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SUFFOLK LEPIDOPTERA IN 1972 H . E . CHIPPERFIELD

a mild winter many of the spring insects were early on the wing. The first Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni Linn.) and Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae Linn.) were noted at Härtest on 16th March. A Large Garden White (Pieris brassicae Linn.) was seen at Metfield on 20th March and quite a number of Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae Linn.) just over the Norfolk border at Brockdish on the same day. Most of the Quaker Moths were seen before the end of March with the Pine Beauty (Panolis flammea Schiff.) in Dunwich Forest on 24th of the month. The Orange Underwing Moth (Archiearis parthenias Linn.) was Aying in numbers in Dunwich Forest and in Blythburgh Fen Wood on 22nd and for some weeks afterwards. AFTER

Mr. and Mrs. E. C. Green reported seeing a Large Tortoiseshell (Nymphalis polychloros Linn.) at Playford on 13th April. Although this butterfly is seen in various parts of the country from time to time, it is no longer the common species it was some twenty years ago in many of our Suffolk woods. The Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus Linn.) which made a dramatic recovery two years ago was present in reasonable numbers in late spring and again in the autumn, but it was not nearly as common as in 1970 and 1971 and may be entering another period of decline, which it does periodically. DĂźring a Bird Section meeting at Minsmere on 21 st May, stems of water plantain in the nearby meadows were found to contain larvae and pupae of the Tortrix Moth (Phalonidia alismana Rag.) which subsequently produced imagines. This was considered a rarity by Claude Morley. The day-flying moth Geoffroy's Tubic (Oecophora geojfrella Linn.) was quite common in a lane in Walberswick in mid-June. Until the middle of July, in spite of quite warm days the nights were cool and clear and insects did not appear in any numbers until the nights warmed up. This warmer weather coincided with a visit to Suffolk of a party of entomologists and ornithologists belonging to the West Wickham Field Club. It must also have coincided with an immigration of Bedstraw Hawk Moths (Celerio galii Rott.) for two of these fine insects were attracted to the mercury vapour lights of Messrs. E. H. Wild and P. Renshaw and I hear that two more were taken in Lincolnshire and one in Hampshire on the same night and two seen in Herefordshire around the same period. Another migrant, the Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui Linn.) was seen in Walberswick on 15th July and for several days afterwards.


103 A few examples of this insect were seen by various people in September. At the Society's meeting in Haughley Park on 16th July a Comma Butterfly (Polvgonia C-album Linn.) of the Hatchinsoni form was sunning itself on a hedge and both Large Skipper (Ochlodes venata Br. and Grey) and Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris Poda) were quite common. In addition to several common geometer moths a specimen of the Pale Hooked Smudge (Ypsolophus nemorellus Linn.) was also seen. Several specimens of the Greater Tawny Tubic Moth (Batia lambdella Don.) were seen on 18th July around dead stems of gorse on which the larvae feed. This is a rather local species, but is fairly frequent on the East Suflolk heaths. DĂźring a visit to Redgrave and Lopham Fens on 20th July with Mr. C. W. Pierce many Ringlet Butterflies (Aphantopus hyperanthus Linn.) were seen. This species becomes less common nearer the coast. Also seen were the Silver Hook Moth (Eustrotia uncula Clerck.), the Scalloped Shell (Rhenmoptera undulata Linn.), a number of Tortrix Moths and Brown Wood Plume Moths (Stenoptilia pterodactyla Linn.). The Ist August was a really hot day and both the Small Skipper ('Thymelicus sylvestris Poda) and the Essex Skipper (T. lineola Ochs.) were Aying in numbers at Walberswick. These two butterflies are very much alike and may be distinguished by the colour of the underside of the knobs of the antennae which in T. sylvestris are orange-red and in T. lineola are black. On 2nd August I accompanied Mr. B. W. Weddell of Trowbridge to Walberswick marshes where we found the Rev. D. J. L. Agassiz and Dr. J. R. Langmaid already operating their portable mercury vapour lights. They had travelled down from Invernessshire that day and were later to return to London. It was a warm evening and the White-necked Wainscot (Nonagria neurica HĂźbn.) and Fenn's Wainscot (Arenostola brevilinea Fenn) were both Aying in numbers. This was interesting in view of the extensive Aooding of the marshes by the sea and the subsequent cutting and burning of the reeds. Unfortunately the Coast Dart (Euxoa cursoria Hufn.) appeared to have suffered by the Aooding as we only saw one specimen of this species on the sandhils, where it is usually so common. The Piain Gold-fringed Drill (Dichrorampha gueneeana Obr.) was Aying on Thorpeness beach on 3rd August and on the following evening several of the Double-spotted Honey Moth (Meilisoblaptes zelleri Joan.) were found sitting about after dark on the Southwold beach. SUFFOLK LEPIDOPTERA


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Suffolk Natural History, Vol. 16, Part 2

The Läppet Moth (Gastropacha quercifolia Linn.) and Browntail (Euproctis chrysorrhoea Linn.) appeared at Walberswick mercury vapour light on 8th August. The larvae of the latter moth were very common earlier at Dungeness, Kent and Orsett Essex Mr. C. W. Pierce saw many larval webs at Orsett, and as 1 passed the area later I noticed a long Stretch of hedge completely defoliated by the larvae. On 13th September the second specimen of the Bordered Echium Ermel (Ethmia bipunctella Fabr.) recorded for Suffolk since 1861 came to mercury vapour light at Walberswick. This species is frequent at Dungeness, but was thought to be extinct a few years ago. T h e larvae feed on Viper's Bugloss which is not common at Walberswick. Most of the autumn moths were present in normal numbers. This was particularly true of the Setaceous Hebrew Character (Amathes c-nigrum Linn.), the Autumnal Rustic {Amathes glareosa E s p ) and the Beaded Chestnut (Agrochola lychnidis Schiff.). I h e Feathered Ranunculus (Eumichtis lichenea Hübn.), Greenbrindled Crescent (Allophyes oxyacanthae Linn.), and Large Wainscot (Rhyzedra lutosa Hübn.) were also quite frequent. Apart from the appearance of the Bedstraw Hawk Moths in July and a few Painted Lady and Red Admiral Butterflies Immigration was almost negligible. T h e Silver-Y Moth was only present in moderate numbers and these were no doubt residents, whilst up to the middle of October no Clouded Yellow Butterflies, Rush Veneer or Rusty Dot Moths have been reported from East Anglia. H. E. Chipperfield, F.R.E.S., The Shieling, Palmer's Lane, Walberswick, Southwold, Suffolk.

Suffolk Lepidoptera in 1972  
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