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COMMENTS AND NOTES ON SOME SUFFOLK MOTHS IN 2004 TONY PRICHARD The discovery in Suffolk of a resident moth species new to the country is rather an infrequent occurrence so the confirmation of the presence in Suffolk of Ectoedemia hannoverella (Glitz) was a notable event for 2004. JC and myself were leaf-miner recording at Howlett Hills, Mildenhall on 25 September 2002, where we spotted some blotch leaf-mines in some Populus × canadensis, Italian poplar, leaves that had fallen to the ground. According to the identification keys the only species that fed on Populus in the manner of the leaf-mines found, starting in the leaf petiole as a gallery before forming a blotch in the base of the leaf, was Ectoedemia turbidella (Z.) and the mines were recorded as such. The fact that the key specified Populus canescens, grey poplar, for this species was over-looked at the time. On submission of the records to the national microlepidoptera recorder, John Langmaid, we were informed that E. turbidella was only ever found in this country on grey poplar. This raised a question over the identity of the moth forming the leaf-mines – was it E. turbidella on a new foodplant or a new species to the country, a possibility being E. hannoverella that is known to feed on Italian poplar on the continent. Mines were collected from the Ipswich and Mildenhall areas in the autumn of 2003 for rearing through by JC, NS and myself. In the spring of 2004 the adults emerged and as the adults moths are indistinguishable on external features the identity was confirmed by genitalia dissection by JC to be E. hannoverella. The distribution of the moth in the county based on the rather limited recording over two years would appear to be restricted to areas of the Breck and the south-eastern part of the county. Records of this species in Suffolk confirmed so far include Howletts Hills (JC & TP, 25 September 2002), Ipswich Golf Course (NS, 1 October 2002), Brandon (TP, 3 October 2003), Melton (TP, 9 November 2003), Mildenhall (SMG, 2 October 2004), Holywells Park, Ipswich (TP, 10 October 2004). The leaf-mine has also been recorded outside of the county at Thetford, Norfolk (AM, 13 November 2003) A further moth species was added the British list of lepidoptera when Robin Harvey caught a migrant individual of Catocala conjuncta (Esp.) at Minsmere, 14 September 2004. Initially identified as Catocala sponsa (D. & S.), Dark Crimson Underwing, it became apparent that this determination was incorrect and shortly thereafter the true identity of the moth and its significance was realised. The recently proposed English name for this species is Minsmere Crimson Underwing, although there is a previous reference to this species as Lesser Crimson Underwing in the literature and there is an argument for the earlier name to take precedence. At the moment it is not clear which name will become the generally accepted English name. In the moth notes for 2002 (Prichard, 2003) I mentioned the arrival of Cameraria ohridella Deschka & Dimic, The Horse Chestnut Leaf Miner, in Britain and mentioned that given the rate of its spread on the continent it would only be a few years before it was recorded in Suffolk. This prediction proved true in 2004 when the mines were recorded at Ipswich Golf Course (NS, 5 August 2004) and in West Suffolk at Great Livermere (LG, 9 August 2004). During late summer and autumn further records were made at various localities around the county at Hintlesham (NS & GB, 7 August 2004), Long

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Melford (DU, 12 August 2004), Yoxford (TP, 10 September 2004), Clare (TP, 17 September 2004), Woodbridge (NS, 19 September 2004), Bawdsey (TP, 19 September 2004), Thelnetham (TP & NS, 26 September 2004), Coddenham (TP, 2 October 2004), Stonham Earl (TP, 2 October 2004), Great Thurlow (TP, 8 October 2004), Beccles (TP, 15 October 2004), Ringsfield (TP, 15 October 2004), Farnham (TP, 17 October 2004), Sudbourne (TP, 24 October 2004) and near Rushford (LG, 12 November 2004). The prevalence of records in such a short time period suggests that this species, if it continues to spread at the same rate, will be widespread and common across the county within the next year or two. It is thought that this species is able to disperse so rapidly by ‘hitching a lift’ on vehicles and trains. Some of the records made were close to major roads but others were not so substantiation for this dispersal theory from the records is rather lacking. The relatively under-recorded group of leaf-miners provided records of two further species of note during the year. The first was Eriocrania chrysolepidella (Z.) at Wolves Wood (TP, 9 May 2004) when mines were found on hornbeam and hazel. The second species was Phyllocnistis saligna (Z.) at Melton (NS, 29 August 2004) on purple willow. This latter species forms an unusual and distinctive form of leaf-mine. Most leaf-mining species mine within the one leaf but this species starts mining in the blade of one leaf, proceeds to mine down the petiole into the stem, mining along the stem until it encounters another leaf, entering the leaf via the petiole and then mining the blade of the second leaf. A further record of this species was made later in the year at Claydon (TP, 27 December 2004). The year provided further evidence of the continuing establishment of recent arrivals in the county. MD started regular recording with moth traps at Bawdsey during 2004 although less intensive recording from security lights and other lights had started in 2003. In 2003 MD had recorded a single Mythimna l-album (L.) L-album Wainscot and in the spring of 2004 four firstbrood individuals were recorded at the site. Results in the autumn when the second-brood of the moth is on the wing proved very interesting with MD recording a total of eighty-seven individuals. Over the same period at Hollesley, slightly further inland, NM recorded the moth on ten occasions during September and October. Previous records of this species in the county include Landguard (NO & MM, 2000–2004), Orfordness NNR (JA, 2002– 2004) and Dunwich Heath (MC, 2002) with the moth mainly being recorded in ones or twos at these sites. Searches at other nearby sites were carried out by MD including East Lane, Bawdsey, where a singleton individual was recorded, but searches further north at Shingle Street and Aldeburgh failed to record the species. Calophasia lunula (Hufn.) Toadflax Brocade was first recorded in the county at Landguard in 2001 (NO & MM). A further singleton was recorded at light at Rendham in 2004 (MD, 28 May 2004). NS and myself visited a coastal vegetated shingle site on 4 September 2004 where a large amount of the foodplant, Linaria vulgaris common toadflax, was known to occur. By searching at night with torches and also by sweeping the foodplant we managed to locate three nearly full-grown larvae. Shortly after I was

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contacted by NC who informed me that he had found two larvae at another vegetated shingle site further south along the coast during the daytime and also on 4 September 2004. This suggests that the species is currently breeding in the county and raises a question over the source of the previous records of adults at light – were they migrants or wandering individuals from local colonies? Continued monitoring of this species will hopefully shed some light on the status of this species within the county. Larvae of this species may also be encountered in gardens as Linaria purpurea purple toadflax is another known foodplant. Euleioptilus carphodactyla (Hubner) is a plume moth that appears to be spreading nationally and appeared in the county in 2004. Three records were received for this species during the year; at Sudbury (SR & J Higgott, 23 May 2004), Market Weston Fen (SMG, 28 July 2004) and Eye (PK, 31 July 2004). The larva feeds on the crowns and flowers of Inula conyza ploughman’s spikenard and thistles so potentially could become more widespread in the county. Ethmia terminella Fletcher was recorded for the first time in Suffolk at Landguard (NO & MM, 9 June to 18 July 2004) with a total of 23 individuals appearing in the light traps. This is a species that feeds on Echium vulgare viper’s bugloss and is associated with vegetated shingle habitats elsewhere in Britain. As the foodplant occurs at the site and the site has suitable habitat there is a possibility of this species becoming resident in the area. Ethmia bipunctella (Fab.) is another species that uses viper’s bugloss as a foodplant and has also previously been recorded at Landguard and other mainly coastal sites. Within the last few years the number of records received for this species has increased, raising the possibility of a resident population. However, searches by myself for the rather distinctive larva on the foodplant during 2004 proved negative. Records of the adult in 2004 were made at Bawdsey (MD, 6 August 2004), Reydon (AC, 15 & 29 May 2004), Aldeburgh (SMG, 4 June 2004), Rendham (MD, 9 August 2004), Minsmere (SC, 26 July 2004), Eye (PK, 1 and 2 August 2004), Minsmere (RH, 29 July 2004), Landguard (NO & MM, 17 May 2004) and Orfordness NNR (JA, 2004). Epiphyas postvittana (Walker) Light Brown Apple Moth, a tortrix moth, has also been spreading nationally and in some established areas has become the commonest moth recorded in back garden moth traps. The larvae are quite polyphagous and can become rather a pest in gardens. Early occurrences of this species in Suffolk were noted in 1998 at Mettingham (MH) and Cavenham Heath (DC). Since then most records have come from the Felixstowe and Ipswich areas with occasional records from along the coast to Aldeburgh (SMG, 4 June 2004). As with elsewhere in the country in the last few years this species has become a very common moth in my Ipswich back garden moth trap. A pattern that will most likely be repeated for most urban moth recorders within the county over the next few years. Hyles gallii (Rottemburg) Bedstraw Hawk-moth has been known as an uncommon migrant species in the county since the 19th Century, with a few larval records being made, mainly at coastal sites, during this period. In 5 August 1996 NS recorded the larvae in the Sandlings and since then larvae have been found in most years in the area (searches were not carried out every

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year in the late 1990s). Elsewhere in East Anglia larvae of this species have been recorded since at least 1987 and there also appears to be a site in Lincolnshire where the moth may be breeding (Parsons et al., 2004). For the last three years larval surveys have been carried out annually in Suffolk and have confirmed the presence of the larvae at known sites. This information has not been widely publicised in the past but despite this it would appear that it has become more widely known as in 2004 one of the survey sites appeared to have suffered from a certain amount of trampling and numbers of larvae sighted were lower than normal, with the presumption that larvae may have been taken from the site. It is hoped that if larvae are being taken that it does not affect the population of the moth that currently appears resident in the county, although it would be more preferable if no larva were taken at all. Larval surveys will continue in future years to monitor the status of this species in the county. The Suffolk Moth Group holds field meetings to improve the coverage of moth recording in the county and some in particular are targetted at those areas of the county that are currently under-recorded. The two main areas where recording coverage is poor at the moment are in the north-east of the county, north of Lowestoft, and in the south-west of the county around Haverhill. A couple of meetings were arranged by Keith Knights in 2004 for the moth group to visit a site at Belton. The first meeting in May did not fare well with rather poor weather conditions only resulting in a small number of species recorded – seventeen in total. The second visit on 16 July was favoured by improved weather conditions and provided some useful records with a total of 185 species recorded. The most notable of those recorded was Gelechia muscosella (Z.), not previously recorded in Suffolk and a species rarely recorded elsewhere in Britain. The life history of this species is poorly understood but there appears to be an association with sallow, which would fit in with the presence of the sallow carr habitat at the site. Other species of note recorded on the night included Schoenobius gigantella (D. & S.), Epinotia cruciana (L.), Earias clorana (L.) Cream-bordered Green Pea, Apamea ophiogramma (Esp.) Double Lobed, Spilosoma urticae (Esp.) Water Ermine, Ipimorpha subtusa (D. & S.) Olive and Eupithecia tenuiata (Hubner) Slender Pug. The rather elusive clearwing moths received some further attention during 2004 with a new species to the county, Synanthedon andrenaeformis (Laspeyres) Orange-tailed Clearwing, being discovered at Barton Mills by LG and PB on 22 June 2004. Bembecia icheumoniformis (Scop.) Six-belted Clearwing was recorded at Little Blakenham Chalk Pit (SMG, 27 June 2004), as the foodplants of this species, bird’s-foot trefoil and kidney vetch, occur elsewhere in the county it is expected that this species may well be recorded at other sites in the future, as it has in the past. Other clearwing records included Synanthedon myopaeformis (Borkhausen) Red-belted Clearwing at Barrow (AP, 2004) and Synanthedon vespiformis (L.) Yellow-legged Clearwing at Staverton Thicks (NS, 13 June 2004) and Ipswich Golf Course (NS, 20 July 2004).

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Coleophora fuscicornis (Z.) was discovered to occur in Britain in 1973 in north-east Essex (Goodey, 2004). It is a species that is mainly associated with coastal areas with only one known inland site. This species was previously restricted to sites in north-east Essex with a single record of an adult from Dorset. The larva feeds on Vicia tetrasperma smooth tare using a seed-pod as a case and feeding on the developing seeds in their pods. The adult can be swept from vegetation where the foodplant occurs. Following encouragement from Brian Goodey to look for the adults of this species in Suffolk searches were carried out at several apparently suitable locations along the Suffolk coast where smooth tare occurs. This led to a single adult being swept from an area next to the estuary near Erwarton (TP, 6 June 2004). Searches for larval cases at the same site later in the year proved negative. Two further species of note were recorded in 2004. Firstly, Cosmiotes consortella (Stainton) at Minsmere (GL & MT per RH, 25 August 2004, gen. det. JC). This is a leaf-mining species feeding on Poa annua annual meadowgrass that occurs in scattered localities throughout Britain (Emmet, 1996). It is found on well-drained grassland, particularly if this is on calcareous ground. A potentially under-recorded species due to its small size. Scythris potentillae Elisha was recorded at Ipswich Golf Course (NS, 11 August 2004, gen. det. JC). This moth was first discovered in Britain in 1972 at Thorpeness by D J L Agassiz (Emmet & Langmaid, 2002), although it was not correctly determined till 1982. Further records have subsequently been made at Red Lodge and Freckenham in the west of the county and outside of Suffolk it was recorded by Ray Uffen in Middlesex in 2003. The larva feeds on Rumex acetosa common sorrel and Rumex acetosella sheep’s sorrel, forming a web spun along the stem and leading into the ground Recording in the Brecks during the year provided some records of note. An individual of Xestia castanea (Esp.) Neglected Rustic was recorded at Icklingham on 27 July 2004 (SC). This species has been recorded in the past from the heaths of the Brecks and the Sandlings but records are very infrequently made and the species seems rather elusive. Eurois occulta (L.) Great Brocade and Oncocera semirubella (Scop.), both migrant species, were recorded on the same night at Wordwell on 14 August 2004 (SMG). A species also recorded at Wordwell during the year was Pempelia dilutella (D. & S.) on 17 July 2004 (TP) with a further record from Icklingham on 27 July 2004 (SC). Chortodes fluxa (Hubner) Mere Wainscot is predominantly recorded from the Brecks with occasional coastal records with the possibility that these latter records are of migrant individuals. In 2004 records of this species were made at Ickworth (SMG, 3 July 2004), Wordwell (SMG, 17 July 2004), Sicklesmere (SD, 27 July 2004), Elveden (SD, 16 July 2004) and West Stow (SR, 25 June 2004). A rarely recorded species, Plagodis pulveraria (L.) Barred Umber, was recorded in Brandon coming to light (GA, 8 August 2004), following previous records of this species at the same site in 2001 and 2003 (GA). The appearance of Eriogaster lanestris (L.) Small Eggar within the county is rather sporadic, a picture that does not seem to have changed since Morley’s time (Morley, 1937). Its emergence in February and March may mean that it is

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missed by some recorders not operating their moth traps early in the year and most records are made of the larvae in their communal nests later in the year (May to July). Where these larval nests are found, often in hedges, it can be a common occurrence for more than one nest to occur. The dense webs are easily spotted in hedgerows where present and are often surrounded by an area in the hedge denuded of vegetation. Rather unusually, an adult was attracted to light at Fressingfield in 2004 (PV, 31 March 2004) with larval nests being found later in the year at Dalham (SH, 26 May 2004). Following on from a good migrant year in the previous year 2004 also turned up several records of note of migrant species. I have listed the more notable of those records received. Cydia amplana (Hubner) at Landguard (NO & MM, 11 August 2004 – new to Suffolk) and Minsmere (RH & J Higgott, 14 August 2004), Haimbachia cicatricella (Hubner) at Orfordness NNR (JA, 2004 – new to Suffolk), Conobathra tumidana (D. & S.) at Bawdsey (MD, 10 August 2004), Eupithecia phoeniceata (Rambur) Cypress Pug at Dunwich Heath (MC, 20 August 2004), Conista erythrocephala (D. & S) Red-headed Chestnut at Bawdsey (MD, 2 November 2004 and 25 November 2004 – singletons and new to Suffolk), Euplagia quadripunctaria (Poda) Jersey Tiger at Westleton (RD per MD, 5 August 2004 – new to Suffolk), Nola aerugula (Hubner) Scarce Black Arches at Bawdsey (MD, 29 July 2004) and Landguard (NO & MM, 2004), Cryphia algae (Fab.) Tree-lichen Beauty at Bawdsey (MD, 3, 4 and 9 August 2004), Landguard (NO & MM, 2004) and Orfordness NNR (JA, 2004), Chortodes extrema (Hubner) Concolorous at Orfordness NNR (JA, 2004), Actinotia hyperici (D. & S.) Pale-shouldered Cloud at Landguard (NO & MM, 2004),Thaumetopoea processionea (L.) Oak Processionary at Landguard (NO & MM, 2004), Hecatera dysodea (D. & S.) Small Ranunculus at Landguard (NO & MM, 2004), Xylena vetusta (Hubner) Red Sword-grass at Bawdsey (MD, 8 November 2004), Proxenus hospes (Freyer) Porter’s Rustic at Ipswich Golf Course (NS, 19 August 2004 – new to Suffolk) and Chrysodelxis chalcites (Esp.) Golden Twin-spot at Hollesley (NM, 10 September 2004). Duponchelia fovealis (Z.) was recorded at Eye (PK, 27 September 2004) and is further inland than the previous mainly coastal records of this species. I would like to thank those moth recorders who have submitted records during the year, not only those whose records and comments are mentioned here; Jim Askins (JA), Graham Austin (GA), Paul Bryant (PB), Graham Bull (GB), Sean Clancy (SC), Jon Clifton (JC), Derek Coleman (DC), Alan Cornish (AC), Mark Cornish (MC), Nigel Cumings (NC), Matthew Deans (MD), Mr R Drew (RD), Stan Dumican (SD), Lee Gregory (LG), Robin Harvey (RH), Sharon Hearle (SH), Paul Kitchener (PK), Graham Lyons (GL), Mike Marsh (MM), Nick Mason (NM), Andy Musgrove (AM), Nigel Odin (NO), Stuart Read (SR), Neil Sherman (NS), Mark Telfer (MT), Darren Underwood (DU), Peter Vincent (PV) Please continue to send your moth records and any observations to myself as county moth recorder; Tony Prichard. 3 Powling Road, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP3 9JR (email : moths@sns.org.uk) or the Suffolk Biological Records Centre, The Museum, High Street, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 3QH.

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References Emmet, A. M. (1996). The Moths and Butterflies of Great Britain and Ireland. Vol. 10. Harley Books. Emmet, A. M. and Langmaid, J. R. (2002). The Moths and Butterflies of Great Britain and Ireland. Vol. 4 Part 1. Harley Books. Goodey, B. (2004). The Moths of Essex. Lopinga Books. Morley, C. (1937). Final Catalogue of the Lepidoptera of Suffolk. Ipswich: Suffolk Naturalists’ Society. Parsons, M., Sheppard, D., Tunmore, M. (2004). Bedstraw Hawk-moth Hyles gallii Breeding in East Anglia. Atropos 22: 57–58. Prichard, A. W. (2004). Comment and Notes on some Suffolk Moths in 2003. Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 40: 93–99. Tony Prichard (TP), 3 Powling Road, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP3 9JR

Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 41 (2005)

COMMENTS AND NOTES ON SOME SUFFOLK MOTHS IN 2004  

Tony Prichard

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