PREVALENCE IN EAST SUFFOLK O F Simyra albovenosa Goeze and of Triphaena orbona Hufn. It is of special interest to learn of the comparative abundance in the middle of August, 1957, of the Powdered Wainscot (Simyra albovenosa Goeze) in some of the marshland in East Suffolk. This insect is seldom common even in the Eastern Counties, its main head-quarters in the British Isles, though it has more recently been found to occur in restricted marshy areas of Kent, Sussex and Hampshire. Even of greater interest is the appearance in fair numbers of the Lunar Yellow Underwing (Triphaena orbona Huf.=subsequa Hübn.) This species has been exceptionally rare in recent years in the South. The only area where it still remained reasonably numerous was in the Scottish Highlands, chiefly on the sandhills around Forres. It is encouraging to know of this new region where it appears to be well established. C.
MAINLY M O T H S B y ALASDAIR ASTON
Apart from one S. ravida at light on 7.ix.57 and two atalanta on buddleia, 8.ix.57,—one with and one without the white dot, at Stowmarket, my collecting has not been in Suffolk this year. I thought, however, that the following list of lepidoptera collected at Dulwich in South-East London might interest Suffolk lepidopterists—and warn them against cities ! T h e numbers are those of the 1937 S.N.S. Moth Memoir, and all specimens were caught at the house here. 19 lubricipeda, 20 lutea, 24 caja, 28 cucullatella, 36 tridens, 38 megacephala, 44 perla, 57 testacea, 60 tragopoginis, 64 trapezina, 67 micacea, 77 minima, 78 clavipalpis, 80 morpheus, 81 alsines, 84 matura, 85 maura, 86 meticulosa, 87 lucipara, 92 lithoxylea, 93 monoglypha, 104 secalis, 111 furuncula, 112 strigilis, 117 ipsilon, 125 exclamationis, 126 nigricans, 129 puta, 133 plecta, 135 putris, 137 c-nigrum, 138 xanthographa, 146 triangulum, 148 typica, 149 comes, 151 pronuba, 153 janthina, 162 lunosa, 174 litura, 204 impura, 205 pallens, 207 lithargyria, 208 conigera, 234 H. trifolii, 241 oleracea, 245 brassicae, 246 persicariae, 249 tarsipennalis, 259 proboscidalis, 278 moneta, 279 chrysitis, 284 gamma, 289 antiqua, 300 seriata, 302 fuscovenosa, 324amata, 325 aestivaria, 337 rectangulata, 344 absinthiata, 349 centaureata, 353 linariata, 354 succenturiata, 366 abbreviata,
378 tersata, 390 mellinata, 414 truncata, 429 alchemillata, 434 bilineata, 436 comitata, 459 firmata, 461 fluctuata, 469 luteolata, 472 clathrata, 473 wauaria, 484 rhomboidaria, 514 sambucaria, 531 bidentata, 532 elinguaria, 533 derasa, 558 tiliae, 608 Aglais urticae, 648 rapae, 1491 humuli. T h e best micros were three 749 nubilalis, which I had taken also in Suffolk and at Golders Green in 1950. Other micros were 672 elutella, 676 binaevella, 692 sociella, 696 hamellus, 702 culmellus, 712 geniculeus, 715 tristellus, 730 hortulata, 737 coronata, 744 aurata, 767 pallidata, 771 glaucinalis, 772 costalis, 770 flammealis, 786 pentadactyla, 842 podana, 842A pronubana, 850 heparana, 886 variegana, 964 cana, 1029 pomonella, 1164 quercana, 1174 costosa, 1386 xylostella, and many still undetermined ! T h e macro list compares rather poorly (83 species) with over two hundred at the house at Stowmarket, but I was away for August and may yet approach Mr. Goater, who has taken over 180 sorts at Mill Hill, including, mirabile dictu, Dicycla oo (ooh !). On August 17th, 1956, we were collecting in Aberdeenshire and took light to the Dunecht Estate near Skene ; we selected a Stretch of heather not far from the pine woods beside the loch. Soon after dark we attracted the local Forester (not one of the Zygaenidae) and the local copper (? large) who expressed his surprise at our sheet, " F i t ! dae ya tak a' yon crawlin beesties ? " Quite a run of insects at light included Lithomoia solidaginis, which was also at heather-bloom and sugar, Diarsia dahlii, Cerapteryx graminis, Euxoa tritici, Tholera cespitis, Aporophlya nigra, Amathes glareosa, Lycophotia varia, Actebia praecox, Amathes agathina, and Amathes castanea. There were also some fine purplish forms of testata, with Lygris populata, and a series of dusky Trichiura crataegi. On September 8th, at the same place we took Xylena vetusta at sugar and Celaena haworthii at light. I was also interested to take a male Argynnis aglaia on the sandhills at Balmeddie, north of Aberdeen. A feature of this August in Aberdeen was Antitype cht at blended light which, incidentally, the old ladies next door mistook for moonlight! Chi came to light soon after dusk and varied from a pale greyish form, darker than the Yorkshire form, to the greenish forms and on to quite a dark grey one. In August, 1957, orbona came with many purplish baja, elegant grey rhomboidaria, large dark greyish green perla, very dark monoglypha, and comes from pale buff through reddish forms, to black and red, and finally black with yellow lines. E. caesiata was Aying freely on Carn Ă¤ Bhacain in sunshine and varied from pale foreground through uniform medium to nearly unicolorous dark grey. T h e Aberdeen fluctuata is a granite-like creature, with no dark bar,
and conigera grows quite dusky. Whitish citrata were novel, and pulchrina and iota were in fair evidence. Grey didymata was very prevalent among bilberries at Lumphanan by d a y : the site was that of Macbeth's Cairn, and on the nine-hundredth anniversary of his butchery.we were not anxious to try that hill by night. Didymata also flew at Aiston and at Beattock Summit where Odezia atrata was netted by day. We did not repeat last year's success at Skene : I had to search very hard and long for one dahlii on heather blossom. On September 7th, 1956, my wife's niece started her entomological pursuits by the discovery at rest of a perfect Herse convolvuli at Aberdeenâ€”a small girl appeared with an enormous Moth ! It was one of a wide autumn invasion to the North, but the insects were mostly atropos, I believe. ALASDAIR ASTON,
1, Aysgarth Road, Dulwich Village.
DIPTERA AT GREAT Ornithomya avicularia, L.
Lord Cranbrook has sent me a specimen of some flies which caused fair excitement on September 21st last by infesting a dead jackdaw and swooping from person to person of a shooting party, in particular disconcerting a small boy, acting as beater. T h e poor bird had a damaged or diseased beak with lts lower mandible longer than the upper one, and thus had been unable to rid itself of its guests, it seems. These flies proved to be Ornithomya avicularia L. (Family LXXIV, Hippoboscidaeâ€”Brit. spp. 9, various avian and mammalian hosts) which is stated to be commonly found on a variety of birds, especially nestlings, including hawks, owls, pigeons jays and finches. When disturbed, avicularia moves rapidly and may transfer itself from a dead bird to one's person, where it may produce an uncomfortable sensation. T h e Hippoboscidae belong to the very last section of the Diptera, the Pupipara, in which the usual larval stage is dispensed with, the female depositing a single fully-developed larva, which immediately pupates ; hence the name Pupipara. T h e family includes the Forest Fly, the Deer Fly and the Sheep Ked. M r . C. C. T . Giles once saw avicularia but did not say if it was in Suffolk T h e species was found at Ampton and Bamham by Nurse last Century, and Mr. Tuck met with the species in 1897 at Tostock. Claude Morley saw one specimen sitting on a yew tree in his garden on l l t h August, 1907, but he failed to secure it. He considered the species " probably not uncommon but rarely seen. Since there seem to be no records for 50 years this latest Observation must be a matter for congratulation. ALASDAIR ASTON.