Page 1

SUFFOLK

LEPIDOPTERA

IN

1962

by H . E . CHIPPERFIELD

ALTHOUGH the Early Moth (Therm rupicapraria, HĂźbn.), was on the wing on 3rd February, which seemed to suggest that the season was going to be a normal one, the cold Spring and early part of the Summer caused both plant and insect life to be three to four weeks behind average. This State of affairs persisted right up to harvest-time, and the harvest itself was also about four weeks later than usual. There was very little insect life in evidence until well into June, although both Large and Small Garden White Butterflies (Pieri's brassicae, Linn, and Pieris rapae, Linn.), were Aying on 25th April. Orange-tip Butterflies (Euchloe carda?nines, Linn.), were both late and scarce and I saw neither first nor second brood specimens of the Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus, Linn.). The butterfly was much more common in 1961 than it had been for some years. A single Chamomile Shark Moth (Cucullia chamomillae, Schiff.), came to house light on 9th May and Painted Lady Butterflies (Vanessa cardui, Linn.), were seen at Stowmarket on 16th June and Cavenham Heath on 8th July. This butterfly does not appear so far from the coast every year, so there may have been quite a big immigration. The tiny Diamond-backed Moth (Plutella maculipennis, Curt.), was also seen from Ist July onwards and was very common at Thorpeness in Company with the Rush Veneer (Nornophila noctuella, Schiff.), on 18th August. Both these insects are well-known migrants, and often appear in swarms. Several visits to the Breck District failed to produce any of the specialities of that area, but on 7th July there were a few fresh Oblique-striped (Mesotype virgata, Rott.), Aying at Icklingham and Dr. MacNulty found three Clouded BuA Moths (Diacrisia sannio, Linn.), including a female in good condition. Blended Mercury Vapour light at the home of Mr. and Mrs. E. F. Crosby at Aldeburgh on 14th July attracted a number of freshly emerged Triple-spotted Clay (Amathes ditrapezium, Borkh.), Heart and Club (Agrotis clavis, Hufn.), and single specimens of the Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing (Triphaena fimbriata, Schreber), Black-neck (Lygephila pastinum, Treits.), and Broom-tip (Chesias rufata, Fabr.), as well as a number of micros as yet unidentifled. A few days spent in North Wales and the Lake District in the second half of July established that the season was late in the North-West also, and several species I had hoped to And had not emerged. The Large Heath Butterfly (Coenonympha tullia, Mull.), was still on the wing in Westmorland although getting past its


SUFFOLK LEPIDOPTERA

189

best. I had been assured by some North-country entomologists earlier that I should be much too late to see this species. Back in Suffolk on 28th July we found the Ochraceous Wave (Sterrha ochrata, Scop.), quite common and in good condition at Thorpeness together with an assortment of micros including one Alpine Veneer (Platytes alpinellus, Hübn.). Later on in Walberswick Marshes with Messrs. C. W. and John Pierce and J. Firmin and Paul Betts we found several species of Wainscot Moths Aying, but no Nonagria neurica (Hübn.). There were however, a number of other species on the wing including the, Round-wing Muslin (Comacla senex, Hübn.), Broom-tip (Chesias rufata, Fabr.), Barred Yellow (Cidaria fulvata, Forst.), and Dotted Fanfoot (Zanclognatha cribrumalis, Hübn.). On 1 Ith August an evening trip was made over the Norfolk border to Barton Broad where Haworth's Minor (Celaena haworthii, Curt.), was Aying commonly and in good condition over the Cottongrass in spite of very windy conditions. On my return to Stowmarket a perfect Privet Hawk-moth (Sphinx ligustri, Linn.) had been attracted to my light. This was a very late date for this species. On 14th August a Stout Dart (Spaelotis ravida, Hübn.), appeared at Stowmarket. This moth is very erratic in its appearances, sometimes turning up quite commonly and then being apparently absent for several years. Visits to Staverton Heath on 18th and 25th August, with Mr. C. W. Pierce produced a number of common Noctuid and Geometrid Moths among the more interesting being a Pearly Underwing (Peridroma porphyrea, Schiff.), a Small Phoenix (Ecliptopera silaceata, Schiff), and some very dark Chevrons (.Lygris testata, Linn.), on the Arst date, and some Black Arches (Lymantria monacha, Linn.), a Pine Carpet (Thera firmata, Hübn.), and a Sharp-angled Carpet (Euphyia unangulata, Haw.), on the second visit. There were also a number of interesting micros on both occasions, the most plentiful being the attractive little Pyrale the Rosy-Aounced Tabby (Endotricha flammealis, Schiff.), which swarmed on the heather blossoms. A single specimen of the Small Phoenix came to my Stowmarket light on 2nd September. Although not considered a rare moth it is an addition to my local list. It is usually associated with woods in which the Enchanter's Nightshade is common. A Centre-barred Sallow Moth (Atethmia xerampelina, Hübn.), flew in on 5th September. Mr. and Mrs. Crosby again allowed Mr. Pierce and myself to plug in our light at their home on 8th September, and among the more interesting insects seen were some half dozen Whitepoint Wainscots (Leucania albipuncta, Fabr.), Hedge Rustic (Tholera cespitis, Fabr.), Vine's Rustic (Caradrina ambigua, Fabr.), Autumnal Rustic (Amathes glareosa, Esp.), Scarce Footman


190

SUFFOLK LEPIDOPTERA

(Eilema complana, Linn.), and a very late Buff Ermine (Spilosoma lutea, Hufn.), which species is usually out in May and June. Earlier the same day I had seen a half-grown larva of the same moth. Pale-lemon Sallow Moths (Cirrhia ocellaris, Borkh.), began emerging on lOth September from larvae obtained from fallen Black Poplar catkins collected at Mildenhall on 27th April. Generally butterflies and moths have been in much smaller numbers than usual, largely no doubt owing to unfavourable weather conditions. It is therefore pleasing to record that several of the " Vanessas " have been rather more plentiful than usual. Although Small Tortoiseshells (Aglais urticae, Linn.), were rather scarce, Peacocks (Nymphalis io, Linn.), Red Admirals (Vanessa atalanta, Linn.), and Painted Ladies (Vanessa cardui, Linn.), were much more in evidence than for some years on the Buddleia blossoms during August and September. Considerable numbers of Large Garden White butterflies and Silver-Y moths (Plusia gamma, Linn.), which appeared in early September were doubtless due largely to immigration. Our member Mr. Michael Cant reported the presence of quite a number of Clouded Yellow Butterflies (Colias croceus, Fourc.), at Minsmere in mid-September. We can only hope that, given a reasonable Summer, some of our dwindling butterflies will have a chance to increase their numbers, and that even the Large Tortoiseshell will once again become a common sight in our Suffolk woodlands.

NOTES

ON

LEPIDOPTERA by

IN

SUFFOLK

FOR

1962

BARON DE WORMS

MY own collecting experiences in the County during 1962 have been very limited, in fact to only three days. This took place during early September when I revisited Prof. Dacie who was once more staying at Walberswick. T h e chief feature was the good night we had on the lOth of that month when we placed our mercury-vapour light on the edge of the marsh when for about two hours insects came in some numbers until the rain set in. By far the most numerous was the Brown-veined Wainscot (Nonagria dissoluta, Treits.), of which

Suffolk Lepidoptera in 1962  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you