THE SPECKLED FOOTMAN, ( C O S C I N I A CRIBRARIA,
TAKEN IN SUFFOLK A N D ITS PRESENT STATUS IN THE BRITISH ISLES BARON DE W O R M S
most noteworthy capture in Suffolk and an addition to the County list of Lepidoptera was that of a specimen of the Speckled Footman moth by Mr. Austin Richardson. He was collecting at the time at Thorpeness and found to his surprise a male of this insect sitting on the outside of his mercury-vapour trap on the night of 5th August, 1965. The example in question which had very lightly speckled forewings, was almost white in ground colour and is referable to / . arenaria, Lempke of Coscinia cribraria, L. This form is the usual type in most parts of the Continent and is very different from that which is resident with us in the south of England. This latter form has very heavily-marked forewings speckled with black or even with dark streaks and is referable to / . bivittata, South = / . anglica, Oberthur. ANOTHER
Of the form similar to the one taken in Suffolk there would appear to be only four other certain records according to Mr. Chalmers Hunt in his " Lepidoptera of Kent " (p.95), since all of them were taken in that county. Three of these were obtained in Sandwich Bay, one in July 1914, by J. W. Metealf, a further capture there in July 1922 by an unknown collector, while the third was taken by the late A. J. L. Bowes on 7th August, 1937, and recorded by him with a photograph of the specimen in the Entomologist (1939 : 73, 25-26). T h e fourth capture of this form was at Dungeness at light on 21 st July, 1934, by Mr. R. P. Demuth. Apart from an example of this moth reported from Wimbledon Common in 1872 (Barrett, ii, 241) the only other area where this is indigenous is a very restricted one on the borders of Hampshire and Dorset with a boundary ranging from the western end of the New Forest to Decoy Heath near Wareham and Studland Heath near Poole. Most of the heathland north of Bournemouth habours this moth which readily flies by day in the sun about the middle of July. It comes freely to light and can be found at rest on heather bloom after dark. There seems little doubt that the Suffolk specimen as well as the Kent ones emanated from the Belgian or Dutch coasts where it is quite numerous.