A REVIEW OF BRITISH LEPIDOPTERA
Blair's Pinion (Lithophane lapidea HĂźbn.) which once more appeared in quantity on the Sussex coast, in the Isle of Wight and even on the coast of Hampshire. So ended a season which started off with a great eclat and much promise, but which eventually turned out to be one of the leanest years for this Century for Lepidoptera in Great Britain.
A NEW SUFFOLK MOTH Pammene aurantiana, Staudinger, b y ALASDAIR ASTON
ON the afternoon of August lOth, 1951, I was Walking along the road from Stowmarket to Onehouse when my attention was seized by a small but very attractive moth which I did not recognise. It appeared to be a tortrix with golden forewings and dark contrasting hindwings and had been disturbed from the herbage at the side of the road which is rieh in umbels, knapweed, scabious and a tangle of too many other delights for me to claim any particular association of plant and moth. I did, however, set the insect and put it away, another metallic scrap, in my box of micro-lepidoptera, where it remained tili December, 1957. It now appears that the creature is Suffolk's 1542nd. species of Lepidoptera and is NEW to Suffolk. Moreover, until further records are published, it does seem possible that this was only the second occurrence in Britain. (viele Ent. Gaz. 9 : 60). The speeimen was determined for me by Mr. S. Wakely and it was subsequently verified by Mr. S. N. A. Jacobs as Pammene aurantiana, Staudinger, (EUCOSMIDAE) first announced as British by Mr. Wakely himself in the Entomologists' Record for October, 1957. Not many speeimens of P. aurantiana seem to have been located in England and with one in the Isles of Scilly. As far as I can discover :â€” Two speeimens were determined by Mr. J. D. Bradley of the British Museum among some insects sent to him by Mr. B. O. C. Gardiner of Cambridge. Both moths were taken at Dover on l l t h July, 1943.
A N E W SUFFOLK
The above Suffolk one, lOth August, 1951. One was taken by Mr. R. AI. Mere of Chiddingfold, Surrey, during the daytime in Ham Street Woods, on 21st July, 1953. One was taken on 22nd July, 1956, at Wimborne, Dorset, by Dr. D. A. B. Macnicol. Two were taken by Mr. L. Price of Stroud, Gloucestershire. One was caught at Rodborough Common, Glos., on 31st July, and the other at Studland, Dorset, on 14th August, 1956. One came to a M.V. Trap run on 17th July, 1957, at Weybridge, Surrey, reported by Mr. J. L. Messenger. The last one was taken Aying in the daytime near Tresco Abbey, Isle of Scilly on 29th July, 1957, by Mr. R. M. Mere. This may be the total of our British knowledge but aurantiana is known on the continent; in fact, the first British ones were verified by comparison with specimens loaned from a continental museum, as there were no specimens available in the National Collection. In France it is " peu observe " according to Lhomme, but it also occurs in Belgium. There seems to be no difficulty about the foodplant in Britain, for Spuler says that it feeds on Acer ; Eckstein (Schmetterlinge Deutschlands vol. 5) gives " larva on Maple, scarce" ; Lhomme says, " larva unknown, probably feeds on Acer around which flies the moth." Maple is, of course, common enough about Stowmarket, but I have heard some doubt expressed whether maple is really the pabulum: after all, the larva is unknown. In view of this, it would be a nice species to breed and this might be effected by collecting seeds, twigs, leaves and hanging them up in a bag. The imago roughly resembles Hemimene flavidorsana Knaggs, but the orange dorsal mark on the forewing is absent, although the orange colour is present as a suffusion across the wing ; the hindwings are darker. Another feature of aurantiana is the obvious presence of costal strigulae in numbers. Unless the moth is a migrant it must have been with us for some time, but it probably reached us first from the Low Countries and it is very gratifying to see that Suffolk has been its home so long. In the twenty years since the publication of the Catalogue of the Lepidoptera of Suffolk, thirty-six species have been added, if my calculations are correct, and it is interesting to notice that this species and several others were not, as would be expected, discovered with the aid of the Mercury Vapour Lamp. Strangely, therefore, this riddle remains : what is the life-history of aurantiana, a day-flying micro ?