, 3 Riband Waves, 13 Common Carpets, Purple Bar, 4 Green Carpets, Slender Pug, 2 Currant Pugs, 2 Tawny Speckled Pugs, Yellow-barred Brindle, Magpie Moth, 14 Brimstone Moths, Canary-shouldered Thorn, 3 Dusky Thorns, 2 Willow Beauties, Common Wave, Iron Prominent, Lesser Swallow Prominent, Swallow Prominent, Pale Prominent, Dingy Footman, Shuttle-shaped Dart, 9 Flame Shoulders, 14 Large Yellow Underwings, Lesser Yellow Underwing, 7 Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwings, Small Square-spot, 3 Setaceous Hebrew Characters, Six-striped Rustic, 3 Square-spot Rustics, 2 Common Wainscots, Copper Underwing, Mouse Moth, 2 Common Rustics, 8 Flounced Rustics and Burnished Brass.

Maiden's Blush, North Elmham, 22nd August

Slender Pug (female, gen det), North Elmham, 22nd August

Mouse Moth, North Elmham, 22nd August

Among the other insects was the barkfly Ectopsocus briggsi, a new one for me.

Ectopsocus briggsi (male), North Elmham, 22nd August

Caddisflies included the microcaddis Hydroptila sparsa, a new species for the garden.

Hydroptila sparsa (female, gen det), North Elmham, 22nd August

Bugs included my first Common Green Caspid Lygocoris pabulinus of the year and 3 of the impressive Eared Leafhopper Ledra aurita.  Also Birch Shieldbug and no less than 9 Forest Bugs (Red-legged Shieldbugs).

Common Green Caspid Lygocoris pabulinus, North Elmham, 22nd August

Birch Shieldbug, North Elmham, 22nd August

Also 3 Hemerobius lutescens (a Brown Lacewing), an Oak Bush-cricket (inside the house) and 2 Common Wasps.

Oak Bush-cricket, North Elmham, 22nd August

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