SUFFOLK LEPIDOPTERA, 1958 By H. E.
A P A R T from an occasional brief warm spell, cold winds from the north and east kept the temperature down until mid-May. T h e result was that insects, for the most part, were at least a fortnight late in emerging and sometimes emerged over a much longer period than usual. DĂźring one of the warmer spells a March moth (Alsophila aescularia Schiff.) appeared on 28th February in a somewhat worn condition. Nothing eise was noted until the 18th April, when it again became milder for a few days. Then for the next two or three nights my " Blended " M.V. light attracted a number of the usual spring insects including A. aescularia, all of which were in fresh condition. Nothing was seen of the Large Tortoiseshell Butterfly (Nymphalis polychloros Linn.), which seems to have completely disappeared from all its old haunts in East Suffolk. T h e first Orange-tips (Anthocharis cardamines Linn.), was noted on Ist May and during the month the usual early summer species of moths appeared in small numbers. Two species of butterflies, the Holly Blue (Lycaenopsis argiolus Linn.) and the Small Copper (Lycaena phlaes Linn.) were, however, conspicuous by their absence.
On Ist June whilst out with the Bird Section of the Society, I saw a single Painted Lady Butterfly (Vanessa cardui Linn.) on the shingle at Walberswick. From mid-June moths came in larger numbers to light, but many species were still late in appearing. Specimens of the Dark Dagger (Apatele tridens Schiff.) and the Sycamore (Apatele aceris Linn.) emerged on 18th and 23rd June respectively from previous year's larvae taken in Stowmarket. Whilst out in the Breck area with Mr. A. E. Aston on 28th June, I took a single specimen of the Shaded Pug (Eupithecia scabiosata Borkh.). On the same evening we found the Spotted Sulphur moth (Emmelia trabealis Scop.), past its best, with the Small Elephant Hawk-moth (Deilephila porcellus Linn.), Creamspot Tiger (Arctia villica Linn.) and Viper's Bugloss (Anepia irregularis Hubn.) just emerging and in fine condition. Back in Stowmarket we found the first Varied Coronet (Hadena compta Fabr.) of the season at house-light. Further specimens of this moth were seen on 3rd and 19th July and I was surprised to find a T r u e Lover's Knot (Lycophotia varia Vill.) at my light in Stowmarket on 12th July at least 12 miles from the nearest wild heather on which the larvae feed. On the 19th July I paid a visit to Walberswick Marshes with Mr. Peter Crow and Mr. Pooles. We saw no sign of the Whitenecked Wainscot (Nonagria neurica HĂźbn.) on this occasion,
but many species of moths were attracted to our lights including the Large Elephant Hawk (Deilephila elpenor Linn.), Water Ermine (Spilosoma urticae Sp.), Triple-spotted Clay (Amathes ditrapezium Borkh.) and a host of micros. Among the reeds we took the Silky Wainscot (Chilodes maritima Tansch.), Rosy Wave (Scopala imitaria H端bn.) and saw many Dotted Fanfoot Moths (Zanclognatha cribrumnalis H端bn.). In addition, Mr. Pooles took a female Common Tiger Moth (Arctia caja Linn.) with an unusually large amount of cream on the forewings. He obtained a large number of eggs from this specimen and shared them out amongst us. We are now hopefully awaiting the emergence of the moths to see if any extreme aberrations will result. When we arrived home we found many moths had been attracted to our light including A. aceris and a very fresh specimen of the micro, the European Com Borer (Pyrausta nubilalis H端bn.). Another visit to Walberswick Marshes was made with Mr. R. V. Ellis of Wenhaston on 26th July. Again there was no sign of N. neurica on what proved to be a very windy night, but by dint of much searching among the reeds we managed to capture several Silky Wainscots (E. maritima Tausch.) as they flew to our Tilley lamp. From 26th July I was at Southwold for a week and each evening found the marrams well patronised by the usual coastal species including the Crescent striped (Apamea oblonga Haw.). The Lyme Grass Wainscot (Arenostola elymi Trerts.) the Archers Dart (Agrotis vestigialis Rutt.), the Bordered Sallow (Pyrrhia umbra Hufn.), the Rosy Minor (Procus literosa Haw.), the Coast Dart (Euxoa cursoria Hufn.) and many commoner species. On 3 Ist July accompanied by my son I paid yet another visit to Walberswick Marshes and on this occasion after a great deal of searching among the reeds we took a single specimen of N. neurica in a very fresh condition. T h e season, at least in East Anglia, was thus remaining about a fortnight later than usual. At the end of July several specimens of the Painted Lady Butterfly were seen in Southwold and Walberswick, no doubt the offspring of the specimen seen earlier in the year. D端ring August the numbers of insects attracted to light improved but they were mostly common species. I was, however, pleased to find a specimen of the Butterbur Moth (Hydraecia petasitis Doubleday) in my trap on 23rd August. Although we suspected it occurred in the Osier Beds, this is the first time it has been recorded from Stowmarket. It is a moth of secretive habits and is probably more common and widespread than is generally thought. Visits to Tangham Forest on 23rd and 30th August and 7th September established that the Anomalous moth (Stelba anomala Haw.), first recorded by Lord Rendlesham there about 1915 (Trans, i, 233), still survives. On these visits accompanied by Mr. A. E. Aston, we found the usual heath species far from
common. On 7th September however we took three very fresh White-point Wainscots (Leucania albipuncta Fabr.). On this date the Grey Pine Carpet (Thera obeliscata Hübn.) was very common and shewed every conceivable Variation. Düring August a number of the tiny Diamond-back moth (Plutella maculipennis Curt.) was seen. This insect was reported in countless numbers from the North-east coast and was thought to have been carried there by a favourable wind from Scandinavia. Düring the early autumn all the Vanessas, except the Large Tortoiseshell, have been seen in Stowmarket in greater numbers than for several years, and it is to be hoped that before long we shall have this fine butterfly with us again in its former numbers.
SOME DETAILS OF THE LIFE AND HABITS OF THE DIGGER WASP METACRABRO By
QUADRICINCTUS HENRY J.
species was working in the butt-end of a fallen beech tree at Fornham Park, Bury St. Edmunds, from July to October, 1953. T h e interior wood was decayed so that the wasps excavated their burrows and constructed their cells in any part of it. T h e exterior wood was extremely hard and therefore the wasps had to make their entrances at the broken and rotten root-ends and through the weathered cracks upon the surface. THIS
Five females were seen during the second week in July, but the number gradually increased and remained at about 25-30, from the first week in August until the third week in September when the number decreased until only one remained on October 3rd.