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.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Amazing aberrant Small Copper

Sunday 23rd September saw both Pine Carpet and Grey Pine Carpet added to the garden year list.  Pine isn't very common here but I was surrpised when I realised the Grey Pine was my first this year.  Also new for the year was the wonderful Pink-barred Sallow.

Pine Carpet, North Elmham, 23rd September

Grey Pine Carpet, North Elmham, 23rd September

Pink-barred Sallow, North Elmham, 23rd September

Other moths were Golden Argent Argyresthia goedartella, Large Fruit-tree Tortrix Archips podana, 2 Light Brown Apple Moths Epiphyas postvittana, Garden Rose Tortrix Acleris variegana, 7 Narrow-winged Greys Eudonia angustea, 2 Double-striped Tabbies Hypsopygia glaucinalis, 3 Common Marbled Carpets, Brimstone Moth, Dusky Thorn, 4 Light Emeralds, 3 Large Yellow Underwings, 4 Lesser Yellow Underwings, 2 Setaceous Hebrew Characters, 2 Square-spot Rustics, 12 Lunar Underwings, 2 Frosted Oranges, Burnished Brass, Straw Dot and 10 Snouts.

Double-striped Tabby Hypsopygia glaucinalis, North Elmham, 23rd September

Caddisflies consisted of 2 Hydropsyche pellucidula, Mottled Sedge Glyphotaelius pellucidus, Limnephilus affinis, Limnephilus auricula, 7 Limnephilus lunatus and Limnephilus sparsus.  Beetles were represented by Nicrophorus investigator and Aphodius rufipes.

The following night Brown-spot Pinion was new for the year.

Brown-spot Pinion, North Elmham, 24th September

Other moths were Little Dwarf Elachista canapennella, Brindled Flat-body Agonopterix arenella, Light Brown Apple Moth Epiphyas postvittana, 2 Garden Rose Tortrixes Acleris variegana, 5 Narrow-winged Greys Eudonia angustea, Double-striped Tabby Hypsopygia glaucinalis, Riband Wave, Mallow, 5 Common Marbled Carpets, Willow Beauty, 2 Light Emeralds, 3 Large Yellow Underwings, Lesser Yellow Underwing, Square-spot Rustic, Centre-barred Sallow, 12 Lunar Underwings, Pink-barred Sallow, 2 Sallows, Frosted Orange, Silver Y and 4 Snouts.

Two other insects were new for the year and also my second ever: the mayfly Small Dark Olive Baetis scambus and the mirid bug Pantilius tunicatus.  The following caddisflies were also recorded: Hydropsyche siltalai, 2 Limnephilus auricula, 7 Limnephilus lunatus, 2 Limnephilus sparsus and Limnephilus affinis.

Small Dark Olive Baetis scambus, North Elmham, 24th September

Pantilius tunicatus, North Elmham, 24th September

Next day I headed up to Burnham Overy where I found this extraordinary Small Copper (flying with an ordinary one).  There are lots of named aberrations of Small Copper but this isn't one of them.  I presume it's a form of leucism with normally dark areas looking pale and whitish.

Small Copper ab. nov., Burnham Overy, 25th September

Also here a very worn Beautiful Groundling Caryocolum marmorea and the caddisfly Limnephilus auricula.  Later on a Common Nettle-tap Anthophila fabriciana at Ryburgh.

A good night for moths that night included my second ever Orange Sallow following one in my first autumn here in 2014.

Orange Sallow, North Elmham, 25th September

Also new for the year were 2 Black Rustics.

Black Rustic, North Elmham, 25th September

This Fenland Pearl Anania perlucidalis was a surprise - as the species is supposed to finish flying in July.  It was reasonably fresh so presumably an unusual second generation.

Fenland Pearl Anania perlucidalis, North Elmham, 25th September

Other moths were Garden Midget Phyllonorycter messaniella, Rhomboid Tortrix Acleris rhombana, 2 Narrow-winged Greys Eudonia angustea, Small Blood-vein, Garden Carpet, Mallow, 2 Common Marbled Carpets, 4 Dusky Thorns, Willow Beauty, Shuttle-shaped Dart, Large Yellow Underwing, 2 Lesser Yellow Underwings, Common Wainscot, Brown-spot Pinion, 10 Lunar Underwings, 2 Sallows, Frosted Orange and 2 Snouts.

There was also a Chrysoperla carnea agg. (green lacewing), the caddisflies Ithytrichia lamellaris, Hydropsyche pellucidula, 2 Limnephilus auricula, 8 Limnephilus lunatus and Limnephilus marmoratus, the leafhopper Empoasca vitis and the sexton beetle Nicrophorus investigator.

I had taken the aberrant Small Copper home with me just in case it was necessary to properly document the unusual appearance and the specimen would be required - and also to get decent photos as it hadn't played ball in the field.  I was planning to return to Burnham Overy in the morning so if I didn't need to keep the specimen I would return it.  The feedback I received overnight suggested that there was no need to keep it so I duly released it back where I found it.  This time it settled in the marram grass and in the sunshine allowing a more natural photo than I'd managed yesterday.  I didn't find much else of non-avian interest in the dunes this time.

Small Copper ab. nov., Burnham Overy, 26th September

My wife has recently taken on an allotment in the village and I visited it in the afternoon.  I don't intend to get my hands dirty there but I might have a mooch around looking for insects from time to time!  Not much this time - just a Liocoris tripustulatus (bug) on some nettles and a Common Rough Woodlouse in the compost heap.

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