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SUFFOLK LEPIDOPTERA IN 1980 H. E.

CHIPPERFIELD

Although it was generally considered to be a late season, Apocheima pilosaria D. & S., the pale brindled beauty, put in an appearance at Walberswick on 9th February. This was followed by the emergence of Theria primaria Haw. (rupicapraria auct.), the early moth, on the 16th and Xylocampa areola Esp., the early grey, on the 29th. The first Biston strataria Hufn., oak beauty, came to my M.V. light on 27th March and my second Suffolk specimen of Acleris cristana D. & S., whitetufted button, a tortrix moth, on the 28th. This small insect emerges in the autumn and hibernates in blackthorn thickets, wrapping its wings partly round a twig, and appears on the wing again in the early spring. D체ring the last few days in March the commoner Orthosia species, the "Qu채kers", were in their usual numbers. In addition to being attracted to bright light these moths are commonly found feeding at sallow blossom after dark. The day-flying moth Archiearis parthenias Linn., orange underwing, was about in Blythburgh Fen Wood on 5th April and I saw the first Gonepteryx rharnni Linn., brimstone butterfly, at Walberswick on the 6th. Whilst beating a sallow bush in the Suffolk Trust's Reserve at Redgrave/Lopham Fen on the 19th of the month I was surprised to find a specimen of the tiny moth Heliozela sericiella Haw.. satin Lift, on my beating tray. Celastrina argiolus Linn., the holly blue butterfly, and Anthocharis cardamines Linn., the orange-tip, were both quite common in Suffolk, appearing first at Walberswick on the 4th and 13th May respectively. The holly blue was also quite common as a second brood in August. On 24th May the noctuid moth Lacanobia w-latinum Hufn.. light brocade. came to my M. V. trap and it proved to be rather more plentiful than usual. Chloroclystis chloerata Mab., the sloe pug, was first discovered in the British Isles in Surrey by Mr. E. C. Pelham-Clinton of the Royal Scottish Museum, Edinburgh, in May 1971. Hitherto it had been confused with its commoner relative C. rectangulata Linn., the green pug. Since its discovery it has been found in many counties in the southern half of England, but to date has escaped detection in Suffolk. However, I beat a larva out of blackthorn blossom at Brockdish just over the Norfolk border which produced a specimen of the moth on 3 Ist May. Surely this species only awaits discovery in Suffolk? On the way to a field meeting of the society at Lakenheath on 17th May I stopped for a while at Elveden and found larval casesof the coleophorid moth Coleophora laricella H체bn., the larch case-bearer, commonly on the larches and saw a Pararge aegeria Linn., the speckled wood butterfly, in the woods. Mr. R. Eley said this butterfly was very common in the King's Forest in 1980. D체ring 1979 and this year I have paid several visits to Rookery Farm. Monewden, at the invitation of the Honorary Warden Mrs. Evangeline Dickson, who is anxious to make as comprehensive a list as possible of all the wild-life on this reserve of the Suffolk Trust for Conservation. The meadow where insect recording takes place is rieh in interesting flora and has also a Trans. Suffolk

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variety of trees and bushes in the hedges. With the assistance of a few visiting entomologists we have so far listed 108 species of lepidoptera. Among these are Menophra abruptaria T h u n b . , waved umber, Horisme vitalbata D . & S., small waved u m b e r , Selenia lunularia H ü b n . , lunar thorn, Eupithecia inturbata H ü b n . , maple pug, Sphinx ligustri Linn., privet hawk-moth, Smerinthus ocellata L i n n . , eyed hawk-moth, Laothoe populi Linn., poplar hawkm o t h , a fine specimen of the distinct form ferrugana of Agapeta zoegana L i n n . , Z o e g a ' s conch, and a Ypsolopha horridella Treits., the dark smudge, which had not been recorded in Suffolk in 1937 when the lepidoptera " M e m o i r s " were published by Claud Morley. O n 4th July a Mythimna obsoleta H ü b n . , the obscure wainscot, came to the M . V. light at Walberswick. This local species seems to be extending its ränge as M r . C. W. Pierce has taken it in recent years at N e e d h a m Market. An Apeira syringaria L i n n . , lilac beauty, was seen on 6th July. This is not a very c o m m o n species in Suffolk. O n 13th August an example of Photodes fluxa H ü b n . , the mere wainscot, came to my actinic light on the outskirts of D u n w i c h Forest. This species is found in West Suffolk in the Mildenhall area, but as far as I am aware has not been recorded from the eastern coastal area before. M r . Barry G o a t e r , a visiting lepidopterist gave me a list of species seen in the Walberswick area in early August, the more interesting being Spaelotis ravidaD. & S., stout dart, Parastichtissuspecta H ü b n . , the suspected, Deileptenia ribeata Cl., satin beauty and 12 Hyloicus pinastri Linn., pine hawkm o t h s , all in Dunwich Forest. T h e total n u m b e r o f species seen there was 114. A t Walberswick he n o t e d 8 2 Autographagamma Linn., silver-Y, a migratory n o c t u i d , in his trap on 14th August. M r . L. S. Bloomfield of Ipswich saw a Polygonia c-album Linn., the c o m m a butterfly, on the blossoms of a hebe shrub in his garden on 13th July. This insect does not seem to be as common as it was some years ago, but it is g o o d to know that it still survives in our county. M r . A r t h u r W a t c h m a n , in addition to recording lepidoptera on some of the Suffolk Trust's Reserves, the results of which are the subject of a separate article, also sent in notes on his observations at his home in M o n k s Eleigh and s o m e o t h e r habitats in Suffolk. In common with other observers he found that Cynthia cardui Linn., the painted lady, had a good season, in fact he describes it as a b u n d a n t . Many of the earlier moths, especially Orthosia gothica Linn., the h e b r e w character, and Orthosia incerta H u f n . , the clouded drab, were in g o o d n u m b e r s but he found that the most abundant moth during the year was Eilema lurideola Z i n c k . , the c o m m o n f o o t m a n , with over 1()0 in his moth trap on o n e occasion. O t h e r interesting species, recorded were Thera juniperata L i n n . , juniper c a r p e t , Aleucis distinctata H.-S., sloe carpet, both local species, Apeira syringaria Linn., lilac beauty, Selenia lunularia H ü b n . , lunar t h o r n , Spaelotis ravida D. & S., stout dart, Apamea ophiogramma Esp., d o u b l e lobed, Ennomos autumnaria W e r n e b . , large thorn, Furcula furcula C l . , sallow kitten, Ptilophora plumigera D. & S., plumed prominent, and a nicely m a r k e d specimen of Nycteola revayana Scop., oak nycteoline. The most i m p o r t a n t record was, however, the appearance for the first time in Suffolk of Lithophane leautieri Boisd., Blair's shoulder-knot. Mr. Watchman

Traus.

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saw two examples on 30th September and 26th October. This moth, whose larva feeds on various species of cypress and juniper, was first discovered at Freshwater in the Isle of Wight by the late Dr. K. G. Blair on 26th October 1951. From there it spread to the South Coast, its ränge extending from Kent to Devonshire, and more recently to Somerset and northwards to the Midlands, but Mr. Watchman's specimens are the first to be recorded from anywhere in the Eastern Counties. Dr. Blair was an original member of the Suffolk Naturalist's Society and in addition to finding L. leautieri he also was the first to discover Sedina buettneri Her., Blair's wainscot on 26th September, 1945 and Cyclophora puppillaria H ü b n . , Blair's mocha on 2nd October 1946. Mr. Watchman also recorded Noctua orbona H u f n . , lunar yellow underwing, on 5th September at Thetford Heath and at Pashford Poors Fen on 18th July, Apamea scolopacinu Esp., the slender brindle on 25th July in Cutler's W o o d , Freston, and a specimen of the pyralid moth Eurrhypara perlucidalis H ü b n . , the lucid pearl. This small moth was first discovered by the late Robin Mere at Wood Walton Fen in 1951 and has since been found in a number of places, usually marshy districts, including Walberswick. Most of the usual autumn moths were present at Walberswick, but a notable exception was Xestia agathina Dup., the heath rustic, which is usually quite c o m m o n . A heath fire destroyed quite a large area of heather, but this should not have affected the species to the extent that none was seen. Several Ennomos autumnaria Werneb., the large thorn, came to my M.V. light including two females, one of which laid a batch of eggs. On 2 Ist J u n e Mr. Allerton of Lowestoft reported a colony of Sesia apiformis Cl., the hörnet clearwing, emerging from a poplar along the A12 road just outside Lowestoft, and Mr. S. Piotrowski of Ipswich witnessed the emergence of about 30 of these moths at Cobham Road Waterworks, Ipswich. Mr. C. W. Pierce of Needham Market sent in some observations of the relative abundance of certain species in his area. He found that Cryphia domestica H u f n . (Cryphia perla Schiff.), the marbled beauty, was greatly reduced in numbers when heavy docks traffic passed through the village, but since the opening of the by-pass they are Coming back, probably because there is less pollution. He also remarked that both Furcula furcula Cl., the sallow kitten and Ptilodontella cucullina D. & S., the maple prominent, had become less common than formerly. Mr. R. Eley of Nowton, near Bury St. Edmunds, agreed with most entomologists that 1980 was a rather poor season for moths and butterflies. However, he had several interesting records. In addition to the speckled wood butterfly he also reported Celastrina argiolus Linn., the holly blue, Anthocharis cardamines Linn., the orange-tip, Aricia agestis D. & S., the brown argus, and Erynnis tages Linn., the dingy skipper as being very common in the King's Forest. He also saw 10 specimens of Rliyacia simulans H u f n . , the dotted rustic, which he feels must be breeding locally. Migrants, he found, were few except for Cynthia cardui Linn., the painted lady. Other migrants of which he saw single examples were Colias croceus G e o f f r . , the clouded yellow, Acherontia atropos Linn., the death's-head hawkmoth, and Rhodometra sacraria Linn., the vestal.

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Mr. Julian Clarke, a Surrey lepidopterist, sent in a list of species recorded by him on Walberswick marshes in early August. Most of the 104 listed were typical of the area including Archanara neurica HĂźbn., the white-mantled wainscot and Photedes brevilinea Fenn., Fenn's wainscot, but his Ennomos quercinaria H u f n . , the August thorn, is not a common species and Spaelotis ravida D. & S., the stout dart, is unpredictable in its appearance. Our member Mr. Clive Naunton had nothing unusual to report at his moth trap but saw good numbers of holly blue and painted lady butterflies in several different districts. He also reported two Macroglossum stellatarum Linn, humming-bird hawk-moths, one in his garden at Oulton Broad hovering over valerian and the other at Benacre. This insect is a well-known migrant, but has not been seen as frequently in recent years as formerly, even on the south coast. Apart from the painted lady butterfly, which seems to have been common over most of the country, migrant species were few and far between. Even the silver-Y moth was not as common as usual, but most resident species appear to be holding their own in spite of the continuing loss of habitat. H. E. Chipperfield, Walberswick, Suffolk.

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Suffolk Lepidoptera in 1980  
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