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SUFFOLK LEPIDOPTERA, 1975 H. E. CHIPPERFIELD

APART from a few frosts in the early months of the year Suffolk had yet another very mild winter. So mild was it in December that a Common Newt was seen in my garden on the evening of the 22nd and in Surrey some moths normally not out until the spring were seen before the end of the year. Although not quite as early in SufTolk the Early Grey (Xylocampa areola Esp.) appeare on the 3Cth January, which is about six weeks earlier than usual. ThefirstPale Brindled Beauty (Phigalia pedaria Fabr.) was se on 14th February and from then onwards the usual common spring and early summer species appeared in fair numbers. Among the butterflies the three common whites and the Orangetip (Anthocharis cardamines Linn.) were all quite plentiful during May, but the Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus Linn.) was absent or at least very uncommon. On 19th May the small day-flying moth Oehlmann's Bright (Lampronia oehlmanniella Treits.) was Aying in numbers am the birches at Barton Mills, on which the larval cases of the Ravenfeather Case (Coleophora fuscedinella Zell.) were quite plentiful. Many Dwarf Pug moths (Eupithecia tantillaria Boisd.) flew out of the small spruce trees in Dunwich Forest on 27th. Also in Dunwich Forest on 8th June a few Frisch's Gold Longhorn (AdelafibulellaSchiff.) were seen among a large patch of their larval food-plant the Germander Speedwell. Whilst watching these small moths a Broad-borderecl Bee Hawkmoth (Hemaris fuciformis Linn.) was seen hovering over the same patch. Later on Mr. S. J. Rafferty reported seeing a number of these dayflying moths in his Walberswick garden and on 30th June I watche one hovering over valerian in my garden at 5.30 p.m. The usual time offlightof this species is said to be between 10 a.m. and noon On 13th June a specimen of the Bordered Echium Ermel (Ethmia bipunctella Fabr.) was attracted to the light trap in garden. This is the third time this species has appeared in Walberswick where its food-plant the Viper's Bugloss is very uncommon and the moth itself was thought at one time to have become extinct. However it is now well established at Dungeness, Kent. Also in mid-June three examples of Wakely's Dowd (Blastobasis decolorella Woll.) emerged from some of the hips collected the previous autumn in the hope of rearing one of the tortrix moths. Wakely's Dowd wasfirstfound in the Herne Hill district of London by Mr. Stanley Wakely in the early 1930s and was named after him by I. R. P. Fleslop when he produced his Check List in 1964. The larval food is stated by L. T. Ford to be fallen and decaying leaves and dead insects. Its


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discovery in rose hips is therefore of interest. T h e moth has spread rapidly up the East Coast and I first took it at Aldeburgh in 1959. On 4th July an evening visit to the Redgrave/Lopham Fen Reserve produced, in addition to the species of macrolepidoptera listed by M r . C. W. Pierce in his report, the pyrale the Orangerayed Pearl (Nascia cilialis Hübn.) and the tortrix the Purplish Marble (Celypha purpurana Haw.). In Dunwich Forest at actinic light on 26th July a single Roundwinged Muslin Footman (Comacla senex Hübn.) appeared. This is a common moth in the marshes but the place vvhere found is a considerable distance from the nearest marshy ground. Also seen on this occasion were the Ling Pug (Eupithecia goossensiata Mab.) and the Beautiful Twist (Lozotaeniod.es formosana Fröl.) a pine-feeding tortrix moth first found in Surrey by R. W. Parfitt in 1947, and which has now spread into the Eastern Counties, where it is no doubt not welcomed by the foresters. Fenn's Wainscot (Arenostola brevilinea Fenn.) was particularly common in Walberswick Marshes on 30th July, but the Whitenecked Wainscot (Nonagria neurica Hübn.) was not as plentiful as usual, probably because of the much greater cutting and burning of the reeds during the winter than in the previous year. T h e larva of this species feeds in the reed stems during the winter. T h e Silky Wainscot (Chilod.es tnaritima Tausch.) was quite numerous including its aberrations bipunctata and wismariensis. On 5th August a visit was made to Dunwich Forest with M r . B. W. Weddell and Baron Charles de Worms. It turned out to be a perfect night for night-flying moths and we recorded a total of 120 species of macrolepidoptera which are detailed in Baron de Worms' separate report. In addition we saw a number of interesting tortrices of which the Pine Hook-tipped Twist (Archips piceana Linn.) was the best. T h i s species is not mentioned in Claude Morley's 1937 list of Suffolk Lepidoptera and it is described as local and uncommon by Edward Meyrick. Mr. Donald Down found a specimen in Dunwich Forest in 1974. Mr. Brian Brown of the Lowestoft Field Club reported the finding of a larva of the Alder M o t h (Apatele alni Linn.) at Oulton Broad on 19th August. Whilst the advent of the mercury vapour lamp has shown that this insect is much commoner than once thought, it is still quite an event to find the larva. Several specimens of the White-banded Carpet (Euphyia luctuata Schiff.) were seen in Thetford Forest just over the Norfolk border on 28th August. This insect was only discovered as a breeding species in 1950, and was thought to be confined to Kent and Sussex. T h e food-plant of the larva is Rose-bay


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Suffolk Natural History, Vol. 17, Part 2

Willowherb, which is plentiful in the Breck District and I understand from Mr. John Fenn of Hockwold that the moth is quite common at Lakenheath. A single Stout Dart (Spaelotis ravida Schiff.) came to M. V. light on 2nd September. This moth is most erratic in its appearances and is sometimes absent for several years. On 1 Ith the light attracted a Pale Eggar (Trichiura crataegi Linn.) which is not a very common moth in Suffolk. I was surprised to find a freshly-emerged Grey Pine Carpet (Thera obeliscata HĂźbn.) sitting on some bracken in Dunwich Forest on 12th November. In spite of the hot summer many of our native butterflies were not particularly common. I saw no Holly Blues (Celastrina argiolus Linn.), but Mr. S. Beaufoy said that the Silver-studded Blue (Plebejus argus Linn.) was common on Martlesham Heath although it seems to have disappeared from some of its other Suffolk haunts. The Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae Linn.) and Peacock (Nymphalis io Linn.) were quite common in the early autumn but the migrant Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta Linn.) and Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui Linn.) were only present in small numbers. A great many Large Garden Whites (Pieris brassicae Linn.) appeared in August, probably the result of an immigration. The larvae of these and the Small Garden White (Pieris rapae Linn.) later played havoc with the cabbage plants. Of the immigrant moths few were reported from Suffolk although in the south-west there was quite an invasion. However Mr. Brian Brown noted a Convolvulus Hawkmoth (Herse convolvuli Linn.) at Oulton on 17th September. Mr. Arthur Watchman found larvae of the Bedstraw Hawkmoth (Hyles gallu Rott.) feeding on fuschia in Ipswich and Mr. Cliff Waller, warden of Walberswick Nature Reserve, found one larva of this species on Weeting Heath just over the Norfolk border. Altogether a mixed season, making a slow Start, but improving after mid-summer. H. E. Chipperfield, F.R.E.S.,

Walberswick,

Suffolk.

Suffolk Lepidoptera, 1975  
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