SOME EARLY LEPIDOPTERA T h e unusually mild winter and early spring apparently caused many species to be on the wing many weeks earlier than normal and the following are some observations and records for 1957. February 27th. Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae Linn.) March 13th. Peacock (Nymphalis io Linn.) March 13th. Comma (Polygonia c-album Linn.) April 2nd. Small White (Pieris rapae Linn.) April 19th. Orange-tip (Anthocharis cardaminis Linn.) April 20th. Grizzled Skipper (Pyrgus malvae Linn.) April 22nd. Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus Linn.) April 22nd. Cinnabar (Hippoerita jacobaeae Linn.) S. BEAUFOY, I p s w i c h .
A N O T E ON OCCURRENCE IN T H E BRITISH ISLES O F Cerura bicuspis Borkhausen : T h e report of the capture of a speeimen of the Alder Kitten last June in East Suffolk is indeed a most notable record in the annals of Entomology for the County. As its captor, Canon Waller, mentions, there seems to be only one other authentic speeimen taken in Suffolk, near Elmsett before 1890, confirmed by Wratislaw (C. M o r l e y : list of the Lepidoptera of Suffolk, 1937). I have thought it of interest to write up something of the knowledge of the distribution of this somewhat prized species throughout the British Isles and especially in the Eastern Counties. It is apparently fairly widely spread, particularly in Norfolk whence it may have been steadily increasing its rĂ¤nge southwards. T h a t well-known collector, the Rev. Miles Moss, while living in Norwich in the early part of this Century, did a careful survey of the Kittens in Norfolk and summarised his findings in the Entom. Record (1905 : 17. 140). He says he found evidence of the occurrence of the Alder Kitten at Merton, Sparham and Aylsham together with three old cocoons on birch in the autumn of 1901 at Stratton Strawless, only seven miles from Norwich. Later he was fortunate enough to find two fĂźll cocoons on birch trunks near Horsford and bred out the insects. On September 1 Ith, 1905, a friend he accompanied beat a full-fed larva in that locality (Id. 1905 : 17. 273). There is also the report of a larva obtained on alder on September lOth, 1902, near Cromer by A. Russell
(Ent. Ree. 1903 : 15. 53). Little has apparently been heard of this insect from Norfolk in recent years, but there can be little doubt that it still survives in its old haunts. Outside the Eastern Counties, the Alder Kitten has a wide ränge. Its most noted headquarters in the South is the area in Sussex of which Tilgate Forest is the centre. A great many have been obtained both in the larval State and as the perfect insect from this locality where the introduetion of the mercury vapour light has attracted quite a number, mostly males. On June 18th and 19th, 1956, no less than eight males came to my light there (vide Entomologist 1956: 90. 159). But curiously enough the species has a very restricted ränge in this region, hardly spreading into Kent or Surrey, though an example was found on a •tree in Broadwater Forest, near Tunbridge Wells, while in June, 1955, a male was attracted to light at Otford. In September, 1938, a larva was beaten off birch near Limpsfield (Entom. 1939 : 72. 20). It seems virtually unknown in Hampshire and further westwards until Devonshire whence a few of this moth have been reported. There is one record for Oxfordshire, but its real stronghold in the Midlands seems to be Cannock Chase where in recent years it has been obtained regularly in some quantity. Further to the west, T . A. Chapman writing in the Entom. Record (1895 - 96 : 7. 73) says that the Alder Kitten occurs all over Herefordshire, except in the north-east, also over most of the length of the Wye Valley. It has also been noted from Builth, Rhayader and Llandrindod Wells and other parts of Brecon and Radnorshire, as well as one record from Carmarthen. It has certainly penetrated u p the Severn Valley well into Shropshire. F. D. Newnham records it from Church Stretton and Wyre Forest in Worcestershire (Ent. Ree. 1897 : 9. 269). Barrett (3 : 86) also mentions the borders of Derbyshire and North Staffordshire. Further to the north it has been taken in the middle of Chester and quite recently annually in Delamere Forest, while one of its most noted localities was Preston where the first British speeimen was taken in 1847. It has been reported from Cumberland, probably its northernmost limit. More to the east it was "known from several parts of Yorkshire and according to Tetley (Ent. Ree. 1915 : 27. 73) Scarborough was once a noted locality for the Alder Kitten. It is unknown in Scotland or Ireland and even on the Continent it is always regarded as something of a prize. Its larva, which somewhat resembles that of the Poplar Kitten (C. bifida Hbn.), is well depicted and described by Dollman from one he obtained off alder in Tilgate Forest (Ent. Ree. 1902 : 14. 197). It usually feeds well into September on birch or alder. T h e species is single-brooded and the moth appears as a rule from the last week in May to the end of June, with an Optimum period from about June lOth to 20th. C. G. M. DE WORMS, Woking.