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LEPIDOPTERA NOTES : 1957 By H. E.

CHIPPERFIELD,

Stowmarket.

Owing to the mild weather in the early part of the year the usual spring insects were out in good time. A number of the Blossom Underwing (Orthosia miniosa Fabr.) emerged in midMarch from larvae collected in 1956 from Barking Woods where they were quite plentiful. On 23rd " Blended " light attracted a good selection of spring noctuid and geometer moths, but nothing outstanding, while in early April many Brindled Beauty Moths (Lycia hirtaria Clerk) emerged from Epping Forest larvae. Pairings were obtained and subsequently larvae and pupae resulted. Larvae of the Butterbur Moth (Hydraecia petasitis Doubl.) were quite plentiful in the stems of the butterbur at Bosmere on May 25th. Unfavourable weather prevented much collecting being done until June Ist when the most interesting species to come to light were three Beautiful Golden Y Moths (.Plusia pulchrina How.), a variety insularia of Peppered Moth (Biston betularia Linn.) and a Pebbled Prominent (Notodonta ziczac Linn.). On this date also Scarce Pugs (Eupithecia extensaria Frey.) from larvae collected in September, 1956, on the North Norfolk coast, began emerging. From then onwards until the end of July the usual summer insects appeared in quite good numbers on all favourable nights. Some of the more interesting captures were two Maple Prominents (Lothop teryx cucullina Hübn.) and one Varied Coronet (Hadena compta. Schiff.) on June 29th. It is of interest to note that the Maple Prominent first appeared in Stowmarket in 1956, when I started using my " Blended" light. This applies also to a number of other species which have probably existed in the district all the time. A short visit to the Dover-Folkestone district of Kent in early July produced specimens of the local moths, Bond's Wainscot (Arenostola morrisii Dale) and the Bright Wave (,Sterrha ochrata Scop.) and a single Least Carpet {Sterrha rusticata Fabr.) at Gravesend on the way home. On July 18th, I accompanied Dr. Neville Birkett to the Walberswick Marshes where our most interesting captures were the Sussex Wainscot (Nonagria neurica Hübn.) the Powdered Wainscot (,Simyra albovenosa Goeze) and the micro Acentropus niveus which has such an unusual life history. A single Varied Coronet was also taken by Dr. Birkett far away from its food plant—sweet william. A further visit with our member Mr. E. A. Ellis and Air Marshai Sir Robert Saundby on July 24th, produced quite a number of Sussex Wainscots and several Powdered Wainscots, after a lot of hard work.


LEPIDOPTERA NOTES, 1957

211

Very little collecting was possible in August owing to the unfavourable weather conditions, but in September weather improved and the usual autumn moths appeared in good numbers including somefineforms of the Common Wainscot (Lucania pallens Linn.)- No migrants, however, appeared, but a larva of the Death'sHead Hawk Moth (Acherontia atropos Linn.) was found by a Stowmarket schoolmaster on September 16th. Most butterflies have been scarce during the whole season. There was no sign of the Large Tortoiseshell in its usual haunts in the late spring and even the Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell have been far from common. A few Red Admirals were on the wing in mid September.

A FEW NOTES ON SUFFOLK LEPIDOPTERA IN 1957 Since my grandson, Alfred Waller, has been away doing his national service, his light-trap has only been functioning now and again here on favourable nights. Large numbers of the ordinary species have turned up and many have come to a strong light in my room. I was glad to see the Dusky Sallow (Eremobia ochroleuca Esp.), formerly almost confined to the Breck, but now fairly common all over the County. Another visitor was the White-point Wainscot (Aletia albipuncta Fab.) which seems to have found a happy environment in East Suffolk. The Lilac Beauty (Apeira syringaria Linn.), the Peach Blossom (Thyatira batis Linn.) after a long lapse, together with the Lunar Thorn (Selenia lunaria Schiff.) and the Purple Thorn (Selenis tetralunaria Hufn.) also came to the light. It is only in the last few years that we have noticed Purple Thorns in this district. Both the spring and the summer broods of it have appeared. The Hawk Moths, especialy the Privet {Sphinx ligustri Linn.) and the Poplar (Amorpha populi Linn.) have been very plentiful, but the Eyed (Smerinthus ocellatus Linn.) has been generally scarce. Every year some insect of outstanding interest seems to turn up. This year it has been the Alder Kitten (Cerura biscuspis Borkh.). My younger grandson kept the trap going several nights in June and to my surprise brought me a beautiful newly

Lepidoptera Notes, 1957  
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