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THE WAVED BLACK

257

there. Odd specimens were taken towards the end of the last Century at Hull, in Yorkshire, and in Worcestershire, but it was not until the first decade of the present Century that its true habitat and life history were worked out. Several examples were captured at Camberley in Surrey about 1906 and further ones in the next 20 years in the vicinity. Not tili 1931, however, did its prevalence in this region become generally recognised. In that year the late E. E. Green found a number of larvae breeding on a fungus growing on a fallen birch in his garden near Camberley. He bred out a long series and established its life history. On further investigation by several eminent field collectors, the insect was found to be widespread in the area known as the Bagshot Sands which is still its headquarters. In more recent years the Waved Black has been Coming freely to mercury vapour light traps during late July and August in this special region extending as far south as Witley and as near the outskirts of London as Oxshott and Leatherhead. Its larvae, completely black with orange warts, have sometimes been noted in profusion on fungus on fallen trees, old posts, tree stumps and rotting woodwork. They always prefer to feed in complete darkness and hide from the light, while the imago always tries to escape from the light. Let us hope it will appear now equally plentifully in East Suffolk.

LEPIDOPTERA AT WALDRINGFIELD DURING 1959 by

T.

A.

M.

WALLER

THE addition of a new mercury vapour moth trap at the end of June considerably improved on the normal electric light and Tilley lamp which had previously been in use. Prior to this date the Pine Beauty (Panolis flammea, Schiff.), was the only species of note. Two good specimens turned up singly on April 28th and 29th. A visit to some neighbouring marshes on 26th June, was most rewarding. The most interesting find was that attractive little Pyralid the Orange-rayed Pearl (Nascia cilialis, HĂźbn.)*, which is certainly new to this part of Suffolk and has only been taken before close to the Norfolk-Suffolk border. The species seems to be well established in this locality as it is present in fairly large numbers.


258

LEPIDOPTERA AT

WALDRINGFIELD

Of thc other Pyralids the Scarce Water Veneer (Donacaula mucronellus, Schiff.), was also abundant. Of the Macrolepidoptera the Striped Wainscot (Leucania pudorina, Schiff.)*, Mathew's Wainscot (Leucania favicolor, Barrett var. rufa), the Fen Wainscot (Arenostola phragmitidis, Hübn.), the Water Ermine (Spilosoma urticae, Esp.), the Round-winged Muslin (Comacla senex, Hübn.), the Dotted Fanfoot (Herminia cribrumalis, Hübn.)*, came to light. On the same night the mercury vapour light trap at Waldringfield produced the Rosy Footman (Miltochrista miniata, Forst)., the White Satin Moth (Leucoma salicis, Linn.), the Maple Prominent (Lophopteryx cucullina, Schiff.)*, which is the first to be recorded in this area. Other captures on this occasion included the Marbled Brown (Drymonia trimacula, Esp.), and the Sycamore (Apatele aceris, Linn.), one of a very fine series of this moth which has since come to light, also the Miller Apatele leporina, Linn.), the Pine Hawk (Hyloicus pinastri, Linn.), the Beautiful Hook-tip (Laspeyria flexula, Schiff.), and the Bordered White (Bupalus piniaria, Linn.), all of which were females. The following is a list of the more interesting captures at the light trap. July 2nd. The Peach Blossom (Thyatira batis, Linn.), the Poplar Grey (Apatele megacephala, Fab.),* the Coronet (Craniophora lingustri, Fab.)*, the Varied Coronet (Hadena compta, Fab.), the Leopard(Zeuzerapyrina, Linn.), the Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing (Lampra fimbria, Schreber), which was very plentiful. Another visitor was the Gigantic Water Veneer (Schoenobius gigantellus, Schiff.). July 7th. The Barred Red (Ellopiafasciaria, Linn.), the Common Shark (Cucullia umbratica, Linn.), and the European Com Borer (Ananifi nubilalis, Hübn.), a magnificent specimen, while the Rush Pearl (Nomophila noctuella, Schiff.), was in great numbers. July lOth. The Four-spotted Footman (Lithosia quadra, Linn.), the Pale Shining Brown (Polia nitens, Haworth), and E. pinguis. July 21st. T h e Powdered Wainscot (Simyra albcvenosa, Goeze)*. July 22nd. The Blackneck (Lygephila pastimum, Treits.)*, and five specimens of the Pebble Hook-tip (Drepana falcataria, Linn.), which had only previously appeared singly. August 22nd. The Pretty Chalk Carpet (Malenthis procellata, Fab.)*, the Beautiful Yellow Underwing (Anarta myrtilli, Linn.)*, some three miles from its normal habitat. September Ist and 1 Ith. The Heath Rustic (Amathes agathina, Dup.)*, This insect too appeared a long way from its normal breeding ground and may be in search of new ones, now that so much heathland is giving way to plough and cultivation. September 12th. The Small Mottled Willow (Laphigma exigua, Hübn.)*. This species does not appear in C. Morley's Suffolk list for 1937 and may be new to the County.


L E P I D O P T E R A AT

259

WALDRINGFIELD

September 21st. The Deep-brown Dart (Aporopliyla lutulenta, Borkh.), was the first seen in Waldringfield for five years; another specimen was taken on the 23 rd. The Pink-barred Sallow (Citria lutea, Stroem.)*, also appeared on this date. A visit to Walberswick marshes was made on July 18th with Mr. H. E. Chipperfield and Mr. R. V. Ellis of Wenhaston. The weather was not ideal with a f端ll moon and cold wind, but the Sussex Wainscot (Nonagria neurica, H端bn.), came to light in some numbers together with one example of the Rosy Wave (Scopula emutaria, H端bn.). The outstanding insect of the evening was without doubt the Kent Black Arches (Nola albula, H端bn.), which nearly extinguished itself in the Tilley lamp. Mr. Chipperfield's father took this moth for the first time in Suffolk some years ago near the same spot, the Pale Water Veneer (Schoenobius forficellus, Thunb.), and the Scarce Water Veneer (Donacaula mucronellus, Schiff.), were present in some numbers. Two extreme forms of the Dot Moth (Melanchra persicariae, Linn.), came to light. The first had a distinct comma-shaped dot and the other no dot mark at all. The exceptionally fine weather this year and the favourable east winds seem to have failed to bring with them any considerable number of migrants, though the Swordgrass (Agrotis ipsilon, Rott.), and the Rush Pearl (Nomophila noctuella, Schiff.), appeared very plentifully, but in worn condition, indicating a likely influx from the Continent. Of the migrant butterflies only four Clouded Yellows (Colias croceus, Fourc.), were observed, two at Waldringfield and two at Bawdsey. N.B.

An asterisk indicates a new record for Waldringfield.

PROBLEMS OF WORKING A MERCURY VAPOUR MOTH TRAP THE advent of the mercury vapour moth trap has raised difficulties hitherto unforeseen. With the great increase in the number of captures of the lepidoptera has come a profusion of bats from dusk tili early morning ready to devour all the incoming moths with deadly accuracy. At dawn their place is taken by the "early " birds, blackbirds, sparrows and robins in search of breakfast; these are reinforced by a party of wasps who peel off the wings and depart with the bodies at high speed and there is nearly always a faithful attendance of gnats and midges ever ready to devour the entomologist. T.

A.

M.

WALLER.

Lepidoptera at Waldringfield during 1959  
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