Notes and Observations 34

Page 1


Suffolk Natural History,

Vol. 34

The Golden Hoverfly, Callicera spinolae Rondani-possible Suffolk sighting in 1997 Following Dr. Tony Irwin's mention of Mr. Ivan Perry's notes on the status of Callicera spinolae in Britain, I wrote to Mr. Perry, who kindly drew my attention to an English Nature publication which reports his recent recovery work on this species, some of it in Suffolk. It is very exciting to read that Mr.Perry is fairly certain that he saw a C. spinolae at TTiornham Magna on 20 September 1997 at 1.20 pm but it was high up and made only a brief visit to ivy-blossom on a dead tree. This was the only specimen observed in 1997 but English Nature's species recovery programme is scheduled to continue in the autumn of 1998. The 1997 survey covered various sites in Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk; it included searches for larvae in rot-holes and for imagines at ivy-blossom. It would be most encouraging if Claude Morley's supposition were proved to be correct, namely that this splendid hoverer could survive in Suffolk. Reference Rotheray, G. E. (1997). Callicera spinolae Species Recovery Interim Report, including recommendations forfuture work. English Nature, Peterborough. Alasdair Aston Lesser Golden Hoverfly, Callicera aurata Rossi 1790 (= Aenea Fabricius 1777) (Diptera: Syrphidae) new to Suffolk My interest in the Syrphid genus Callicera was recently revived by the arrival of two specimens of C. aurata at my cottage mv lamp in Seiborne, Hampshire, on 25 August 1995 and on 10 July 1996. Both specimens were named for me by Dr. Nigel Wyatt of the Natural History Museum. These two occurrences sent me back to the literature, where I was reminded that in 1942 Claude Morley at first thought his Callicera spinolae might be C. aurata, a species he noted as occurring singly in various counties but only regularly in the New Forest: he had not seen it in Suffolk. I was, therefore, delighted the other day to come across a note by Ivan Perry in the Dipterist's Digest to the effect that he had found several larvae of C. aurata on 12 March 1995 in a birch rot-hole at Tuddenham Heath, Suffolk, part of the Cavenham Heath National Nature Reserve. The larvae were identified by Dr. Graham E. Rotheray of the National Museums of Scotland. Mr. Perry's discovery is important for several reasons, one being the association with birch, which may help to explain the fly's occurrence away from beech, and another is the national extension of the ränge of C. aurata, which had not before been recorded from East Anglia. References Morley, C. (1942) Golden Hoverer-Fly new to Britain. Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc., 5: 14. Perry, 1.(1997). Callicera aurata in Suffolk found breeding in birch. Dipterist's Digest, 3: 53. Alasdair Aston

Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 34



Suffolk Natural History, Vol. 34

Kirby, P. (1992 ). A review of the scarce and threatened Hemiptera of Great Britain. UKNature Series No. 2. JNCC, Peterborough. Nau, B. S. (1984). Heteroptera Study Group Newsletter No 3, Institute of Terrestrial Ecology, Cambs. Nelson, B. (1995). The distribution of aquatic and semi-aquatic Heteroptera in Northern Ireland, Irish Biogeographical Society Bulletin 18(1): 66-130. Dublin. Savage, A. A. (1989). Adults of the British aquatic Hemiptera Heteroptera; Freshwater Biological Association. Scientific Publication No. 50. Ambleside. Southwood, T. R. E. & Leston, D. (1959). The land and water bugs of the British Isles. Warne, London. A. K. Chalkley 37 Brook Hall Road Boxford Sudbury Suffolk. C 0 1 0 5HS E. Mail The Freshwater Invertebrate Survey of Suffolk can be found on the world wide web at: The European Eared Leafhopper, Ledra aurita Linnaeus (Hemiptera: Homoptera: Cicadellidae) in Suffolk This curious-looking insect, measuring about 16mm long, is olive-green in colour and gains its name from the two flat thoracic projections somewhat resembling ears. It is sometimes illustrated in the literature from dead speeimens, which have usually lost their greenness and faded to a yellowish brown. The species is, however, the only representative of its group to be found in Europe and is considered to be unmistakeable. It is generally associated with oaks. In 1997, three adult speeimens flew to mv light here at Seiborne in Hampshire on 12 August and a further example on 20 August. They were jumping around the light-trap quite vigorously but were sluggish between leaps. Alerted thus to this species, I was later looking through my collection, where I found a speeimen I had taken in Stowmarket at light on 22 August 1959, but which had remained unidentified. In the autumn I was speaking to Martin Sanford, who kindly referred me to Claude Morley's note on L. aurita (Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc., 5: 37). Claude regarded the insect as everywhere rare, occurring in only nine English counties and seen by him but eight times in half a Century. The Stowmarket speeimen, it appears, may have been the second reported from West Suffolk. In an outline life-history, Morley remarks that imagines are to be seen between "3-8 July only". It will be noted that my Stowmarket singleton and the Seiborne quartet all arrived in the period 12-22 August. I would welcome any comments on the development dates and occurrence of this leaf-hopper. Alasdair Aston

Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 34 (1998)


Suffolk Natural History, Vol. 34

Conservation •

Monitor and assess any spread of the insect into any adjacent areas that have been artificially prepared (eg., cleared of Vegetation) with the express purpose of encouraging ant-lions to lay eggs there;

Formulate a broad land-management policy for the conservation of Euroleon nostras on the Suffolk Sandlings;

Acknowledgements Several people have been investigating or taking an interest in the Suffolk ant-lions independent of the present survey. It has been a pleasure to meet with these people and discuss the various aspects of the project with them. I am particularly pleased that all were immediately Willing to share their own observations and results and that it has therefore been possible to draw together in this report, I would therefore like to thank, in alphabetical order: Anglia Television, Steve Clarke (Suffolk Wildlife Trust), Richard Cottle, Nigel Cuming (North-east Essex Coleoptera Recorder), Mike Edwards (Entomological Consultant), Peter Harvey (Essex Hymenoptera Recorder), Penny Hemphill (MSc project Student), Rob Macklin (RSPB North Warren Reserve), Howard Mendel (Ipswich Museum), Simon Moss (National Trust, Dunwich Heath), Geoff Welch (RSPB Minsmere Reserve), Hilary Welch (RSPB Minsmere Reserve), David Wilson (Entomological Photographer), Richard Wilson (RSPB Minsmere Reserve). I also wish to express my thanks to the following people, also presented in alphabetical order, for their help in the project through pointing me to literature references and/or discussing the results with me: Dr Horst Aspöck (Vienna, Austria), Dr Charlie Gibson (Oxford, UK), Dr Andreas Hilliges (Pisa, Italy), Dr Agostino Letardi (Rome, Italy), Dr Roberto Pantaleoni (Sassari, Italy). References Aspöck, H., Aspöck, U. & Holzel, H. (1980). Die Neuropteren Europas. Goeke & Evers, Krefeld. Cottle, R„ Edwards, M. & Roberts, S. (1996). Euroleon nostras (Fourcroy, 1785) (Neur.: Myrmeleontidae) confirmed as breeding in Britain. Entomologist's Ree. J. War. 108: 1-5. Doughty, C. G. (1931). The ant-lion in Suffolk. Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc.,. 1: 228-229. Killington, F. J. (1932). The ant-lion , Myrmeleon formicarius Linn. (Neur.) in Britain. J. ent. Soc. South of England. 1: 22. Mendel, H. (1996). Euroleon nostras (Fourcroy, 1785) a British species and notes on ant-lions (Neuroptera: Myrmeleontidae) in Britain. Entomologist's Ree. J. War. 108: 1-5. Morley, C. (1931). The ant-lion in Suffolk. Footnote. Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 1: 229. Yasseri, A.M. & Parzefall, J. (1996). Life cycle and reproduetive behaviour of the antlion Euroleon nostras (Geoffroy in Fourcroy, 1785) in northern Germany (Insecta: Neuroptera: Myrmeleontidae). in Canard, M., Aspöck,

Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 34 (1998)



Mendel, H. & Piotrowski, S. H. (1986). The butterflies of Suffolk. Ipswich, Suffolk Naturalists' Society. Mendel, H. (1997). Camberwell Beauty Nymphalis antiopa L.: first recorded breeding in Britain? Entomologist's Record 109: 285. Stewart, R. G. (1996). 1995 - A record year for rare butterflies in Suffolk. Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 32: 6-16. Tucker M. (1997). The Red Admiral Butterfly. Dedham, British Butterfly Conservation Society. Richard Stewart (County Butterfly Recorder) Valezina 112 Westerfield Road Ipswich IP4 2XW Butterflies at Framlingham July 27th - August 4th No butterflies were seen on July 3Ist. Our observations on other dates were as follows Every day

Green-veined White Every day 28,2,3 Comma

All except 1,2

Purple Hairstreak


All except 1,2





Small Copper


Painted Lady



Every day

Large White

All except 29

Brown Argus


Small Tortoiseshell

All except 1

Meadow Brown

All except 1

Small White

Every day

Common Blue

All except 1,2

Every day



Small Skipper Holly Blue Large Skipper Red Admiral


All except 1

Observations were again made daily on walks in and around Framlingham As few Painted Ladies were reported in 1997, it was heartenmg to be able to photograph a specimen on July 28th just beyond Long Wood. Later that day a Purple Hairstreak was ßying round a roadside oak, some distance trom lts expected woodland habitats: perhaps the species can maintain populations on isolated trees. An unusual sighting of the Grayling on July• 29th was further evidence that it sometimes breaks out of its heathlands, as it did in July 1943 at Framlingham and in August 1944 at Stowmarket. Our three 1997 Brown Argus localities included a churchyard and a private garden, both conscientiously managed. Although our species count at 20 was an increase on last year s, the species-days total feil, owing mainly to sunless conditions on July 3Ist. Alasdair Aston

Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 34 (1998)



References Emmet, A. M. (1991). The moths and butterflies ofGreat Britain and Ireland. Vol. 7 ( 2 ) : 166.Colchester: Harley Books. FryerJ.C.F. (1938). Victoria County History of Cambridgeshire, 1: 154. Goater, B. (1986). British Pyralid Moths. Colchester: Harley Books. Griffith, A. F. (1881). Crambus verellus at Cambridge. The Entomologist, 14: 20. Griffith, A. F. (1932). Misidentification of Microlepidoptera. The Entomologist, 65: 164. Huggins, H. C. (1954). Notes on Microlepidoptera. The Entomologist's Record, 66: 54. Knaggs, H. G. (1873). Notes on new and rare British Lepidoptera in 1872. The Entomologist's Annual, 1873: 42. Morley, C. (1937). Final catalogue of the Lepidoptera of Suffolk. Ipswich: Suffolk Naturalists' Society, p. 126. Ramsay, C. H. (1872). Crambus verellus. Entomologist's Monthly Magazine, 9: 161. Vaughan, H. (1872). Crambus verellus. Entomologist's Monthly Magazine, 9: 88.

Alasdair Aston Wake's Cottage, Seiborne, Hampshire GU34 3JH Tachystola acroxantha (Meyr.) (Lepidoptera. Oecophoridae) reaches Suffolk. Several of this species were captured in a Heath trap in my back garden in the centre of Felixstowe starting in May 1997, and were still being found in September. A single specimen was then identified by Arthur Watchman, the county recorder for Suffolk, and later the identification was confirmed by A. M. Emmet. It is an Australian species that was previously recorded in the West Country in 1908. It spread slowly along the south coast until it could be found from Cornwall to Hampshire and Somerset. Then, in 1995, it appeared near Merseyside in Cheshire where it is extending its ränge (Emmet, pers. comm.). Now, in Felixstowe, this new colony could have two possible origins. Firstly it could have derived from one of the other British colonies, presumably carried around the coast by sea, or it could be a new influx into the busy port of Felixstowe direct from Australia. Felixstowe receives very little cargo from other ports in England so the most likely route is direct from Australia. However, it is still possible that the moth could be carried around the coast on the deck of any vessel that moves between ports, so it is not possible to be absolutely certain of the origin. The larval pabulum includes Eucalyptus and Berberis as well as decaying leaves so there may well be scope in this area for the species to spread as it has done in other locations. Many thanks to Arthur Watchman for the initial identification and to Maitland Emmet for the up-to-date information about its current status. Jon Nicholls, 18 Berners Road, Felixstowe, Suffolk, IP11 7LF.

Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc.



Suffolk Natural History, Vol. 34

Some Framlingham moths 1997 Perhaps our most interesting Observation was that of a varied Coronet, Hadena compta, which arrived at Market Hill, Framlingham, on August 2nd, just about 44 years after I had added it to the county list inland at Polstead: since then, most of the Suffolk records seem to have been coastal. I was also pleased to be reminded of another county novelty (from 1959), Wakely's dowd, Blastobasis decolorella, a run of which appeared this year on 28th,30th July and Ist August. The long-winged shade, Cnephasia longana, which is generally a littoral or chalk-down speciality, was again abundant in 1997 at Saxstead Green on 27th July and 3rd, 4th August. As longana is polyphagous on herbaceous plants, there is no clear explanation for its concentrations in that area. At Framlingham there were more than usual moss-feeding Scopariinae, including the whitethorn grey, Dipleurina lacustrata, on 27th July; the rustic grey, Eudonia truncicolella, on 27th, 3Ist July; the small grey, Eudonia mercurella, on 3Ist July Ist, 2nd, 3rd August, together with a species whose life-history is not yet known, the mottled grey, Scoparia basistrigalis, on 28th July. Other Pyralids included the brown china-mark, Elophila nymphaeata, the larva of which is aquatic, on 28th July; the large tabby, Aglossa pinguinalis, a chaff-feeder which skulks in the shadows along Church Street, on 28th, 29th, 3Ist July; the porphyry knot-horn, Numonia suavella, an attractive blackthorn species, on 30th, 3Ist July and Ist August; the meal moth, Pyralis farinalis, formerly common in stored cereals, on 4th August; the pale straw pearl, Udea lutealis, typically at roadside knapweed flowers on 27th, 29th July and 3rd,4th August and, lastly, the chequered grass-veneer, Catoptria falsella, on 4th August. It is imperative that every example of this grass-moth be inspected carefully to see whether its excessively rare congener, verellus, can be found in Suffolk, whence it has twice been reported in error. On 28th July I was delighted to see the twenty plume moth, Alucita hexadactyla, which Claude Morley regarded as common, but which I had not previously seen in Suffolk, even where its foodplant, honeysuckle, was evident. Another pleasing sight was Alstromer's flat-body, Agonopterix alstromeriana, a whitish Oecophorid partial to hemlock. A series of the dwarf cream wave, Idaea fiiscovenosa, (on 27th, 28th, 30th July) prompts me to mention that this is species no.302 in Morley's Final Catalogue and that the species he mentions on page 58 as occurring in Norfolk is the silky wave, Idaea dilutaria Hb. Apart from the old lady moth, Mormo maura, that nearly brought traffic to a standstill near Saxstead Bottom, very few larger moths were seen but notable was the lateness of the ghost swift, Hepialus humuli, with females at light on 1 st and 2nd August. Remarkable, also, was the considerable tea-time flight of the least yellow underwings, Noctua interiecta caliginosa, on 2nd and 4th August. The purple thorn, Selenia tetralunaria, flew to light on 3rd August, the first I had seen in the Framlingham area. The only migrant we saw was the diamond-back, Plutella xylostella on 28th July. Back in Hampshire it persisted until late November and even resurfaced on 1 Ith January 1998! Alasdair Aston Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 34 (1998)



Simpson, F. W. (1982). Simpson's Flora of Suffolk. Ipswich. Suffolk Naturalists' Society. Stace, C. A. (1991). New Flora of the British Isles, 2nd edition. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge. E. M. Hyde, Parkside, Woolverstone, Ipswich, Suffolk IP9 1AR

F. W. Simpson, 40 Ruskin Road, Ipswich, Suffolk CP4 1PT

Notes on some Bryophvtes recorded in Suffolk during 1997 Epiphytes have again proved to a major source of interest. The most exciting discovery of the year was made by David Strauss when he found Orthotrichum tenellum on an old willow near Thorpness, it is probably the first time it has been found in East Anglia this Century. With it were Frullania dilatata and Orthotrichum lyelii which have turned up at other sites as well, as have Tortula papillosa and Cryphaea heteromalla. Another curiosity was Tortella tortuosa which was found on a boulder in the rockery in the garden of Shrubland Hall. This only occurs in East Anglia on the Devil's Ditch in Cambridgeshire, but was introduced into the Cambridge Botanic Garden, on limestone in 1955. The rockery at Shrubland Hall was constructed in 1832, so if was introduced then it has survived for 165 years, or it has found its way there more recently, either way it deserves to be added to the Suffolk bryophyte flora. Other noteworthy records during the year have been Dicranum tauricum from Waveney Forest, Cirriphyllum crassinervum from Norton Wood and Pohlia whalenbergia from Gittin Wood. Two meetings were held in the Spring of 1997. The first was to Burgate Wood in February which lived up to expectations, and produced many interesting species. Campylium calcareum from the northem edge of the wood was new to Suffolk, but also of note were Brachythecium salebrosum, Orthotrichum lyelii, Anomodon viticulosus and Cryphaea heteromalla. In March a visit was made to Maidscross Hill, Lakenheath where we hoped to refind Racomitrium canescens. This was accomplished but most remarkably, one clump had a number of capsules, only the second time this species has been observed with sporophytes in Britain, and the first time in England, the other occurrence being on sand dunes in Angus. Also recorded on this visit were Aloina aloides var. ambigua, Encalypta vulgaris and Climacium dendroides. At the end of the year we visited Middle Wood, Offton where the trunks of many of the old coppice ash were thickly clothed in Porella platyphylla, Neckera complanata, Metzgeria furcata, Radula complanata and Anomodon viticulosa. In addition we recorded Ephemerum senatum, Ulota phyllantha, Tortula virescens and Chiloscyphus pallescens. Richard Fisk 1 Paradise Row, Ringsfield, Beccles, Suffolk NR34 8LQ

Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 34 (1998)