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THE RANNOCH LOOPER (ITAME BRUNNEATA, THUNB.) AND OTHER RECORDS OF LEPIDOPTERA IN SUFFOLK DÜRING 1968 BARON DE WORMS SUFFOLK has once more been favoured with the occurrence of several species of our lepidoptera which have seldom been recorded from the Eastern Counties. Among these was the capture at Norton near Bury St. Edmunds by the Rev. Guy Ford, of the Rannoch Looper (Itame brunneata, Thunb.), an insect which as its names implies, is normally a denizen of the Highlands. But every so often over the years specimens have been noted from the southern half of England as I well remember when I took one in North Kent in daytime in July, 1946. The origin of these isolated examples is presumed to be the Ardennes of Belgium whence they have no doubt migrated.

Another most remarkable capture was that of a female Marsh Moth (Hydrillula palustris, Hübn.) by Mr. C. W. Pierce in Redgrave Fen which is the subject of a species article elsewhere. A specimen of the l i t t l e Nolid, the Scarce Black Arches (Celama trituberculana, Bosc.) was taken again near Thorpeness by Mr. S. Wakely who was in Company with Captain J. Eilerton, R.N. and Colonel A. M. Emmet, while Suffolk also had a V i s i t a t i o n from some of the migrants which appeared very soon after the famous dust storm from the Sahara which descended on south-eastern England early on Ist July. Among these species was the Bordered Straw (Heliothis peltigera, Schiff.) which was taken near Thorpeness and again later in the year by Mr. Chipperfield at Walberswick where he also had the rarer Scarce Bordered Straw {Heliothis armigera, Hübn.) But in many ways the most spectacular records were those of several Camberwell Beauties (Nymphalis antiopa, L.) which have not been in Suffolk for a number of years. There must have been quite an immigration in the late summer as this grand butterfly was recorded from several other parts of the British Isles and probably emanated from Scandinavia. Several lepidopterists living in Suffolk have kindly sent in once more their local records together with those from some of its visitors and they altogether make a very interesting summary. The Rev. Guy Ford who has recently come from Balsham near Cambridge to live at Norton near Bury St. Edmunds has been very assiduous with his moth-trap from the end of 1967. In September of that year he recorded the Pale Oak Eggar (Trichiura crataegi, L.), a species not often seen in the County. In June, 1968, there appeared the Alder Moth (Apatele alni, L.) together with the Flame Wainscot (Meliana flammea, Curtis) which is normally


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only seen on the east coast in the Walberswick and adjoining marshes. Certainly the Bury area is quite a new habitat for this very local species. Another most interesting capture in this month was an example of the Lychnis Shark (Cucullia lychnitis, Ramb.) which has seldom been noted from Suffolk, though its foodplant, the Black Mullein is prevalent in the County. At the end of June and the beginning of July visitors to Norton of special interest included the Pale Shining Brown (Polia nitens, Haworth), the Sycamore (Apatele aceris, L.), the Pine Hawk (Hyloicus pinastri, L.), the Varied Coronet (Hadena compta, Schiff.) which now seems quite common throughout Suffolk wherever Sweet Williams are grown. The latter part of July brought the Lunar-spotted Pinion (Cosmia pyralina, Schiff.), the Blackneck (Lygephila pastinum, Treits.), the Bordered Sallow (Pyrrhia umbra, Hufn.), and the Stout Dart (Spaelotis ravida, Schiff.) which may be resident in the Eastern Counties, but seems to be reinforced by immigration. Among August records by the Rev. Guy Ford were the Doublelobed (Apamea ophiogramma, Esp.), the Scarce Green Silver-lines (Pseudoips bicolorana, Fuessl.), the Läppet (Gastropacha quercifolia, L.), the Rosy Minor (Procus literosa, Haworth), the Crescent (Celaena leucostigma, Hübn.), the Bulrush Wainscot (Nonagria typhae, Thunb.), and during the last few days of this month the Centre-barred Sallow (Atetlimia xerampelina, Esp.), the Barred Rivulet (Perizoma bifadata, Haworth), and the Oblique Carpet (iOrthonama lignata, Hübn.). The Large Thorn (Ennomos autumnaria, Wemb.) appeared in this area in September and seems to be steadily spreading throughout the County. Among autumnal captures were the Barred Sallow (Tiliacea aurago, Schiff.), the Flounced Chestnut (Anchoscelis helvola, L.), the Dark Chestnut (Conistra ligula, Esp.), and the Merveille du Jour (Griposia aprilina, L.). Mr. W. Storey who has recently come to live at Great Bealings near Woodbridge reports that he has taken in his moth-trap several of the Maple Prominent (Lophopteryx cucullina, Schiff.), also a number of the Frosted Green (Polyploca ridens, Fab.) during April. The Varied Coronet (H. compta, Schiff.) appeared in the larval S t a t e on local Sweet Williams, while the Large Thorn (E. autumnaria, Wemb.) and the Barred Sallow (T. aurago, Schiff.) came in September. As in past years Mr. C. W. Pierce has been active with his light and net in the vicinity of Needham Market where during 1968 in spite of a somewhat unpropitious summer he took more species than usual including some that were new to his district records. Warm periods in April and at the end of March brought out the Frosted Green {P. ridens, Fab.) in fair quantity together with the Lunar Marbled Brown (Chaonia ruficornis, Hufn.) and the Streamer (Anticlea derivata, Schiff.). The first record for the


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Transactions of the Suffolk Naturalists',

Vol. 14, Part 3

district of the Pine Beauty (Panolis flammea, Schiff.) took place on 29th March and at the same time large numbers of the Brindled Beauty (Lycia hirtaria, Clerck) were seen whereas there had only been one previous record in 1963. At this period M r . Richard Luff who lives nearby took the Large Prominent (Notodonta trepida, Esp.), also a Chamomile Shark (Cucullia chamomillae, Schiff.) and the Sloe Carpet ( B a p t a distinctaia, H.-S.), always a very local insect. T h e second Scarce Tissue (Rheumaptera cervinalis, Scop.) to be taken in the district appeared in early May. In June, which was an exceptionally good month, the Maple Prominent (L. cucullina, Schiff.) was quite numerous as well as the Figure of Eight (Tethea ocularis, L.) of which some were the very melanic form with the orbicular and reniform outlined in white, a very handsome insect. T h e Marbled Coronet (Hadena conspersa, Schiff.) was commoner than the Varied Coronet ( H . compta, Schiff.). Düring the chief summer period the species new to the N e e d h a m Market records of Mr. Pierce were the Small Seraphim (Mysticoptera sexalisata, Hübn.), the Wood Carpet (Epirrhöe rivata, Hübn.), the Clouded Brindle (Apamea epomidion, Haworth), the Broom-tip (Chesias ruf ata, Fab.), a female of the Lilac Beauty (Apeira syringaria, L.) and on 13th September, a Convolvulus Hawk (Herse convolvuli, L.) of which very few have been seen in 1968. Both Mr. Pierce and M r . Luff obtained the Alder M o t h (Apatele alni, L.) again including three on consecutive evenings. Late in July, M r . Pierce and M r . Geoffrey Burton set their lights near the river at Hawksmill and had as many as eighty species of the Macro moths on several occasions, a very high average. Some of those seen included the Dingy Shears {Apamea ipsilon, Schiff.), the White Satin (Leucoma salicis, L.), the White-line Dart (Euxoa tritici, L.), the Läppet (G. quercifolia, L.), the Small Dotted Buff (Petilampa minima, Haworth), the Dark U m b e r (Philereme transversata, Hufn.), and the White Point (Leucania albipuncta, Schiff.) of which very few have been seen in recent years. A good many Stout Darts (Spaelotis ravida, Schiff.) appeared in August at Needham together with several Bulrush Wainscot (N. typhae, T h u n b . ) , the Scarce Silver-lines (Pseudiops bicolorana, Fuessl.), and the New Copper Underwing (Amphipyra berbera, Rungs) being the first Suffolk record of this newly-separated species which seems to be fairly prevalent over most of Southern England. September produced some Centrebarred Sallows (A. xerampelina, Esp.), the Large Ranunculus (Antitype flavicincta Schiff.) the Large T h o r n (E. autumnaria, T h u n b . ) , the Large Wainscot (Rhizedra lutosa, Hübn.), the Dusky Lemon Sallow (Cirrhia gilvago, Schiff.), and the Merveille du Jour (G. aprilina, L.). Very few Painted Ladies (Pyrameis cardui, L.) or Red Admirals (P. atalanta, L.) were in evidence during the year whereas Peacocks (Vanessa io, L.), the Small Tortoiseshell [Aglais urticae, L.), and


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the Ringlet (Aphantopus hyperanthus, L.) were quite common as was also the Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus, L.) for the first time for many years, both in spring and autumn. At Thorpeness from 13th to 27th July, Mr. S. Wakely and his friends recorded no less than 265 species of moths including the Microlepidoptera. Mention has already been made of the capture of the Scarce Black Arches (C. trituberculana, Bosc.) on 14th July. A larva of the Coast Dart (Euxoa cursoria, Hfn.) obtained at Southwold during this period emerged on 27th August. Single specimens were recorded of the Pale Shining Brown (Polia nitens, Haworth), the Varied Coronet ( H . compta, Schiff.), the White Colon (Heliophobus albicolon, Hübn.), the Crescent-striped (Apamea oblonga, Haworth), also of the Marbled Yellow Straw Pearl (Evergestis extimalis, Scop.), Wormwood Knothorn (Euzophera cinerosella, Zell.), and the Beautiful Twist (Lozotaeniodes formosana, Fröl.), but the prize was Clinton's Groundling (Scrobipalpa clintoni, Povolny) only recently discovered in Argyllshire by Mr. Pelham Clinton and new not only to Suffolk but to the British Isles. Another fine acquisition was a dozen of the Doublespotted Honey (Mellisoblaptes zelleri, Joan.). The Sussex Wainscot (Nonagria neurica, Hübn.) reappeared in the marsh at Thorpeness. The Banded Grass Veneer (Pediasia fascelitiellus, Hübn.), and the Giant Grass Veneer (S. gigantellus, Schiff.) were also noteworth captures in this area. The Ochreous Wave (Sterrha ochrata, Scop.) was as numerous as ever along the coastal sandhills.

The Rannoch Looper (Itame brunneata, Thunb.) and other records of Lepidoptera in Suffolk during 1968  
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