SOME RECORDS OF LEPIDOPTERA IN SUFFOLK FOR 1972 BARON DE W O R M S
THE year 1972 will long be remembered as one of the leanest for butterflies and moths in general with a distinct lack of migrant species, while it was also one of the latest on record for times of emergences of the individual insects. However, as already referred to, there was one ray of light to relieve the gloom. This was a small immigration of the Bedstraw Hawk Moth (Celerio galii Rott.) which occurred about mid-July when some real summer set in after an extremely unpropitious period from April onwards with one of the coldest Junes ever known. Fortunately Suffolk had its share of these spectacular moths with two taken at light on the night of 14th July at Walberswick by Mr. T. Renshaw and Mr. E. H. Wild. Suffolk seems to have had its fair share of this fine insect which bred for a number of years regularly in a remote part of Norfolk. As usual several residents in the County have very kindly sent in their records for the year which has been much appreciated. Of these Mr. Charles Pierce has contributed quite a list from the Needham Market area where he says it has been a comparatively poor season. The Prominents have been scarce with only three of the Coxcomb Prominent (Lophopteryx capucina Linn.), while the Hooktips have been almost non-existent. The ubiquitous Silver-Y (Plusia gamma Linn.) only appeared very late in the year and then only very sparsely, while the Varied Coronet [Hadena compta Schiff.), the Sallow Kitten (Harpyia furcula Clerck.), and the V-Pug, all usually so common, only turned up on very few occasions. On the other hand the Hawk Moths were more numerous than usual in particular the Small Elephant (Deilephila porcellus Linn.) and the Eyed (Smerinthus ocellatus L.). The Sycamore (Apatele aceris Linn.) and the Miller (A. leporina Linn.) visited the light more frequently than for many years. The Marbled Coronet (Hadena conspersa Schiff.) was plentiful in June as also were the Dusky Sallow (Eremobia ochroleuca Schiff.) and the Mullein Wave (Scopula conjugata Borkh.). Other species not often seen which appeared during the summer were the Suspected (Parastichtis suspecta Hübn.), the Yellow-barred Brindle (Acasis viretata Hübn.), the Lilac Beauty (Apeira syringaria Linn.), and the Yellow Belle (Aspitates ochrearia Rossi). The White Colon (Heliophobus albicolon Hübn.) appeared on 16th June only the second record for the locality, as also was a Barred Rivulet (Perizoma bifaciata Haworth) on 18th July, though its foodplant, the Red Bartsia is prevalent in the area. But one of the
Suffolk Natural History, Vol. 16, Part 2
most surprising captures was the Powdered Wainscot (Sitnyra venosa Borkh.) on 14th August, a newcomer to Needham Market. This marshland species probably breeds in the local river Valleys. Mr. William Storey also reports several interesting captures at Great Bealings near Woodbridge. An uncommon variety of the Garden Tiger (Arctia caja Linn.) with yellow instead of red hindwings graced his mercury vapour trap on 27th July. T h e Stout Dart (Spaelotis ravida Schiff.) again put in an appearance, but in smaller numbers than in 1971. This insect is always a welcome visitor especially as it seems to be supplemented by inimigration. The Eastern Counties seem to be its chief home. The Large Thorn (Ennomos autumnaria Werb.) reappeared in the autumn as well as the Black Rustic (Aporophyla nigra Haworth) which has only recently extended its ränge into Suffolk. T h e Rev. Guy Ford also mentions what a lean season it has been in his neighbourhood at Norton not far from Bury St. Edmunds, but unexpected species occurred in his garden moth-trap, mainly of the Wainscot series. One of the most interesting was the Flame Wainscot (Meliana flammea Curt.) which is found mainly as an insect inhabiting the coastal marshes of the County, though it has appeared in the extreme western regions near Mildenhall. The Obscure Wainscot (Leucania obsoleta Hübn.) was another welcome arrival, an insect seldom seen in any numbers and extremely local, also the Twin-spotted Wainscot (Nonagria geminipuncta Haworth), the larva of which inhabits stems of the common reed (Phragmites), but another species whose larva also bores into reed stems was found to be quite common in the vicinity, namely the Brownveined Wainscot (Nonagria dissoluta Treits.). T h e autumn months saw the appearance of the Bulrush Wainscot (Nonagria typhae Thunb.) and the Large Wainscot (Rhizedra lutosa Hübn.). Also near Bury St. Edmunds, at Boxted, Mr. R. J. Barnard has seen a number of interesting species during 1972. These include the Emperor Moth (Saturnia pavonia Linn.) never very common in the County. Among the noctuid moths worthy of note were the Double Dart (Graphiphora augur F.), the Pale Shining Brown (Polia nitens Haworth), the Sprawler (Brachionycha sphinx Hufn.), the Large Rununculus (Antitype flavicincta Schiff.), the Dusky Sallow (Eremobia ochroleuca Schiff.). Among the geometrid moths there were the Small Emerald (Hemistola immaculata Schiff.), the Large Twin-spot Carpet (Xanthorhoe quadrifasciaria Clerck.), always a scarce insect the Dark Umber (Philereme transversata Hufn.) a buckthorn feeder, and the White-pinion Spotted (Bapta bimaculata Fab.). From the extreme western fringe of Suffolk at Tuddenham, Mr. R. Revell records the Heath Rustic (Amathes agathina Dup.), the pretty little Purple and Gold (Sterrha muricata Hufn.), the
SOME RECORDS OF LEPIDOPTERA IN SUFFOLK
Piain Wave (Sterrha straminata Borkh.), and the Lunar-spotted Pinion (Cosmia pyralina Schiff.). I did not visit the County myself during 1972. 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.