SOME RECORDS OF LEPIDOPTERA IN SUFFOLK DÜRING 1971 BARON DE W O R M S
THE general season for 1971 was a good one for weather what with a very sunny May, a remarkably hot spell for the first half of July and a glorious autumn period during most of September and October. The lepidoptera reacted accordingly with quite a prolific year both for the Country and the County. As in 1970 one of the chief features was the reappearance of that delightful little butterfly the Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus Linn.). It was once more in very good numbers and Major Ross Lewin reported seeing it in his garden near Fritton as early as 2nd May. As usual several observers have kindly sent in their records, but it would appear that in spite of large numbers of the moths seen at light, there were very few captures of especial note, particularly among the regulär migrant species and this also embraces the butterflies among which Red Admirals were distinctly scarce, whereas the resident Small Tortoiseshell was unusually plentiful in Suffolk. Analysing the various records by far the most outstanding capture was that of that lovely moth the Gold Spangle (Plusia bractea Schiff.). This was taken at Great Bealings by Mr. William Storey in his garden at his light-trap on 20th July. It is only the second Suffolk record and also for the whole of the Eastern Counties. The only other example was taken by Mr. H. Chipperfield at Walberswick in August, 1966. On that occasion I contributed a short article (Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc., Vol. 13, p.322) on the increase in ränge southwards of this moth which normally inhabits the northerly regions of these islands as well as Wales and Ireland. This latest capture adds fresh evidence that it may be starting to colonise our more southerly eastern seaboard. During the main part of the summer Mr. Storey noted a Pine Hawk (Hyloicus pinastri Linn.) at his light, often numcrous on the Breck, also the Alder Moth (Apatele alni Linn.) and two Maple Prominents (Lophopteryx cucullina Schiff.) as well as several Varied Coronets (Hadena compta Schiff.), now for some years a resident in the County. That pretty August noctuid moth, the Dusky Sallow (Eremobia ochroleuca Schiff.) was again very numerous round Great Bealings. Other interesting visitors to light there were the Chocolate-tip (Clostera curtula Linn.), the Archer's Dart (Agrotis vestigialis Hufn.), a coastal and heathland species, the Stout Dart (Spaelotis ravida Schiff.), probably a partial migrant also two Webb's Wainscot (Nonagria sparganii Esp.), no doubt from local marshes. A welcome latecomer was a female Large Thorn (Ennomos autumnaria Wemb.) which is now quite prevalent
Suffolk Natural History, Vol. 15, Part 6
in the Eastern Counties. In late 1970 he took a Pale Lemon Sallow (Cirrhia ocellaris Borkh.) which seems locally numerous now in several parts of Suffolk apart from the Breck end of the County, its chief headquarters in England. As usual Mr. C. W. Pierce has provided a further series of interesting species among the moths. At his home in Needham Market where he says he has had a less good season than usual, he reports early in the year the Lead-coloured Drab (Orthosia populeti Fab.), the Streamer (Anticlea derivata Schiff.), the Early Toothstriped (Trichopteryx carpinata Borkh.), not seen there before as was the Poplar Kitten (Cerura bifida Brahm.). Other visitors of note included the Least Black Arches (Celama confusalis H.-S.) and the Olive Kidney (Zenobia subtusa Schiff.). A nearby pumping Station produced at its lights the Southern Wainscot (Leucania straminea Treits.), the Small Wainscot (Arenostola pygmina Haworth) and the Dotted Fanfoot (Zanclognatha cribrumalis HĂźbn.), while on the Walberswick marshes at the end of July he saw a Kent Black Arches (Mola albula Schiff.) which has seldom been noted in the County. There was nothing of particular interest in Redgrave Fen this year. From Norton, near Bury St. Edmunds, the Rev. Guy Ford says that moths have been especially plentiful during 1971, though nothing outstanding at his mercury-vapour trap or elsewhere in the vicinity. Of the less normal run of species he has noted the Archer's Dart (A. vestigialis Hufn.), some distance from its usual habitat in the Breck, also the Obscure Wainscot (Leucania obsoleta HĂźbn.), ever a common reed-bed species, also the Twin-spotted Wainscot (Nonagriageminipuncta Haworth), another marsh noctuid not often recorded. Mr. R. J. Barnard reports a number of quite interesting observations and records from Boxted also near Bury St. Edmunds. Among the butterflies he mentions he has seen a number of Holly Blues, Commas, and Small Coppers as well as the White-Letter Hairstreak (Strymonidia w-album Knoch) which is now quite widespread in the east of the Country and in Suffolk. C. Morley (Memoir, 1937) mentions its abundance in the Needham Market area so that it is interesting to know it is still extant in the western regions of the County. Among moths of the more spectacular kinds, Mr. Barnard records the Emperor (Saturnia pavonia Linn.) and the Oak Eggar (Lasiocampa quercus Linn.). The males are dayfliers in both of these insects. Among other species, mainly seen at light, are the Pale Shining Brown (Polia nitens Haworth), the Tawny Shears (Hadena lepida Esp.), the Sprawler (Brachionycha sphinx Hufn.), the Large Ranunculus (Antitype flavicincta Schiff.), the Double Dart (Graphiphora augur Fab.), and the Dingy Shears (Apamea ypsillon Schiff.). T h e more notable geometers include
LEPIDOPTERA I N SUFFOLK
the Small Scallop (Sterrha emarginata Linn.), the Pinion White Spot (Bapta bimaculata Fab.), the Fern (Horisme tersata Schiff.), and the Small Emerald (Hemistola immaculata Thunb.), both the latter being clematis feeders. T h e Dusky Sallow (Eremobia ochroleuca Schiff.) was also quite numerous. T h e only two Hawk Moths to appear in 1971 were the Poplar (Laotho'e populi Linn.) and the Eyed (Smerinthus ocellata Linn.). Not having visited any part of the County this year, I have no special records of my own to add. Baron de Worms, M.A., Ph.D., F.L.S., F.R.E.S., M.B.O.U., Three Oaks, Shores Road, Horsell, Woking, Surrey.