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SUFFOLK LEPIDOPTERA IN 1967 H.

E.

CHIPPERFIELD

AFTER

my report for 1966 had been sent in a number of specimens of that well-known migrant geometer the Gern (Nycterosea obstipata, Fabr.) appeared at lighted windows between 18th October and 9th November at Walberswick. In the 1937 Memoirs Claude Morley states " N o more than two specimens seem to be known to us". This species, formerly known as Hydriomena fluviata, Hübn., is a frequent visitor to the South Coast but is not often found in the Eastern Counties. 1967 opened with a mild spell which brought out most of the early spring insects rather before average dates. A precocious Peacock butterfly (Nymphalis io, Linn.) was seen on 12th February, tempted out of hibernation by the hot sunshine. Most of the usual "Quaker" moths appeared before the end of March and a number of the Sexton Beetle (Necrophorus humator) also found their way into the light trap. On 14th April I found a specimen of the Leek Smudge (Acrolepia assectella, Zell.) floating on a small pool in the garden. This is a fairly new addition to our pests and the larva attacks leeks, onions, and shallots. I was pleased to find single specimens of the Frosted Green moth (Polyploca ridens, Fabr.) and the Northern Drab (Orthosia advena, Schiff.) in my trap on the morning of 13th May. T h e latter species is not common in Suffolk and had apparently not been recorded when the 1937 Memoirs were published as the only reference made to it under the name of Monima opima, Hübn., was "is a west and northern insect in our Isles". T h e Orange-tip butterfly (Anthocharis cardamines, Linn.) was Aying in small numbers when I visited Redgrave and Lopham Fens on 23 rd May and seven other species of butterfly were noted there the same day. Larval cases of the Coleophorid moth, the Pettywhin Case (Coleophora genistae, Stainton) were pointed out by Mr. S. Wakely on Petty-whin after much searching. On 25th May the Flame Wainscot (Meliana flammea, Curt.) made its appearance at Walberswick, whilst those gorse-feeding moths Grapholita internana, Guen., and Laspeyresia succedana, Schiff., were Aying commonly amongst their foot plant at Aldringham on Ist June and at Walberswick on 4th June. A Broad-bordered Bee Hawk moth (Hemaris fuciformis, Linn.) was hovering over aubretia at Walberswick in the hot sunshine on lOth June. The larva of this species feeds on honeysuckle and makes conspicuous round holes in the leaves. On Ist July two specimens of the Tineid moth the Confused Cosmet (Mompha conturbatella, Hübn.) emerged from larvae pointed out to me by


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Mr. S. Wakely in spun shoots of Rose-bay Willow-herb at Aldringham at the end of May. This species is not mentioned in the 1937 Memoirs and is therefore apparently an addition to the Suffolk list. A specimen of the Osier Hörnet Clearwing (Sphecia bembeciformis, Hübn.) was found at rest on a sallow trunk at Thorpeness on 6th July. The exit holes and larval workings had previously been noticed by Col. A. M. Emmett and Messrs. S. Wakely and J. M. Chalmers-Hunt. Large numbers of the Eleven Spot Ladybird were found along the coast at Southwold whilst I was examining a colony of Six Spot Burnet moths (Zygaena filipendulae, Linn.) for aberrations on 1 Ith July. On 17th a small larva of the Lime Hawkmoth (Mimas tiliae, Linn.) was found feeding on birch at Staverton. The usual food plants of this species are lime and elm, although it is occasionally found on birch. The White-necked Wainscot (Nonagria neurica, Hübn.) was out and in fresh condition in the Walberswick reed-beds when I accompanied Mr. R. R. Cook of Romford there on 24th July, and during another visit on the 25th a specimen of the Lucid Pearl (Perinephela perlucidalis, Hübn.) was taken. This is the first record for Suffolk of this species which was only discovered in 1951 by the late Mr. Robin Mere at Wood Walton Fen, Huntingdonshire. A very unusual variety of the Garden Tiger moth (Arctia caia, Linn.) came to my trap at Walberswick on 27th July. It has most of the cream on the forewings replaced by brown. On the same day Mr. John Rolfe brought me a larva of the Alder Moth (Apatele alni, Linn.) found in a garden at Diss. On 2nd August, Mr. W. S. George telephoned to say he had found another larva at Haiesworth. This moth, which was formerly considered a great rarity, appears to be increasing in numbers. A further visit was made to the local reed-beds this time with Capt. R. A. Jackson, R.N., on Ist August when large numbers of moths were attracted to our lights, of which the Powdered Wainscot (Simyra venosa, Borkh.) was one of the most common. On 2nd August I accompanied Capt. Jackson to the sandhills at Southwold where we met Mr. George Baker from Reydon. Only a few common moths came to our light, but after a great deal of searching on the marram grass we found a few Lyme-grass Wainscots (Arenostola elymi, Treits.) and Coast Darts (Euxoa cursoria, Hufn.). Mr. Baker brought with him a specimen of the Beautiful Twist {Lozotaeniodes formosana Fröl.) which was discovered in Britain only a few years ago. This was the third Suffolk record and a further specimen came to my trap at Walberswick on 7th August.


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Transactions of the Suffolk Naturalists', Vol. 14, Part 1

Mr. W. S. George reported seeing a few Silver-studded Blue butterflies (Plebejus argus, Linn.) on Wenhaston Mill Heath. A visit to the area on 3rd August resulted in my seeing a rather worn female of this species and a freshly emerged Clouded Yellow butterfly (Colias croceus, Fourc.). Unfortunately the Silverstudded Blue seems to have disappeared from many of its former Suffolk haunts, but it is hoped it may survive at Wenhaston. The Clouded Yellow is of course a well-known migrant and further specimens were reported by Messrs. G. B. G. Benson and F. J. Pearson in the Blythburgh area and Mr. J. E. L. Pemberton at Sizewell on 25th August and 7th September respectively. Two specimens of the Marbled-yellow Straw Pearl (Evergestis extimalis, Scop.) came to light on 8th August and another on 13th. This little pyrale is quite common in the Breck District where the larva feeds on Charlock and White Mustard. A further interesting pyrale was found in the light trap on the morning of 12th August. It was the first Suffolk specimen of Rambur's China-mark (Diasemia ramburialis, Dup.). This species, which is a well-known immigrant on the South Coast, also appeared at Mr. S. Wakely's light trap in Camberwell on 12th July. Butterflies generally have not been abundant, although some species have been fairly common. Once again I saw only one Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus, Linn.). This was a specimen of the second brood in my garden on 7th August. Painted Lady butterflies (Vanessa cardui, Linn.) which were quite common in Suffolk in 1966 have been very scarce or absent this year. Reports from southern England indicate that a fair number of migrants arrived in early summer but few or no progeny were seen later on. Red Admirals (Vanessa atalanta, Linn.) on the other hand have been quite plentiful this autumn and I saw a single Comma (Polygonia c-album, Linn.) at Walberewick on 23rd September. The usual autumn moths appeared in good numbers including a large proportion of Silver-Y (Plusia gamma, Linn.), many of which were no doubt immigrants. A geometer which seemed to be more common than usual was the Yellow-barred Brindle (Acasis viretata, HĂźbn.). The only immigrants of note of which I heard were a number of larvae of the Spurge Hawkmoth (Celerio euphorbiae, Linn.) which were reported by Mr. Crawford of Brockley, Bury St. Edmunds as having been found by a friend of his near Dovercourt just over the Essex border about 20th September. The foodplant of these larvae is the Sea-spurge which grows along the Suffolk coast. Mr. Crawford also reported the finding of three larvae of the Striped Hawkmoth (Celerio livornica, Esp.) feeding on dock near Landguard Fort, Felixstowe in 1966.


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As a postscript to my 1967 report I have to record that a perfect specimen of the Scarce Olive-tree Pearl (Palpita unionalis, HĂźbn.) appeared at M.V. light at Walberswick on the evening of 21st October and a further specimen on the morning of 23rd. This species described by Bryan P. Beirne in his "British Pyralid and Plume Moths" as a non-resident immigrant captured occasionally in the south coast counties of England from Kent to the Scilly Isles, has been taken in Norfolk, Essex, Glamorgan, and Cork, but no mention is made of it in the 1937 Memoire. It is therefore presumably another addition to the Suffolk list. T h e larva feeds on the white-flowered Jasmine (Jasminum officinale) and as both specimens were in such perfect condition, they had doubtless bred locally from immigrant parents earlier in the year.

Suffolk Lepidoptera in 1967  
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