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.

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Copper Ermel, Dowdy Plume, Dune Villas and a leaf cut by a bee

For the third night in the row, 24th August was a good night.  The highlight was my first ever adult Copper Ermel Roeslerstammia erxlebella.

Copper Ermel Roeslerstammia erxlebella, North Elmham, 24th August

New for the year were Small Birch Bell Epinotia ramella, Centre-barred Sallow and Old Lady.

Centre-barred Sallow, North Elmham, 24th August

I was more surprised to see a Rosy Footman, a pristine fresh individual so I suspect a second generation which isn't normal for this species.  Narrow-winged Grey Eudonia angustea was also my first of its second generation this year, although for that species it's the first spring generation that's a relatively new phenonemon.

Four species of migrant moth was good for here:  3 Diamond-back Moths Plutella xylostella, Rusty-dot Pearl Udea ferrugalis, 2 Rush Veneers Nomophila noctuella and Silver Y.

Other micros were Oak Bent-wing Bucculatrix ulmella, Golden Argent Argyresthia goedartella, Wainscot Smudge Ypsolopha scabrella, Small Clover Case-bearer Coleophora alcyonipennella, 2 Brown House Moths Hofmannophila pseudospretella, Long-horned Flat-body Carcina quercana, 2 Dingy Dowds Blastobasis adustella, 2 Chequered Fruit-tree Tortrixes Pandemis corylana, Dark-triangle Button Acleris laterana, 2 Garden Rose Tortrixes Acleris variegana, 7 Common Marbles Celypha lacunana, 2 Pearl Veneers Agriphila straminella, 5 Common Grass-veneers Agriphila tristella, 7 Elbow-stripe Grass-veneers Agriphila geniculea, Chequered Grass-veneer Catoptria falsella, 3 Water Veneers Acentria ephemerella, 3 Ringed China-marks Parapoynx stratiotata, Beautiful China-mark Nymphula nitidulata, 6 Garden Pebbles Evergestis forficalis, 2 Pale Straw Pearls Udea lutealis, 7 Mother of Pearls Pleuroptya ruralis, Ash-bark Knot-horn Euzophera pinguis and Beautiful Plume Amblyptilia acanthadactyla.

The remainder of the macros were 3 Single-dotted Waves, 3 Riband Waves, Flame Carpet, 2 Red Twin-spot Carpets, Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet, 6 Common Carpets, 10 Green Carpets, 2 Wormwood/Currant Pugs, Tawny Speckled Pug, 2 Double-striped Pugs, 3 Treble-bars, 3 Yellow-barred Brindles, 25 Brimstone Moths, 2 Canary-shouldered Thorns, Dusky Thorn, 3 Willow Beauties, 2 Poplar Hawkmoths, 2 Iron Prominents, Lesser Swallow Prominent, Swallow Prominent, 19 Flame Shoulders, 24 Large Yellow Underwings, 4 Lesser Yellow Underwings, 10 Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwings, Small Square-spot, 6 Setaceous Hebrew Characters, 5 Square-spot Rustics, 2 Common Wainscots, Copper Underwing, 2 Straw Underwings, Dark Arches, Cloaked Minor, Common Rustic, 9 Flounced Rustics, 2 Burnished Brasses, 2 Spectacles, 30 Straw Dots and 3 Snouts.

Treble-bar (female), North Elmham, 24th August

Green Lacewings consisted of 2 Cunctochrysa albolineata and Dichochrysa flavifrons.  Caddisflies included a Athripsodes albifrons and bugs included a Forest Bug.

Next day I headed up to Burnham Overy for some birding.  Saw some birds but the non-birds were more varied and interesting.  I saw 4 Toads, 2 Natterjacks and 2 Common Toads.  Later on with Andrew B and his colleague we found a Common Lizard.

Common Lizard, Burnham Overy Dunes, 25th August

Natterjack, Burnham Overy Dunes, 25th August

There were a lot of plume moths in the dunes.  Some looked like, and one was subsequently confirmed as being, Breckland Plume Crombrugghia distans - at least 10 of these seen.  Others looked rather like Common Plume Emmelina monodactyla, but they didn't seem big enough.  I couldn't immediately see what else they could be though, so suspecting that's what they were I retained one just in case.  Good job I did... they were, or at least that one was, Dowdy Plume Stenoptilia zophodactylus, a new moth for me.  At least 6 of these, assuming they were all the same.

 Breckland Plume Crombrugghia distans (male, gen det), Burnham Overy Dunes, 25th August

Dowdy Plume Stenoptilia zophodactylus (male, gen det), Burnham Overy Dunes, 25th August

Other moths were 6 Spindle Ermines Yponomeuta cagnagella, 2+ Beautiful Groundlings Caryocolum marmorea, 6 Yellow-spot Tortrixes Pseudargyrotoza conwagana, Common Marble Celypha lacunana, 10+ Elbow-stripe Grass-veneers Agriphila geniculea, Hook-tipped Grass-veneer Platytes alpinella, Straw-barred Pearl Pyrausta despicata, 3 Common Carpets and 3 Yellow Belles.

Spindle Ermine Yponomeuta cagnagella, Burnham Overy Dunes, 25th August

Butterflies included getting on for 200 Small/Green-veined Whites along the sea wall.  Both species were involved - I identified and counted 55 Small Whites and 23 Green-veined Whites.  Also Small Copper, 3 Brown Arguses, Common Blues, Small Tortroiseshells, Wall Browns, Meadow Browns, Gatekeeper, Small Heaths (most of the non-Whites were in the dunes).  Dragonflies included Migrant Hawker and at least 2 Ruddy Darters.

I was mystified by a green thing flying with a strange up and down motion through the dunes.  It had quite a big very green body and was flying most bizarrely - or at least that was what I first thought.  When it landed I realised that it was in fact a bee carrying a leaf!  Although I was vaguely aware that there was such a thing as a leafcutter bee I'd never seen one carrying a leaf it had cut before.  Turns out, I think, that it was Silvery Leafcutter Bee Megachile leachella, my first leafcutter in the UK.

Silvery Leafcutter Bee Megachile leachella, Burnham Overy Dunes, 25th August

Other interesting insects included 2 Dune Villas, a distinctive Bee Fly I was familiar with only through a couple of photos I'd seen on Twitter recently.

Dune Villas Villa modesta, Burnham Overy Dunes, 25th August

These two hoverflies looked so different from one another I'd have imagined they were different species were it not for the fact that they were copulating.  Turns out they were (both) Sphaerophoria scripta.

Sphaerophoria scripta, Burnham Overy Dunes, 25th August

Andrew Bloomfield kindly showed me some more spiders.  These included Tegenaria agrestis, Alopecosa barbipes and a Theridion sp.  I think he said he needed to check the ID of the latter and I've not followed up to find out which species it was.  The very limited research I've done (googling) suggests it may be Theridion pictum though if I remember rightly T varians was mentioned.

Alopecosa barbipes, Burnham Overy Dunes, 25th August

Theridion sp. (looks like images of Theridion pictum), Burnham Overy Dunes, 25th August

Andy also pointed out some interesting grasshoppers.  First were a couple of Lesser Marsh Grasshoppers one of which was an unusual pink form.  There was also Mottled Grasshopper and Andy found a Long-winged Conehead, apparently not a common sighting here.

Lesser Marsh Grasshopper, Burnham Overy Dunes, 25th August

Long-winged Conehead, Burnham Overy Dunes, 25th August

Also thanks to Andy for pointing out Tiny Earthstars - a rare fungus that is not found at many other sites.

Tiny Earthstars, Burnham Overy Dunes, 25th August

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