Page 1

SUFFOLK LEPIDOPTERA

375

(III) ALASDAIR ASTON

August, climatic conditions were not ideal for collecting Lepidoptera and yet some two hundred species were observed at Harmony Hall, near Beccles between 8th and 29th August. For the most part, night collecting was made difficult by continual showers and stiff breezes, but when this was not the case some surprisingly good results were obtained. For example, in good conditions on 1 Ith August, by 2 a.m. I had seen 120 species of macro and microlepidoptera. On 13th August, 114 species were recorded in spite of cool conditions and showers, but most frequently flight was curtailed by a late afternoon downpour that offset any improvement during the day. Nevertheless, some good observations were made, particularly among the microlepidoptera and luckily the terrain collected over was not ruined by insecticides and other practices detrimental to the balance of insect populations. THIS

During the day we imitated the Rhopalocera and left our shelter only when the sun shone. Very few species of butterfly were noted but this is possibly attributable to the bad Aying weather rather than to any falling off in numbers. The whites Vieris brassicae, Linn, and P. rapae, Linn., were abundant on a field of clover behind the house and P. napi, Linn., flitted down the lanes. Late Aphantopus hyperanthus, Linn., mixed with Maniola jurtina, Linn, and Pararge megera, Linn. Aglais urticae, Linn, and Nymphalis io, Linn., were also present with but a solitary migrant, Vanessa cardui, Linn., on Field Scabious. Latterly, Polyommatus icarus, Rott., began to emerge but Lycaena phlaeas, Linn., was scarce and almost over, as was Thymelicus sylvestris, Poda. There was a noticeable absence of Sphingids, but it seems that they have been common enough elsewhere and so must have overwintered satisfactorily in spite of the frost. The Notodontidae could almost be described as prevalent with Cerura furcula, Linn., Pheosia tremula, Clerck., Notodonta ziczac, Linn., Lophopteryx capucina, Linn., Pterostoma palpina, Linn., Phalera bucephala, Linn, and, regardless of the local dearth of birch, a single Notodonta dromedarius, Linn. Several Habrosyne derasa, Linn., many Euproctis similis, Fuessl. and Malacosoma neustria, Linn., one Philudoria potatoria, Linn., several Drepana binaria, Hufn. and Cilix glaucata, Scop., put in appearances, with the Arctiids Eilema lurideola, Zinck. and E. griseola, HĂźbn., Arctia caja, Linn, and frequent Phragmatobia fuliginosa, Linn. Of the noctuids Apatele rumicis, Linn, and Cryphia perla, Fab., were a shade lighter than those seen recently in South London. There was the expected run of the usual species :


376 Transactions of the Suffolk Naturalists',

Vol. 12, Part 5

Apatele psi Unn Agrotis puta, Hübn., Euxoa nigricans, Linn and E. tritic, Linn., latterly Amathes c-nigrum, Linn A xanthographa, Fab„Diarsiarubi, Kew., OchropLa plecta, Linn " Tnphaena comes, Hübn. and T. ianthina, Bsp. Unexpectedlv common was Tnphaena interjecta, Hübn., in my experience a sparses pec.es, and Lamprafimbriata, Schreber, with some unusual nigger-brown forms. Further commoners were Mamestra orassicae, Linn., Diataraxia oleiacea, Linn., Hadena trifolii Rott Lupenna testacea, Schiff., Procusfasciuncula Uaw. a n d 7 S Schiff a late A. hthoxylea, Fab., Amphipyra tragopogonis Linn Cosma trapezina, Linn., C W n n a morpheus, Hufn.,and C . ' / ' w « Treits Leucania pallens, Linn., L. impura, Hübn., L.

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oMuca, Lsp which was also s.tting on heads of Centaurea nigra during the day. Cosmia affinis, Linn., was in evidence, but many I S X t T h S K e r ; f c-py^na, View, a much scarcer elm reeder that exhibited some interesting pale forms. FennheFeennlaPwre ^ f ® h?!id*y * *ngle Arenostola brevilinea, ' Fenn s Wainscot, which has been recorded a few times of recent years from Suffolk, mainly along the coast. B e i e 1935 i e he P w e e C d e th p a w°^ y , b e e n r e C ° r d e d f r ° m N o r f o l k " M y s P e « m e n VapOUr H ht a n d 119 there on ! ^ A « «ther species gU by earlv n T r ^ f ^ e e n m g T B e cTc l e s 3i ts t h reo bka ibt lc h e n w i n d ™ the th J ? h \ P y ^ e farthest inland that our members have recorded brevilinea in Suffolk but it can now be expected to occur west and north of Southwold, through 8 Beccles to Barton in Norfolk. w Z h ^ G e 0 m f t e r S WeTrTe , d i s a P P ° i n t i n g i n quality. A late bleached Hemithea aestivaria, Hübn., Sterrha seriata, Schrank, S. biselata, & ema Zitaria u l T T T ü H-W" rginata, Linn., Scopula ™tar,a, Hubn., Calothysams amata, Linn., Lygris testata, Unn Xantharhoe ferrugata, Clerck and X spadicearia, Schiff. Cohtygiapectinataria, Knoch, Orthohtha chenopodiata, Linn., Epirrhoe PeriZ ma alchemillat rtunb ' Ä ° «> Linn., P. flavofasciata, i h u n b Eupithecia centaureata, Schiff, E. linariata, Fab., E. assunüata, Doubleday several E. succentureata, Linn., E. icterata, W

grossulanata,

TCOme Ch!orodyStlS Donata, Hübn., Abraxas Linn., with some darker forms, also Itame wauaria


SÜFFOLK

LEPIDOPTERA

377

Linn., Chiasmia clathrata Linn., from pale to dark, Deuteronomos alniaria, Linn., Selenia bilunaria, Esp., Crocallis elinguaria, Linn, and Cleora rhomboidaria, Schiff. There were some good finds among the microlepidoptera. A single example of the scarce Euzophera mannorea, Haw., the Marbled Knot-horn, a blackthorn species, flew to light on lOth August. Crambus falsellus, Schiff., came to light on 1 Ith August, and it was very pleasing to take Crambus selasellus, Hübn., on lOth August, thus confirming the Reverend Cruttwell's nineteenth Century record from Beccles, pale forms of the commoner C. tristellus, Fab., often being mistaken for C. selasellus, Hübn. Psammotis crocealis, Hübn., was seen on 22nd August and the better Evergestis straminalis, Hübn., on l l t h August, with Platyptilia gonodactyla, Schiff., on the 13th. On l l t h August, I took a good Phaloniid, Phalonia manniana, F.R., doubtless feeding at Harmony Hall on Lycopus europaeus. It was the third Suffolk record, two of them appearing in 1937 (page 139) under species 820, P. notidana, Zell. The species feeds on both Mentha and Lycopus. On 9th August, Phalonia badiana, Hübn., came to light with Tortrix costana, Fab., and Capua javillaceana, Hübn., on the 14th. Orthotaelia sparganella, Thumb., flew constantly to light. Ypsolophus vittellus, Linn., is not very common. I beat one from elm at Ellough on l l t h August and another came to light on 13th August. Much rarer, however, is Y. scabrellus, Linn., the second Suffolk specimen of which I took at Harmony Hall light on 22nd August. The first specimen was taken not far away at Bungay by Mrs. Mann sixty years ago in 1903. Last, but not least, we took two specimens of the Goat Moth and a micro new to the county, reported elsewhere. September found us back in London and we were soon visiting the Surrey downs where, under tuition, we discovered larvae of Ethmia decemguttella, Hübn., on Gromwell and pupae of the Plume Leioptilus carphodactylus, Hübn., in the lieads of Ploughman's Spikenard.

Suffolk Lepidoptera, 1963 (III)