Page 1

SOME RECORDS OF LEPIDOPTERA IN SUFFOLK DĂœRING 1970 BARON DE W O R M S

IT is generally conceded that 1970 was a good year for our lepidoptera generally and especially for the butterflies of which the County seems to have had its fair share, but most of the records for this year come from resident observers and collectors as hardly any visitors seem to have penetrated Suffolk for the purpose of sampling its lepidoptera. H. E. Chipperfield has, as usual, contributed an illuminating account of his experiences during the season, while C. W. Pierce has also sent in an interesting summary of his captures and observations, so that I will confine myself to the records sent in by other local lepidopterists and also to those of my brief visit to the eastern part of the County in mid-July. One of the outstanding features of the year was the abundance of the Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus Linn.) which seems to have been widespread in the County and Dr. Harrison Matthews observed it in May in his garden at Stansfield where it reappeared in August. He says that the Orangetip (Anthocharis cardamines Linn.) was particularly numerous there in the spring, together with a good many of Brimstone (Gonepteryx rharnni Linn.). Another most interesting record among the butterflies, though in the previous year, was a Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria Linn.) seen by R. H. May near Bury St. Edmunds on 14th September, 1969. This insect is always a rarity in the Eastern Counties where it seems to be extending its ränge. Among migrant moths both the Death's Head (Acherontia atropos Linn.) and the Convolvulus Hawk (Herse convolvuli Linn.) have been appearing over the British Isles, mainly in the late summer. Sir Clavering Fison writes that his daughter, Mrs. Strutt, found a Convolvulus Hawk on the doorstep of Stutton Hall near Ipswich on 24th September, while Mark Hyde reports that a Death's Head was brought to him on 27th September at Woolverstone Hall, also near Ipswich, evidently pointing to a substantial migration to this country of these two famous large moths. R. J. Barnard of the Wiek, Boxted, Bury St. Edmunds, has submitted a most comprehensive and interesting list comprising some 130 species of the macrolepidoptera which he recorded at his home during 1970. Possibly the most noteworthy is that of the Sloe Carpet (Bapta distinetata H.-S.). This very local insect he exhibited at the Amateur Entomological Society's display in late September where I had the opportunity of confirming its identification. Though fairly widespread in Essex, Claud Morley in his


365 1937 Memoir only records it from Belstead in 1896 and 1898 and I very much doubt that its presence in the Bury area has ever been noted. Other interesting visitors to Mr. Barnard's light included the Emperor Moth (Saturnia pavonia Linn.), also the White Satin (Stilpnotia salicis Linn.) which was at one time common in East Suffolk, but very rare further inland in the County westwards. Among his captures of the noctuid moths was the Stout Dart (Spaelotis ravida Schiff.), always a notable visitor. The Dark Brocade (Etimichtis adusta Esp.), the Double Dart (Graphiphora augur Fab.), the Dusky Lemon Sallow (Cirrhia gilvago Schiff.), the Dusky Sallow (Eremobia ochroleuca Schiff.), and the Lunar-spotted Pinion (Cosmia pyralina Schiff.) are all quite interesting records for this area, as also is the Oak Eggar (Lasiocampa quercus Linn.) and the Läppet Moth (Gastropacha quercifolia Linn.). Of the geometrid moths his more special records include the Large Twin-spot Carpet (Xanthorhoe quadrifasciaria Clerck), the Red-green Carpet (Chloroclysta siterata Hufn.), the Pretty Chalk Carpet (Melanthia procellata Schiff.), the Water Carpet (Lampropteryx suffumata Schiff.), and the Sandy Carpet (PerizomaflavofasciataThunb.). LEPIDOPTERA IN SUFFOLK

At his home at Playford Mount, near Great Bealings, William Storey reports some newcomers to his mercury vapour trap. These comprised the Brown-tail (Euproctis chrysorrhaea Linn.), the Silver Hook (Eustrotia uncula Clerck), a denizen of marshland and the Black-neck (Lygephila pastinum Treits.), but the Notodontidae (the Prominents) were less numerous than usual while no Alder moths (Apatele alni Linn.) appeared. Other interesting visitors among the moths were the Stout Dart (Spaelotis ravida Schiff.), the Starwort Shark (Cucullia asteris Schiff.), a coastal species as a rule in Suffolk as also is Webb's Wainscot (Nonagria sparganii Esp.) which appeared at Great Bealings in August. Änother unlikely visitor was the Clouded Magpie (Abraxas sylvata Scop.), apparently never common in the County. A latecomer in September was the Pale Lemon Sallow (Cirrhia ocellaris Borkh.) which seems to be spreading its ränge in Suffolk wherever there are large poplars. The Orange Sallow (Tiliacea citrago Linn.) was another welcome arrival late in the season. It is fairly prevalent in the County. But up to the time of writing no very rare migrant had appeared in this region as it did in 1969. My own activities in the County were confined to a three-day visit starting on 18th July. That night indeed proved a remarkable one when I accompanied H. E. Chipperfield to the marsh just below the pillbox at Walberswick. Our mercury vapour light attracted no less than ninety-five species of the macrolepidoptera up to 1 a.m. A rather remarkable pair of species to appear together was the Goat Moth (Cossus cossus Linn.) and the Leopard (Zeuzera pyrina Linn.), neither of which are often seen


366

Suffolk Natural History, Vol. 15, Part 4

in Suffolk. Another unexpected visitor was the Brown Scallop (Philereme vetulata Schiff.) of which the 1937 Memoir says none had been seen in the County since 1890, as buckthorn, its foodplant, was "none too common" in Suffolk. This insect had only been noted from Aldeburgh, Beccles, and the Stowmarket district. Other species of note on this prolific occasion were several of the Miller (Apatele leporina Linn.), the Southern Wainscot (Leucania straminea Treits.), the Dog's Tooth (Hadena suasa Schiff.), the Starwort Shark (Cucullia asteris Schiff.), the Piain Golden-Y (Plusia iota Linn.), the Broomtip (Chesias rufata Fab.), many of the Bordered Pug (Eupithecia succenturiata Linn.), the V-Pug (Chlorclystis coronata Hübn.), the Small Blood-vein (Scopula imitaria Hübn.), the Small Rivulet (Perizoma alchemillata Linn.), but none of the White-mantled Wainscot (Nonagria neurica Hübn.) appeared. Probably it was just too early for this Suffolk speciality. However, a compensation was the late arrival of a Silky Wainscot (Chilodes maritima Tausch.) in the rare form with a black streak on the forewing (wismariensis Schmidt). On the second night, 19th July, George Baker was my companion when we tried our mercury vapour generator on the marsh near the lake at Thorpeness. Among fifty-four species seen was a spate of the Blackneck (Lygephila pastinum Treits.) together with the Brown-tail (Euproctis chrysorrhaea Linn.), the Small Rufous Wainscot (Coenobia rufa Haworth), a good many Roundwinged Muslin (Comacla senex Hübn.), also the Bordered Sallow (Pyrrhia umbra Hufn.), the Dotted Fanfoot (Zanclognatha cribrumalis Hübn.), and the Barred Yellow (Cidaria fulvata Forst.). Among some 600 moths comprising about eighty species noted in my static trap which Mr. Baker kindly let me run on three nights in his garden at Reydon were several Privet Hawks (Sphinx ligustri Linn.), also Drinkers (Philudoria potatoria Linn.), the Varied Coronet (Hadena compta Borkh.), the Broad-barred White (H. bicolorata Hufn.), the Double-lobed (Apamea ophiogramma Esp.), the Grey Arches (Polia nebulosa Hufn.), the Beautiful Hooktip (Laspeyria flexula Schiff.), the V-Moth (Itame wauaria Linn.), the Barred Straw (Lygris pyraliata Schiff.), and a further Brown Scallop (P. vetulata Schiff.). There was a single melanic Peppered Moth (Biston betularia Linn.). Collecting by day provided some Six-spot Burnets (Zygaena filipendulae Linn.) at Thorpeness, while the Holly Blue appeared at Reydon where the most noteworthy find by Mr. Baker, was a freshly emerged female Poplar Hörnet Clearwing (Sesia apiformis Clerck) at rest on a large poplar on the morning of 20th July. T h e marsh at Thorpeness also provided some pupae of Webb's Wainscot (Nonagria sparganii Esp.). On the morning of 21st July, I made my way home via the Breck district where I searched a number of localities for Silene otites.


LEPIDOPTERA I N SUFFOLK

367

It occurred notably at Icklingham, Tuddenham, and near Lakenheath, but none seemed to harbour any larvae of the Viper's Bugloss (Anepia irregularis Hfun.). Most of the common Whites, notably the Small White (Pieris rapae Linn.), were very plentiful in the area. From Norton, near Bury St. Edmunds, the Rev. Guy Ford reports that he had several of the Alder Moth (Apatele alni Linn), during June as well as the Varied Coronet (Hadena compta Schiff), and even the Maple Prominent (Lophoptcryx cucullina Schiff.). A surprise visitor to that part of the County was the Flame Wainscot (Meliana flammea Curtis), also the White Satin Moth (Slipnotia salicis Linn.). In August captures at light included the Brownveined Wainscot (Nonagria dissoluta Treits.) and the Twin-spot Wainscot (Nonagria geminipuncta Haworth) with the Olive Kidney (Zenobia subtusa Schiff.) and the Crescent (Celaena leucostigma HĂźbn.) all of them unlikely species at Norton. Finally, Humphrey Pease of Cedar House, Sudbourne, teils me that on the night of Easter Sunday, 29th March, an unusual Plusia came to his porch, but most regrettably it was inadvertently destroyed before its exact identification could be established. But from reference to some of the Standard works he feels sure it was one of the rare migrants most probably the Golden Twinspot (Plusia chalcites Esp.) which has certainly never before been recorded in this part of England. It is a most uncommon visitor to the western approaches to the British Isles. However, unfortunately owing to lack of further evidence only this rather passing reference can be made to what may have been a most outstanding insect on record for the Eastern Counties. Baron de Worms, M.A., Ph.D., F.L.S., F.R.E.S., M.B.O.U., Three Oaks, Shore's Road, Horsell, Woking, Surrey.

Some Records of Lepidoptera in Suffolk during 1970  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you