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A REVIEW OF LEPIDOPTERA COLLECTING IN SUFFOLK DÜRING 1966 BARON DE WORMS

As in so many previous seasons Suffolk has produced many species of especial interest among the lepidoptera. T h e two most outstanding captures among the Macros have been the Concolorous Wainscot (Arenostola extrema, Hübn.)* taken at Thorpeness on 1 Ith June by Mr. S. Wakely. The other Noctuid also new to the County list is the Gold Spangle (Plusia bractea, Schiff.)* which appeared at Walberswick on 8th August and was captured by Mr. H. E. Chipperfield. The former insect is virtually unknown outside its Huntingdon haunts, except for a Single southern capture, while the Plusia is chiefly a denizen of the North, though there is evidence of a southern extension of its ränge. Both these records referred to elsewhere are the subject of special reviews of their respective present and past status. The county seems to have had its quota of the Painted Lady (Pyrameis cardui, Linn.) which has been so widespread over the country in general from early spring to autumn. I myself, in Company with Prof. J. V. Dacie, saw this fine butterfly just outside Southwold on 3rd August Aying with acoupleof Clouded Yellows (Colias croceus, Fourc.) of which there have apparently been several other records in Suffolk. This butterfly too has been more plentiful than for many years in the southern half of England and also in Eire. That fins and local noctuid moth the Stout Dart (Spaelotis ravida, Hübn.) once again revisited the county in some nurab;rs. Prof. Daci; toDk four in his trap at Walberswick on 23rd July, while Mr. C. W. Pierce saw it in plenty near Needham Market together with quite a number of the Large Thorn (Ennomos autumnaria, Wemb.) and the Varied Coronet (Hadena compta, Fab.) which both had a very good season. In the Southwold area Prof. Dacie worked a colony of the Six-spot Burnet (Zygaena filipendulae, Linn.) for several days at the end of July and noted no less than seven of the form with the red spots and markings replaced by orange, referable to / . aurantia, Tutt., an extremely rare variety of this prevalent insect. He considered that the colony at its height contained nearly a thousand individuals. As usual Thorpeness and the vicinity of Walberswick were the two most productive areas. In the former the Silky Wainscot (<Chilodes maritima, Treits.) reappeared plentifully together with the form zvismariensis, while the Sussex Wainscot (Nonagria neurica, Hübn.) was taken again on the Walberswick marshes. The Flame Wainscot (Meliana flamme a, Curtis) was found to be quite » T h i s species is N E W to Suffolk.


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numerous at Thorpeness. Walberswick Marshes were apparently the only previous Suffolk locality for this very local insect. Another very uncommon species was once more taken in the fen at Thorpeness, the Tawny Wave (Scopula rubiginata, Hufn.) with no less than nine examples in early June. Other interesting captures in this well-known spot included a specimen of the Lace Border (Scopula ornata, Scop.), a thyme feeder, mainly on chalk and a most unexpected geometer to find in this seaside terrain. Among the Pyrales and micros taken there were the Cinnamon Twist (Pandemis cinnamoneana, Treits.)*, the Hookstreak Grass Veneer (Crambus dumetellus, Hübn.), a local sandhill insect, and near Elveden the Larch-boring Argent (Agyresthia laevigatella, H.-.S.)*, the Breckland Plume (Oxyptilus distans, Zell.) which belies its name, since it is also a frequenter of the east coast sandhills. The small Tortrix, the Black-headed Conch (Cochylichroa atrocapitana, Stephens) was particularly numerous. An example of the small migrant geometer, the Gern (Nycterosea obstipata, Fab.) was recorded also at this period, while the form of that fine noctuid, the Archer's Dart (Agrotis vestigialis, Rott.) was very dark in this area. Besides the Stout Dart Prof. Dacie also noted in his trap at Walberswick at the end of July the Chocolate-tip (Clostera curtula, Linn.), the Varied Coronet (Hadena compta, Fab.), the Lunarspotted Pinion (Cosmia pyralina, View.), the Piain Golden-Y (Plusia iota, Linn.), the Crescent-striped (Apamea oblonga, Haworth), the Dusky Sallow (Eremobia ochroleuca, Esp.), and the Beautiful Hook-tip (Laspeyria flexula, Schiff.). As usual Mr. C. W. Pierce has supplied a most valuable list of captures, not only where he lives at Needham Market, but also from several other noted localities in the county. Starting with those from his home town he reports no less than eight specimens of the Small Mottled Willow (Laphygma exigua, Hübn.) between lOth and 20th August. This is one of the regulär migrants which has been fairly prevalent in the southern portion of Great Britain this year. An example of that fine insect, the Alder Moth (Apatele alni, Linn.) also graced his light trap, a species never numerous in the Eastern Counties. He had only seen it once before, at Belstead. Only one of the Poplar Hörnet Clearwing (Sesia apiformisy Clerck) was seen in 1966 compared with an abundance in 1965. Among other "first timers" at Needham Market was the N u t tree Tussock (Colocasia coryli, Linn.), the Hedge Rustic (Tholera cespitis, Fab.), the Mullein Wave (Sterrha marginepunctata, Goeze), the Ochreous Pug (Eupithecia indigata, Hübn.), the Foxglove Pug (Eupithecia pulchellata, Stephens) and the Beech Green Carpet (Colostygia olivata, Borkh.), always a very local geometer. Reappearances of species only once before noted included the Chamomile Shark (Cucullia chamomillae, Schiff.),


316 Transactions of the Suffolk Naturalists',

Vol. 13, Part 5

the Deep Brown Dart (Aporophyla lutulenta, Borkh.), the Figure of Eight (Tethea ocularis, Linn.), the White Satin (Leucoma salicis, Linn.), the Chocolate-tip (Clostera curtula, Linn.), the Orange Sallow (Tiliacea citrago, Linn.), the Satin Wave (Sterrha subsericeata, Haworth), the Blue-bordered Carpet (Plemyria bicolorata, Hufn.), the Small Yellow Wave (Hydrelia flamtneolaria, Hufn.), and the Twin-spot Carpet (Colostygia didymata, Linn.). Several daytime visits to the Redgrave and Lopham Fens produced the following geometers, the Grass Emerald (Pseudoterpna pruinata, Hufn.), the Lesser Cream Wave (Scopula immutata, Linn.), the Small Rivulet (Perizoma alchemillata, Linn.), the Small Scallop (Sterrha emarginata, Linn.), the Sharp-angled Carpet (Xanthorhoe unangulata, Haworth), the Large Twin-spot Carpet (Xanthohroe quadrifasciaria, Clerck), and above all that delightful little insect the Purple and Gold (Sterrha muricata, Hufn.). T h e Lead Belle (Ortholitha palumbaria, Fab.) was also a surprise from this locality. From Belstead Woods he observed the Double Dart (Graphiphora augur, Fab.), the Seraphim (Lobophora halterata, Hufn.), the Rivulet (Perizoma afĂ&#x;nitata, Stephens), the Broken-barred Carpet (Electrophaes corylata, Thunb.), and that pretty geometer, the Lilac Beauty (Apeira syringaria, Linn.). Among species that were especially plentiful in 1966, Mr. Pierce enumerates the Lime Hawkmoth (Mimas tiliae, Linn.), the Eyed Hawkmoth (Smerinthus ocellatus, Linn.,) the Sallow Kitten (Cerura furcula, Linn.), the Coxcomb Priminent (Lophopteryx capucina, Linn.), the White-line Dart (Euxoa tritici, Linn.), the Dusky Sallow (Eremobia ochroleuca, Esp.), the Angle-shades {Phlogophora meticulosa, Linn.), the Frosted Orange (Gortyna flavago, Schiff.), the Pearly Underwing (Peridroma porphyrea, Schiff.), the Dark Swordgrass (Agrotis ypsilon, Rott.), and the Barred Sallow (Tiliacea aurago, Fab.). From the Breckland area the Tawny Wave (Scopula rubiginata, Hufn.) was reported from near Cavenham in August by Capt. Eilerton, R.N., while I came across the Grey Carpet (Lithostege griseata, Schiff.) again in June near Barton Mills. Mr. S. Wakely also reports these further species of interest taken in mid June, 1966, from Thorpeness, unless otherwise stated. Among the butterflies was the Painted Lady (Pyrameis cardui, Linn.), also the Lime Hawkmoth (Mimas tiliae, Linn.), but only one Pine Hawkmoth (Hyloicus pinastri, Linn.). Both Elephant Hawks appeared, the Large (Deilephila elpenor, Linn.) and the Small (D. porcellus, Linn.) as well as the Humming-bird Hawkmoth (Macroglossa stellatarum, Linn.) with an example at mercury-


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vapour light which is most unusual. Among the Prominents there were the Poplar Kitten {Cerura bifida, Hübn.), the Pale Prominent (Pterostoma palpina, Linn.), the Large Swallow Prominent (Pheosia tremula, Clerck), and the Large Chocolate-tip (Clostera curtula, Linn.). The Fox Moth (Macrothylacia rubi, Linn.) was a visitor to light as also were the Water Ermine (Spilosoma urticae, Esp.), the Muslin Moth (Cycnia mendica, Linn.), and the Cream-spot Tiger (Arctia villica, Linn.). Among the more interesting Noctuids were the Semicolon {Heliophobus albicolon, Hübn.), the Dusky Wainscot (Leucania pudorina, Schiff.), the Lyme-grass Wainscot (Arenostola elymi, Treits.), the Bordered Sallow (Pyrrhia umbra, Hufn.), three of the day-flying Marbled Clover (Heliothis viriplaca, Hufn.), and also the Dark Bordered Straw (Heliothis peltigera, Schiff.), probably of migrant origin. In the Geometer group besides those outstanding species already reported there were the Rosy Wave (Scopula emutaria, Hübn.), the Gern (Nycterosea obstipata, Fab.), probably a migrant, the Lunar Thorn (Selenia lunaria, Schiff.), always a scarce insect, and the Lead Belle (Ortholitha palumbaria, Fab.) not common in the Eastern Counties. The Pyrales produced many of the Rush Veneer (Nomophila noctuella, Schiff.), which had a year of great abundance and also of migrant origin, also the Gigantic Water Veneer (Schoenobius gigantellus, Schiff.), the Coast Knot-Horn (Anerastia lotella, Hübn.), and the very local Epischnia boisduvalliella, Guen., whose larvae feeds in the Sea Pea (Lathyrus). Among the true Microlepidoptera was the Diamond-backed Moth (Plutella maculipennis, Curtis) in plenty, while near Snape larvae of the local Plume moth known as the Sluggish Plume (Leioptilus lienigianus, Zell.) were numerous on Arümisia vulgaris.

A Review of Lepidoptera Collecting in Suffolk during 1966  
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