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370 Transactions of the Suffolk Naturalists',

Vol. 12, Part 5

(II) H.

E.

CHIPPERFIELD

account of the butterflies and moths of Suffolk includes the records of Mr. C. W. Pierce, who has recently settled in the county and who asked me to incorporate them with my own. THIS

Owing to the extreme cold no butterflies or moths were seen until the 4th March when the Early Moth (Theria rupicapraria, Hubn.) appeared. In an average season this moth is out in midJanuary. It was not until early April that the bulk of the Spring moths made their appearance, when the March Moth (Alsophila aesculana, Schiff.) was seen on the 6th followed by the Rose Carpet (Earophila badiata, HĂźbn.) and Dotted Border (Erannis marginarta, Borkh.) on the 8th and Hebrew Character (Orthosia gothica, Linn.) and Oak Beauty (Biston strataria, Hufn.) on the 9th. A visit to some woods at Belstead with Mr. Pierce on the l l t h produced all the more common " Quaker" moths and all the foregoing with the exception of the Early Moth, but with the addition of a number of Grey Mottled Carpets (Colostygia multistngaria, Haw.). The first Silver-Y Moth (Plusia gamma, Linn.) which is both a resident and an immigrant, was seen on the 13th May. The early summer butterflies were late in appearing and not very plentiful. I did not see a single Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus, Linn.) and the Orange-tip (Euchloe cardamines, Linn.) was not much in evidence until early June. The 7th June was, entomologically, one of the few perfect nights of the year and when Mr. Pierce plugged in his light near Belstead Brook he found himself inundated by hundreds of moths, includmg many choice species, the most desirable being an Alder Moth (Apatele alni, Linn.). Until the advent of mercury vapour lamps this insect was considered a great rarity and the 1937 Memoirs records only two specimens in Suffolk since 1890 Another species taken by Mr. Pierce that evening was the Pale Oak Beauty (.Boarmia punctinalis, Scop., =consortaria, Fabr.) which had not been recorded in Suffolk for 50 years until taken by Mr. Jack Goddard in Wrentham Woods in 1936. It has since been taken fairly regularly at Barking and Bentley. When Mr. Pierce and I visited Wood Walton Fen, Hunts, on the 15th June we found quite a gathering of entomologists there includmg our Section Editor, the Baron de Worms. All were in search of the special insects for which that fen is famous and quite a number of the Concolorous Wainscot (Arenostola extrema, Hubn.) were taken, together with several of the newly discovered pyrale moth (Pyrausta perlucidalis, HĂźbn.). We also found two


SUFFOLK LEPIDOPTERA

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of the pretty little black and white Funereal Ermel (Ethmia funerella, Fabr.). This is described as " a very local fen species on Symphytum. Taken at Brandon by Lord Walsingham (TV. Norf. Soc. 1874, p.64) " by Claude Morley in the 1937 Memoirs. By early July the season appeared to be catching up and a Varied Coronet (Hadena compta, Fabr.) was seen on 2nd, whilst on the 7th Mr. Pierce and I saw several Pine Hawk Moths (Hyloicus pinastri, Linn.) on Scots Pines at Mildenhall. We also took specimens of the Royal Mantle (Euphyia cuculata, Hufn.), Wood Carpet (Epirrho'e rivata, Hübn.), Bordered Gothic {Heliophobus saponariae, Esp.), Tawny-barred Angle (Semiothisa liturata, Clerck.) and a single Tawny Wave (Scopula rubiginata, Hufn.) in the same area. Among the tortrices were Evetria buolina and E. pinicolana, two species whose larvae are very unpopulär with the Forestry Commission because of the damage they do to pine shoots. There were also several Eucosma citrana, Hübn. and E. fulvana, Steph. On the 1 Ith July, 1 saw an unfamiliar moth hovering over Bladder Campion in my garden and on capturing it found it to be a perfect Wormwood Shark (Cucullia absinthii, Linn.). This species, described in the Memoirs as " Very local along our more southern coast ", has been spreading inland of recent years and the larva now feeds on Artemisia vulgaris as well as on the more local Artemisia absinthium. From the 13th July, I was staying at Thorpeness for a fortnight. Most of the expected coastal species turned up at light, including the White Colon (Heliophobus albicolon, Hübn.), Lyme Grass Wainscot (Arenostola elmyi, Treits.), Crescent-striped (Apamea oblonga, Haw.) and Rosy Minor (Procus literosa, Haw.). Single specimens of the Elephant Hawk (Deilephila elpenor, Linn.), Sallow Kitten (Cerura furcula, Linn.), White Satin (Leucoma Salicis, Linn.), Triple-spotted Clay (Amathes ditrapezium, Borkh.), Type Gothic (Phalaena typica, Linn.), Goat Moth (Cossus cossus, Linn.) and Wood Leopard (Zeuzera pyrina, Linn.) and several of the Small Seraphim (Mysticoptera sexalisata, Hübn.) were seen. Bythelöththe emergence of the very local Pale Ochraceous Wave (Sterrha ochrata, Scop.) was in füll swing and our bungalow was situated right in the middle of the colony. Although the almost constant breeze was not favourable to the pyrales and microlaepidoptera which frequent thefloweryhollows in the shingle beach, good many Silver-edged Knot-horn (Phycita boisduvaliella, Guen.), Agate Knot-horn (Nyctegretis achatinella, Hübn.) and Alpine Veneer (Platytes alpinellus, Hübn.) were about. There were also a few Large Clouded Knot-horn (Homoeosoma nebulella, Hübn.) and many of the tortrices Long-winged Shade (Cnepgasia


372 Transactions of the Suffolk Natur allst s\ Vol. 12, Part 5 longana, Haw.) and a single Banded Grass Veneer (Crambus fascelinellus, Hübn.) taken or seen. On the 20th I accompanied Mr. Pierce to the R.S.P.B. Reserve at Minsmere where we hoped to find a varied selection of fen moths. However, as so often happens, the sky became clear and very little came to our lamps except Drinker Moths (Philudoriapotatoria, Linn.), which were quite numerous and Wainscot Grass Veneers {Chilo phragmitellus, Hübn.) which shewed quite a lot of Variation in colour. Düring part of our time there we had the Company of Mr. Michael Cant, who was on a bird-watching weekend. Two pupae found in reed stems produced Silky Wainscot Moths (Chilodes maritima, Tausch.), but an expedition on the 22nd with the Rev. Guy Ford in search of Webb's Wainscot (Nonagria sparganii, Esp.) only resulted in one larva being found, although quite a number of larvae and pupae of the ßulrush Moth (Nonagria typhae, Thunb.) were present in the stems of Reedmace. The pupae of sparganii are head uppermost in the stems, whilst those of typhae are head downwards. The same evening we pitched our lamps by the side of the Mere near an extensive reed-bed and attracted quite an assortment of moths, the most numerous single species as was to be expected, being the Wainscot Grass-veneer (Chilo phragmitellus) but one female Gigantic Waterveneer (Schoenobius gigantellus, Schiff.) also honoured us with her presence, although no males of this species appeared. On the same evening a single Cloudy Wormwood Pearl (Anania nubilalis, Hübn.), a well-known migrant, was taken. Many micros came to our sheets, when with Mr. and Mrs. F. H. Lyon and Mr. Tony Harman, I visited Walberswick Marshes on the 3rd August. These were mostly various species of tortrices and included the Beautiful Marbled Bell (Eucosma nigromaculana, Haw.). Among the macros were the White-necked Wainscot (Nonagria neurica, Hübn.) in perfect condition and a single Suspected (Parastichtis suspecta, Hübn.), the first specimen I had seen in Suffolk. It has not the reddish tinge that Scottish specimens possess. Morley says in the Memoirs " Extremely local with us and before 1890 only found near Ipswich, where it was common in Bentley Woods in 1894-5." On my return to Stowmarket in the early hours a perfect Lunar spotted Pinion (Cosmia pyralina, View.) was the best of a number of moths attracted to my light. A perfect mothing night greeted Mr. Pierce and me in Bentley Woods on the 8th August. We were hoping to find out if the Barred Chestnut (Diarsia dahlii, Hübn.) stated in the Memoirs to be " very locally abundant on sugar in woods ", with Bentley particularly mentioned, was still to be found there. We certainly


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LEPIDOPTERA

373

found our sugared posts well patroniscd as well as the Wood Sage blooms, but nearly all the moths attracted were the Dotted Clay (Amathes baja, Fabr.) which Morley said was now infrequent. Our lights too, attracted an assortment of insects including three species of Hook-tip and three of Footman. Two nights later we paid an evening visit to Barton Broad and found Haworth's Minor (Celaena haworihii, Curt.) Aying very commonly at dusk together with the tortrix The Strawberry Button (Peronea comariana, Zell.) whose larva feeds on the Marsh Cinquefoil which is abundant there. Later on we had many visitors to our lights, including several Dotted Footmen (Pelosia muscerda, Hufn.), Chequered Straw Pearl (Evergestis straminalis, Hübn.) and the tortrix Shepherd's Button (Peronea shepherdana, Steph.). Earlier in the day our member Miss E. T. Longe rang up to say that a Large Hlephant Hawk moth had flown into the kitchen at Abbots Hall. This is a very late date for this moth, which is normally out in June. Düring the evening of the 16th August a Dark Scallop (Philereme transversata, Hufn., =rhamnata, Schiff.) came to house lights at Stowmarket. This moth is stated by Claude Morley in the Memoirs " not heard of in Suffolk since 1890 ". Visits to the Barton Mills district on the evenings of the 17th and 24th August and 7th September in search of the Whitespotted Pinion (Cosmia diffinis, Linn.) and Orange Sallow (Tiliacea citrago, Linn.) produced two speeimens of the former and one of the latter on the 24th August and quite a number of the Orange Sallow on the 7th September. On the 24th August we were accompanied by Mr. W. G. Thurlow our former Excursion Secretary, who now lives in South Devon. On the 14th September we found several speeimens of the Mediterranean Flour Moth (Ephestia sericarium, Scott., =kuehniella, Zell.) around the flour mills of Cranfield Bros. Ltd., at Ipswich Docks. One of the employees told us they had to take stern measures to keep this little pest under control. The same evening quite a number of moths came to light near Belstead Brook including a White-point Wainscot (Leucania albipuncta, Fabr.), but the most surprising arrivals were two Light Emeralds (Campaea margaritata, Linn.) in perfect condition. This is a very late date for this species, as June and July are the usual months for its appearance. Düring the day a Brimstone butterfly was seen in Stowmarket. Now, towards the end of September, the usual Autumn moths are appearing in some numbers and the end of a not very exciting season is approaching. It has been pleasing to see far more Peacock butterflies in Stowmarket than for some years, but so far no Red Admirals or Painted Ladies. These migrants are usually more common on the coast and a Painted Lady was seen


374 Transactions of the Suffolk Naturalist*',

Vol. 72, Part 5

at Thorpeness in July and two Painted Ladies and one Red Admiral were seen at Walberswick when the Bird Section had their outine there on the 22nd September. When Mr. Pierce and I visited Thorpeness on 28th September, the sky became clear and the moon counteracted the effect of our lamps. However we did see a few moths and were pleased that among our visitors to the sheets were four Feathered Brindles (.Aporophyla australis, Boisd.). This local moth was our principal quarry. Apart from what appeared to be an immigration of Large Garden White butterflies in early August, the usual large numbers of Silver-Y moths throughout the summer and a few of the little Diamond-backed moth (Plutella maculipennis, Curt.) there did not appear to have been much immigration in Suffolk during the year.

Suffolk Lepidoptera, 1963 (II)  
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