COLLECTING IN SUFFOLK, JULY, 1964 BARON DE W O R M S
THE prolonged spell of fine weather in July prompted me to revisit the east coast of Suffolk after an interval of two years, though I could only fit in a week-end trip. I reached Southwold by road on the evening of 18th July under very warm and favourable conditions and worked my m.v. lamp on the edge of Easton Broad from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. by which time I had recorded forty-seven species of the macro moths, providing a very good assortment. The earliest arrival was the Antler (Cerapteryx graminis, Linn.) to be followed by several Drinkers (Philudoria potatoria, Linn.), the Common Footman (Eilema lurideola, Zinck.), the Reed Wainscot (Arenostola phragmitidis, Hübn.), and the Brown-tail (Euproctis chrysorrhaea, Hübn.). By midnight there was a large concourse of insects with several marsh species, such as the Southern Wainscot (Leucania straminea, Treits.) and the Lesser Cream Wave (Scopula immutata, Linn.), while some of the latecomers were the Marbled Brown (Drymonia trimacula, Esp.), the Triple-spotted Clay (Amathes ditrapezium, Borkh.), the Dingy Shears (Apamea fissipuncta, Haw.), the Coxcomb Prominent (.Lophopteryx camelina, Linn.), the Piain Golden-Y (Plusia iota, Linn.), the Barred Straw (Lygris pyraliata, Schiff.), the Small Blood-Vein (Scopula imitaria, Hübn.), and the Bordered Pug (Eupithecia succenturiata, Linn.). The following night of the 19th was one of those occasions which only occur a very few times in a season. The conditions were ideal, again cloudy and humid when I pitched my light on the edge of the marshes by the well-known pillbox near Walberswick. Insects began coming freely from 10 p.m. and when I finally packed up at 1.15 a.m. I had recorded eighty species of the macros. Among the most numerous and the earliest to appear was the Broom-tip (Chesias rufata, Fab.) together with the Drinker. These were soon followed by a run of the two Wainscots, the Fen, and the Southern. The Brown-tail and the Lackey (Malacosoma neustria, Linn.) were also plentiful, as also was the Common Tiger (Arctia caja, Linn.) of which a very pale form came to the light, but I saw only single examples of the White-Mantled Wainscot (Nonagria neurica, Hübn.) and of the Silky Wainscot (Chilodes maritima, Tausch.) which were to prove so common a week later. Other insects of note observed included the Läppet (Gastropacha quercifolia, Linn.), the Peach Blossom (Thyatira batis, Linn.), the Round-winged Muslin (Comacla senex, Hübn.), the Scarce Footman (Eilema complana, Linn.), the Pearly Underwing (Peridroma porphyrea, Schiff.), the Dingy Footman (Eilema griseola, Hübn.), the Double Dart (Graphiphora augur, Fab.), the Archer's
Transactions of the Suffolk Naturalists',
Vol. 13, Part I
Dart (Agrotis vestigialis, Rott.), the Tavvny Shears (Hadena lepida, Esp.), a single Crescent-striped (Apamea oblonga, Haw.), several of the Starwort Shark (Cucullia asteris, Schiff.). Further Geometers were represented by the Lesser Cream Wave, the Small Blood-vein, the Bordered Pug, the V-Pug (Chloroclystis coronata, HĂźbn.), and the Swallow-tail moth (Ourapteryx sambucaria, Linn.). As usual about the latest arrival was the Poplar Hawk (Laothoe populi, Linn.). Day work in this area on the 19th July proved somewhat unfruitful owing to unsettled weather. I was glad to see the Small Meadow Brown (Maniola tithonus, Linn.) in quantity near Blythburgh, but I was most disappointed not to see a sign of the Silver-studded Blue (Plebeius argus, Linn.) in any of its former haunts in that vicinity. Thorpeness too did not yield much of interest, only a number of the Six-spot Burnet (Zygaenafilipendulae, Linn.). On the 20th I motored over to the Breck and near Icklingham I was pleased to find a good growth of Silene otites with several small larvae of the Viper's Bugloss moth (Anepia irregularis, Hufn.) on the stems. This plant seems to have had some good years recently and to have spread considerably as also has this moth as well. The small geometer, the Oblique-striped (Mesotype virgata, Rott.) was Aying freely in this region. Proceeding further to near Lakenheath, a rough piece of ground bordering the aerodrome was alive with insects. I have seldom seen so many Small Tortoiseshells (Aglais urticae, Linn.) disporting themselves on the scabious, while most of the skippers proved to be the Essex (Thymelicus lineola, Ochs.), not apparently reported from that area before. Another surprise there was the numbers of the Forester (Procris statices, Linn.). Claude Morley writing in the 1937 Memoir mentions that it was recorded from the Mildenhall district in 1890, but he had had no news of it from there since that date. A large bed of sweet Williams in that spot I discovered to be fĂźll of larvae of the Varied Coronet (Hadena compta, Schiff.) which now seems abundant in this part of Suffolk.