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SUFFOLK LEPIDOPTERA 1960. by H.

E.

CHIPPERFIELD.

THE first species noted after a cold January was appropriately enough The Early Moth (Theria rupicapraria Hübn) on 6th February. From that date onwards the usual early spring insects appeared at about their usual times. A Brimstone Butterfly (Gonepteryx rhamni Linn.) was seen at Stowmarket by my wife on 4th April, and the first Small Garden White (Pieris rapae Linn.) appeared on the 19th of the month. The Orange-tip {Euchloe cardamities Linn.) was out on the 30th April and the Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus Linn.) on the 8th May. From the end of May I was on a collecting trip in Scotland for a fortnight, but on my return the Tawny Minor Moth (Procus latruncula Schiff.) appeared on the 13th and 18th June and the Varied Coronet Moth (Hadena compta Fabr.) turned up on the 14th and 24th. This last insect, which was first found to be resident in this country at Dover in 1948, and was first discovered in Suffolk by Mr. A. E. Aston in 1953, is now widespread throughout the South-eastern part of the country and has become a pest among Sweet William grown for seed in the Colchester district. The Barberry Carpet (Coenotephria berberata Schiff.) was present in some numbers in its well-known haunt near Bury St. Edmunds. This was a pleasant surprise as it was feared that it was becoming scarcer with the apparent decrease in its food plant in the district. A visit to the Breck District near Mildenhall with Mr. and Mrs. J. Firmin of Colchester on the 25th June produced several Marbled Clover Moths (Heliothis dipsacea Linn.) which were very active on the wing, together with the tortrices Eucosma fulvana Steph., Eucosma citrana Hübn. and Tortrix paleana Hübn. Fully-fed larvae of The Breckland Grey Carpet (Lithostege griseata Schiff.) were to be found on flixweed and freshly emerged Pine Hawk Moths(Hyloicuspinastri Linn.)were resting on the Scots Pine trunks. Other species noted were The Royal Mantle (Euphyia cucullata Hufn.), The Bordered Gothic (Heliophobus saponariae Esp.). The Archer's Dart (Agrotis vestigialis Rott.) and The Bordered Sallow (Pyrrhia umbra Hufn.). Unfortunately the habitat of the well-known colony of the Spotted Sulphur Moth (Emtnelia trabealis Scop.) had been destroyed and in spite of a thorough search of the borders of the field no sign of this beautiful little moth could be found. One specimen was however found by another collector and it is to be hoped that the colony will build up again among the Convolvulus arvensis growing around the borders of its former stronghold, where a couple of years ago it would have been possible to have taken a hundred specimens in an evening had one so desired. On 9th July, Mr. E. F. Crosby kindly allowed me to plug in my blended M.V. lamp at his bungalow at Aldeburgh. The more interesting among a large assortment of insects were The Birds


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Wing (Dypterygia scabriuscula Linn.), The Broom-tip (Chesias rufata Fabr.) and the micros Euzophera neophanes Durr. and Blatobasis decolorella Woll. Mr. Aston teils me that E. neophanes has only twice been recorded from Suffolk before. It usually appears after fire has charred the birch and furze bushes growing on heaths. A fungus Daldinia concentrica grows on these charred stems and the larvae of the moth feed upon this fungus There was a big heath fire on the North Warren in 1959, which came right up to Mr. Crosby's garden. Blastobasis decolorella was discovered by Mr. S. Wakely in S.E. London about 1950, and was given the Engiish name of Wakely's Dowd. Mr. Aston finds it quite commonly at Dulwich and he first took it in Suffolk in Mr. Crosby's garden in 1959. A visit to Walberswick with Mr. S. Wakely on 31st July produced only one Southern Wainscot (Leucania straminea Treits.) and two very fresh White-necked Wainscots (Nonagria neurica Hübn.). Evidently this latter species was very late in emerging this year. Mr. Wakely also found two half-fed larvae of T h e Ground Lackey Moth at Southwold at the end of July. This is a very late date for these larvae and is also about the furthest north they have been found. On Ist August swarms of syrphid flies and the yellow form of the 7-Spot Lady-bird (Coccinella septempunctata Linn.) appeared in Stowmarket and elsewhere. It has been suggested that they were brought in by a favourable wind from the Continent. A visit to the Barton Mills area on 13th August produced only one specimen each of T h e White-spotted Pinion (Cosmia diffinis Linn.), Lesser-spotted Pinion (Cosmia afßtiis Linn.) and The Rosy Minor (Procus literosa Haw.). T h e first of these species is very skittish on the sugar-patch and is not at all common in Suffolk. Another visit to Mr. and Mrs. Crosby at Aldeburgh on lOth September produced many Autumnal Rustics (Amathes glareosä) and single specimens of T h e White-point Wainscot (Leucania albipuncta Fabr.), Vine's Rustic (Caradrina ambigua Fabr.), The Hedge Rustic (Tholera cespitis Fabr.) and Wakely's Dowd {Blastobasis decolorella Woll.). In addition there were two specimens of T h e Barred Red (Ellopia fasciaria Linn.) one of which was a greyish-brown colour which I at first thought was the rare prasinaria form, a specimen of which was taken by Professor Dacie at Walberswick in 1959. Mr. J. Firmin of Colchester found two larvae of T h e Scarce Vapourer (Orgyia gonostigma Fabr.) feeding on broom at Walberswick on 1 Ith September. This appears to be a new food-plant for this species. In conclusion 1960 has not been a very remarkable season. Red Admiral Butterflies were rather more common than usual in Stowmarket in the Autumn and the same remark applies to the Hollv Blue (Celastrina argiolus Linn.) which has been rather scarce of recent years.

Suffolk Lepidoptera, 1960  
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