Page 1




As mentioned elsewhere, the year 1965 will indeed be a memorable one in the annals of Suffolk lepidoptera by the capture of a Noctuid moth not only new to the County list, but never before recorded in Great Britain. It was while collecting on the coast in Company with Mr. Robin Mere in mid-July that Mr. E. C. Pelham-Clinton noticed a small moth in one of three mercury-vapour traps. The insect in question belonged to the family of Deltoids comprising the Snouts and Fanfeets and appeared to be slightly different from the two common species in this group, the Fanfoot (Zanclognatha tarsipennalis, Treits.) and the Small Fanfoot (Z. nemoralis, Fab., = grisealis, Hßbn.). It was only when he came to set the specimen that Mr. Pelham-Clinton appreciated that it must be another species which he was able to confirm at the Natural History Museum in London as Z. tarsicrinalis, Knoch., which is intermediate in size and markings between the two others indicated. But in fact, Z. tarsicrinalis is much closer in its anatomy to the smaller species Z. nemoralis. Like the latter insect the males have no front tarsi nor any knot-like thickenings on their antennae which are apparently present in the male antennae of T. tarsipennalis. Again apart from these features Z. tarsicrinalis can be readily distinguished in its superficial markings from Z. nemoralis by the fact that the subterminal line on the forewings reaches the frontal costa on the innerside of the apex whereas in the latter species it always goes straight to the apex. There is also distinct dark shading at the centre of the forewings, absent in Z. nemoralis, while the inner transverse line near the body is much more irregulär and less straight than in the latter species. Z. tarsicrinalis seems to have a wide distribution in Central and Southern Europe, but does not appear to have found its way to some of the northern countries tili this Century. That eminent Danish authority, Dr. Skat Hoffmever in " De Danske Ugler " (2nd Ed. p.367) mentions that the first Danish record was in 1918 and since then the species has been steadily spreading through the Scandinavian countries, though nowhere common, but I well remember his saying that he fully expected it to turn up in England, so it remains to be seen whether further examples appear in Suffolk or whether this individual was a stray immigrant. The larva is said to feed on Travellers Joy (Clematis vitalba) which according to the Botanical Atlas of the British Isles is fairly prevalent in the part of the county where this remarkable capture was made.

Zanclognatha tarsicrinalis in Suffolk A Noctuid new to the British Isles  
Zanclognatha tarsicrinalis in Suffolk A Noctuid new to the British Isles