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SUFFOLK LEPIDOPTERA, 1974 H . E . CHIPPERFIELD ONCE again after a mild winter we had an indifferent spring with many warm days but cold nights. The sunshine brought out a larva of the Cream-spot Tiger Moth (Arctia villica Linn.) on 26th January but nothing further of note occurred until 26th March when the day-flying moth the Orange Underwing (Archiearis parthenias Linn.) was to be seen in some numbers among the birch trees in Dunwich Forest. Very little was seen at Staverton Thicks on the evening of 26th April when I joined a party of Ipswich Naturalists there. Before we left the temperature went down to freezing point.

The three common white butterflies and the Orange-tip (Anthocharis cardamines Linn.) were out in good numbers in late April and early May but I looked for the first brood of the Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus Linn.) in vain. This species seems to be having a decline since its abundance two or three years ago. A specimen of the Scarce Tissue (Rheumaptera cervinalis Scop.) came to M.V. light on 23rd May. This species, whose larva feeds on barberry, is more often found in West Suffolk. T h e Grey Birch (Aethalura punctulata Schiff.) was found sitting about on the birch trunks in Blythburgh Fen Wood on 24th May, and on the evening of the same day a n u m b c r of species were attracted to actinic light in D u n w i c h Forest, the most notable being the Great Prominent (Notodonta trepida Esp.) and Maiden's Blush (Cosymbia punctaria Linn.), while in the same area on 3Ist May the Dwarf Pug (Eupithecia tantillaria Boisd.) was quite common among spruce and the tiny Frisch's Gold Long-horn (Adela fibulella Schiff.) was seen sunning itself on its food-plant the Germander Speedwell. The common Hawk Moths, Poplar (Laothoe populi Linn.) and Eyed (Smerinthus ocellata Linn.) appeared in Walberswick at the end of May and the former seemed to be about throughout the summer, the various broods apparently overlapping. The Privet Hawk (Sphinx ligustri Linn.) was also quite common and a Pine Hawk (Hyloicus pinastri Linn.) was seen on 30th June. The latter was quite common in Dunwich Forest in July. Both species of Elephant Hawk were also quite common. The Cream-spot Tiger (Arctia villica Linn.) was one of the commonest moths at light in Dunwich Forest on 16th June. Also seen on this occasion were the Lobster Moth (Stauropus fagi Linn.) and the Marbled Brown Prominent (Drymonia dodonaea Schiff.). Thorpeness on 17th June in very windy conditions produced mostly tortrices including the Rest-harrow Piercer



(Collicularia microgrammana Guen.), the Tessellated Conch (Phalonia tesserana Schiff.) and the Straight-barred Marble (Celypha striana Schiff.). Düring a visit to the Breck District on 18th June with Mr. Jack Newton, a Gloucestershire lepidopterist, a number of the Breckland Grey (Lithostege griseata Schiff.) were disturbed from the Iarval foodplant flixweed, but we saw no sign of the Viper's Bugloss Moth (Anepia irregularis Hufn.). On 21st June the Lyme Grass Wainscot (Arenostola elymi Treits.) and Sand Dart (Agrotis ripae Hübn.) were out and in fresh condition when I visited the sandhills at Southwold with Mr. Newton. There were a number of Brown Scallop Moths {Philereme vetulata Schiff.) settled on the Suffolk Trust for Nature Conservation's störe building at Lopham Fen on 6th July. This buckthorn-feeding species is a further addition to Mr. Charles Pierce's Redgrave/Lopham Fen List. Among a large number of moths attracted to our lights during an evening trip to Dunwich Forest on 25th July with Mr. B. W. Weddell were several Pine Hawks and Buff Footmen (Eiletna deplana Esp.) and Mr. Weddell found one specimen of the Satin Beauty (Deileptenia ribeata Clerck.) which seems to be a new Suffolk record as Claude Morley wrote in the 1937 Memoirs 'Deileptenia abietaria Hb. (ribeata Clerck.) ranges as far north as only Essex, but might possibly affect Coniferae north of the Stour'. I understand from Mr. R. Eley, a Norfolk naturalist, that the species is quite common among spruce in parts of Thetford Chase in Norfolk. A Humming-bird Hawk Moth (Macroglossum stellatarum Linn.) was seen hovering over valerian in my garden at Walberswick on 27th July and another (possibly the same insect) appeared during a field meeting of the British Entomological and Natural History Society at Walberswick on 3rd August. In each case the moth was attacked by a sparrow and, it was thought, caught and eaten by the bird at the second attempt. During the weekend meeting 154 different species of moths were recorded from the Walberswick marshes and Southwold sandhills. These included 23 Bombyces, 74 Noctuoidea and 31 Geometroidea, and all the local specialities turned up, Fenn's Wainscot (Arenostola brevilinea Fenn) being particularly plentiful. Among the more unusual species were the Maple Prominent (Lophopteryx cucullina Schiff.), Kent Black Arches (Nola albula Schiff.) and Vine's Rustic (Caradrina ambigua Schiff.). During the rest of August and September the usual autumn moths began to appear and then the cold, wet period set in which


Suffolk Natural History, Vol. 16, Part 6

greatly reduced collecting opportunities. Migrants to the Suffolk coast were very few and far between. A few Silver-Y (Plusia gamma Linn.) appeared and I saw two Rush Veneer Pearls (Nomophila noctuella Schiff.) only. DĂźring a break in the clouds in late July a single male Silver-studded Blue butterfly (Plebejus argus Linn.) was seen on Dunwich Common and several of the second brood Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus Linn.) were seen. There was quite an influx of the Large Garden White (Pieris brassicae Linn.), but the Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta Linn.) was far less plentiful than in 1973 and very few Painted Ladies (Vanessa cardui Linn.) were seen. Among the resident butterflies the Peacock (Nymphalis io Linn.) and Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae, Linn.) were both less common than usual and only a few Comma (Polygonia c-album Linn.) were seen. At a Bird Section outing on 6th October larvae of the Fox Moth (Macrothylacia rubi Linn.) were very common among rough Vegetation at Sizewell. II. E. Chipperfield, F.R.E.S.,

The Shieling, Walberswick.

Suffolk Lepidoptera, 1974