NOTES ON NEEDHAM MARKET LEPIDOPTERA 1969 C . W . PLERCE GENERALLY the nights in the early part of the season were not favourable to attracting moths to the light. Indeed, very few species were recorded until we were well into May, due partly, it is true, to my not putting the light out in the garden, because of the unfavourable weather. The season did not catch up until midJuly and this meant that many early species, noted in rnost years, were not seen. These include the Alder (Apatele alni), Yellow Horned (Achlya flavicornis), Streamer (Anticlea derivata) and Shoulder Stripe (Earophila badiata). It is of interest that I recorded no species until 6th April. The first record of note was a Pine Beauty which appeared on 13th May and we had to wait until the 30th before getting another notable species, namely a Nut-tree Tussock (Colocasia coryli). From mid-June things began to improve and to emphasise the oddness of the season, on lOth June I saw the first Elephant Hawk Moth (üeilephila elpenor) together with a Brindled Beauty (Lycia hirtaria), the latter in very fresh condition. Düring this period, the usual Hawk Moths and Prominents appeared. The first Bird's Wing (Dipterygia scabriuscula) for about eight years turned up also. It is odd that this insect should apparently be so uncommon down here.
The Maple Prominent (Lophopteryx cucullina) and the Varied Coronet (Hadena compta) came as usual, and although in reasonable numbers, there were not quite as many as in most years. At the end of the month I took an Oblique Carpet (Orthonama lignata), the first again for eight years. Äs was the case last year, there appeared among the Figures of Eight (Tethea ocularis) which were fairly common, two more almost black specimens. T h e first of July brought a worn Lobster (Stauropus fagi) and a Clouded Brindle (Apamea epimedion), neither of which have I found common in Needham Market. Two days later, as if to show that the season was catching up, an Archer's Dart (Agrotis vestigialis) came to the light. After this, many different species started to come along. A Lead Belle (Ortholitha plumbaria), the first record of mine for Needham, and several Blue-bordered Carpets (Plemyria rubiginatä) came. This is the first season in which I have noticed more than one of this species, and even this does not happen every year. Orange Moths also usually appear as single specimens, but this year at least six Angerona prunaria turned up. One Small Mottled Willow (Laphygma exigua) came on the 16th, and the same evening saw a repeat of the 1964 invasion of female Bordered Whites (Bupalus piniaria), reported by Chipperfield in the Trans. 13-41. Accompanying them were four True Lover's Knots (Lychophotia
varia), a species which usually comes singly to Needham Market. Like the 1964 event, this must have been a mass migration. Other notable records for the month included a Lilac Beauty, a Brown Tail and a Scarce Tissue. I also took a Shaded Pug for the first time in Needham. (Apeira syringaria, Euproctis chrysorrhoea and Rheumaptera cervinalis and Eupithecia subumbrata respectively.) August continued in the same vein until the middle of the month. In this period I recorded at least eight each of the Beech Green Carpet (Colostygia olivatĂ¤) and Yellow Barred Brindle (Acacis viretata), the latter for the first time, as were three Maple Pugs (E. inturbata) taken on 7th August. The next evening produced a Gold Spot (Plusia festucae), a Small Phoenix (Ecliptopera silaceata) and an Olive (Zenobia subtusa). Another moth which has appeared only as a single specimen was the Mullein Wave (Scopula marginepunctata) of which at least four turned up round about this time. On most evenings large numbers came to the light, there being about ninety species of the Macro-lepidoptera on three nights. The second half of August was virtually uneventful and I had to wait until 4th September when a Twin-spotted Wainscot came along (Nonagria geminipunctĂ¤), to be followed for some nights afterwards by many Large Thorns (Ennomos autumnaria) and Pale Oak Eggars (Trichiura crataegi). The former is really established in this area now, with the numbers apparently increasing each year. The rest of the month brought nothing exciting, just the usual run of 'sallows', Brindled Green (Dryobotodes eremita) and Large Ranunculus (Antitype flavicincta). Early in October the nights generally were warmer, especially when the moon waned, but although moths appeared in fair numbers, only the more usual species turned up. Dark Chestnuts (Conistra ligula), Figure of Eight (Episema coeruleocephala), Merveille du Jour (Griposia aprilina), Flounced Chestnut (Anchoscelis helvola), Green Brindled Crescent (Allophyes oxycanthae), Red Line Quaker (Agrochola Iota) and Yellow Line Quaker (A. macilenta) were the most prevalent, only single specimens of the Autumnal Rustic (Paradiarsia glareosa) and the Streak (Chesias legatella) being noted. C. IV. Pierce, 14 Chalkeith