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.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Natterjacks, a new weevil and a rainbow halo

A birding trip to Burnham Overy on 1st May didn't produce many moths - just 2 Plain Fanners Glyphipterix fuscoviridella and a Cinnabar, though there was a caterpillar which I haven't yet been able to put a name to (maybe Garden Tiger but it doesn't look quite right to me).  Also Red Admiral, Small Copper and this Natterjack Toad.

Natterjack Toad, Burnham Overy Dunes, 1st May

unidentified caterpillar (possibly Garden Tiger?), Burnham Overy Dunes, 1st May

There was also a Limnephilus auricula (caddisfly) at Holkham.  Not many moths at home again that night but there were two new for the year: Hawthorn Slender Parornix anglicella and Knot Grass. The others were Light Brown Apple Moth Epiphyas postvittana, Waved Umber, Muslin Moth and 3 Hebrew Characters.

Knot Grass, North Elmham, 1st May

Hawthorn Slender Parornix anglicella (male, gen det), North Elmham, 1st May

This weevil was on my front door (inside) in the morning - although I can't find any definitive statement that the dark line down the join of the elytra is a reliable identifier, all the images I've checked of other Strophosoma and similar species seem to lack it whereas it is apparently characteristic of Nut Leaf Weevil Strophosoma melanogrammum - a new species for me.

Strophosoma melanogrammum, North Elmham, 2nd May

Next day I returned to Burnham Overy where I saw another Natterjack in the dunes, and a Stoat.  Moths included Plain Fanner Glyphipterix fuscoviridella, Dusky Groundling Aroga velocella, Black-headed Conch Cochylis atricapitana and 3 Cinnabars. There were 2 Small Coppers and the brown lacewing Hemerobius humulinus.

Natterjack Toad, Burnham Overy Dunes, 2nd May

Black-headed Conch Cochylis atricapitana, Burnham Overy Dunes, 2nd May

The most impressive natural phenonemon though was this 'glory' - a rainbow halo around my shadow as I walked down the seawall early in the morning.  I think it's also known as Brocken Spectre, though I'm not sure if that's exactly the same thing or not - more often seen in mountains apparently, though I suspect that has something to do with the way the shadow is thrown down a hillside which was sort-of the case here as I was on top of the seawall.

'Glory' or Brocken Spectre, Burnham Overy Dunes, 2nd May

Moths at home that night were Swallow Prominent, White Ermine, Muslin Moth, Clouded Drab and 4 Hebrew Characters, the White Ermine being new for the year.

White Ermine, North Elmham, 2nd May

The following night Brindled Flat-body Agonopterix arenella and Red Twin-spot Carpet were new for the year.  There was also Little Dwarf Elachista canapennella, Swallow Prominent, Pale Tussock and 4 Hebrew Characters, plus the caddisfly Glyphotaelius pellucidus and a Black Sexton Beetle.

Brindled Flat-body Agonopterix arenella, North Elmham, 3rd May

Red Twin-spot Carpet, North Elmham, 3rd May

The following night Scalloped Hazel was new for the year.  Other moths were 2 Red Twin-spot Carpets, Brindled Pug, Brimstone Moth, Swallow Prominent, Muslin Moth and 4 Hebrew Characters. Also the caddisfly Limnophilus sparsus and another Black Sexton Beetle.

Scalloped Hazel, North Elmham, 4th May

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