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 November 2016

Banham Zoo bioblitz

A few of us rocked up to Banham Zoo on the evening of 10th September to help with their bioblitz weekend.  We arrived in the rain and by the time darkness fell the rain was still going strong.  Not willing to be defeated I set my light up in a shelter so that it could stay dry while still attracting any moths stupid enough to be flying.  Then when the rain eventually stopped I moved it out, but the skies cleared as soon as the rain stopped and the temperature plummeted.  Far from ideal conditions but we still managed a few interesting moths.

The highlight from my perspective was a new moth for me: Waste Grass-veneer Pediasia contaminella.

Waste Grass-veneer Pediasia contaminella, Banham Zoo, 10th September

There were also 2 Marsh Dwarfs Elachista alpinella, a species which by that time I had never positively identified although I had 3 suspects sitting in pots at home from earlier in the month.

Marsh Dwarf Elachista alpinella (male, gen det), Banham Zoo, 10th September

Other moths I recorded were Ash Bud Moth Prays fraxinella, White-shouldered Smudge Ypsolopha parenthesella, Diamond-back Moth Plutella xylostella, Common Flat-body Agonopterix heracliana, Brindled Flat-body Agonopterix arenella, Dingy Dowd Blastobasis adustella, 2 White-faced Tortrixes Pandemis cinnamomeana, Large Fruit-tree Tortrix Archips podana, Grey Poplar Bell Epinotia nisella, 2 Elbow-stripe Grass-veneers Agriphila geniculea, Narrow-winged Grey Eudonia angustea, Small Dusty Wave, Garden Carpet, 2 Common Marbled Carpets, Double-striped Pug, Brimstone Moth, Dusky Thorn, 2 Light Emeralds, Ruby Tiger, Flame Shoulder, 6 Large Yellow Underwings, Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, 4 Setaceous Hebrew Characters, 3 Square-spot Rustics, Common Wainscot, 2 Angle Shades and 3 Snouts.

Grey Poplar Bell Epinotia nisella, Banham Zoo, 10th September

Common Marbled Carpet, Banham Zoo, 10th September

This being a bioblitz we all tried as best as we could to find and identify other groups too.  I retained a few caddisflies for checking and among these were two species I'd not recorded before: Cyrnus flavidus and Hydropsyche augustipennis.  Others were Glyphotaelius pellucidus, 3 Limnephilus auricula, 2 Limnephilus flavicornis, Limnephilus marmoratus and Limnephilus vittatus.

Cyrnus flavidus (female), Banham Zoo, 10th September

Hydropsyche angustipennis (male), Banham Zoo, 10th September

Stewart was looking at leafhoppers so I passed him some which proved to be Metidiocerus rutilans, Viridicerus ustulatus and Tremulicerus tremulae (all alternatively placed in the genus Idiocerus - I'm not quite sure which is currently regarded as correct).  I retained 3 myself (by accident - thought I'd passed them all to Stewart) and these proved to be another Viridicerus ustulatus and 2 Idiocerus stigmaticalis.  All of these were new species for me.

Viridicerus (=Idiocerus) ustulatus, Banham Zoo, 10th September

Idiocerus stigmaticalis, Banham Zoo, 10th September

This barkfly proved to be Valenzuela flavidus - a familiar looking creature both in name and appearance so I thought I'd recorded it before... can't see that I have though having checked my records.

Valenzula flavidus, Banham Zoo, 10th September

I'm not competent to do much with flies but one looked so distinctive I decided to retain it and see what it was.  Wasn't as easy as I'd imagined as it's a big genus and I couldn't find any details of what most of them look like, but in the end it turned out to be Macrocera phalerata.

Macrocerua phalerata, Banham Zoo, 10th September

The light also attracted a Hornet and a German Wasp, the latter discovered when it stung me.  The last couple of times I've been stung by wasps it was pretty much a non-event, barely any worse than a stinging nettle and lasting even less time.  This was something else - left me uncomfortable and sore for about 10 days.

Other species recorded included Common Toad, Speckled and Oak Bush-crickets, Common Earwig, the Green Lacewing Chrysoperla carnea agg. (female), the Scorpion Fly Panorpa germanica, Orange and Harlequin Ladybirds, Tree Slug, about 30 Common Rough Woodlice and 10 White-legged Snake Millipedes.  Someone also pointed out the spider Nuctenea umbratica, a new one for me.

Nuctena umbratica, Banham Zoo, 10th September

Nothing much to shout about in the moth trap at home that night: Diamond-back Moth Plutella xylostella, Large Fruit-tree Tortrix Archips podana, Garden Rose Tortrix Acleris variegana, 4 Narrow-winged Greys Eudonia angustea, 3 Blood-veins, Small Blood-vein, Small Dusty Wave, Common Marbled Carpet, Grey Pine Carpet, 3 Brimstone Moths, Willow Beauty, 4 Light Emeralds, Flame Shoulder, 4 Large Yellow Underwings, 8 Lesser Yellow Underwings, Small Square-spot, Square-spot Rustic, 2 Common Wainscots, 2 Flounced Rustics, Silver Y, Straw Dot and 6 Snouts.

The hoverfly Eupeodes latifasciatus was new for the year.

Eupeodes latifasciatus, North Elmham, 10th September

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