Page 1

NOTES ON SOME SUFFOLK MOTHS

71

COMMENTS AND NOTES ON SOME SUFFOLK MOTHS IN 2005 A. W. PRICHARD The early part of the year saw the discovery in Suffolk of a new leaf-miner, which has recently colonised the country, when Ectoedemia heringella (Mariani) was discovered at Great Wenham (TP) on 28 March 2005. The larva mines the leaves of Holm Oak Quercus ilex during the winter and early spring months. Following the discovery of the mine at Great Wenham further searches for the mines in the county produced several further sites on the 29 March at Ipswich, Stutton, East Bergholt, Higham (TM0235), Woodbridge and Nacton, on the 31 March at Freston, Shotley Gate and Erwarton, on 3 April at Eastbridge and on the 10 April at Levington (all records by TP). A further record was added later from Tattingstone on 19 May 2005 (JF). The mines were first detected in Britain in 2002 in the London area and searches for the mines in the county at that time all proved negative, so this would suggest a recent colonisation. Apart from the colonies in London and Suffolk it does not yet appear to have spread elsewhere in the country. The same cannot be said for the Horse-chestnut Leaf-miner Cameraria ohridella Deschka & Dimic, this has spread throughout the county during the year and is rapidly spreading across other parts of Britain. The recording of Caloptilia falconipennella (Hübner) at Minsmere by John Langmaid and Jeff Higgott on 1 October produced a further new leaf-miner species. The larvae initially feed within alder (Alnus glutinosa and A. cordata) leaves forming a blotch mine, while later the larva will form two to three folds on the edge of the leaf where it feeds from inside the fold. The locally scarce tortrix moth Pammene obscurana (Stephens) was also new to the county when it was recorded at Ipswich Golf Course by NS on 26 May. It appears that the early stages are not well understood in this country, but on the continent the larva has been recorded from birch catkins. Several records of Thiotricha subocellea (Stephens) appeared out of the blue in the east of the county in 2005. The species had previously been recorded in the West Suffolk vice-county but not the East Suffolk vice-county. The larva feeds on marjoram Origanum and to a lesser extent Water Mint Mentha aquatica, the former foodplant being more prevalent in the west of the county. The first record came from Ipswich Golf Course (NS, 14 & 28 July), followed by Minsmere RSPB Reserve (RH, 18 July; M. Telfer & G. Lyons, det. J. Clifton, 20 July; SMG, 23 July) and North Cove (SMG, 29 July). Some of the other more infrequently recorded microlepidoptera that were seen in 2005 included Ectoedemia sericopeza (Zeller) at Tattingstone (TP, 27 June), Monopis imella (Hübner) at Orfordness (JA, 4 and 22 June), Tinea pallescentella Stainton at Landguard (NO, 12 August), Choreutis pariana (Clerck) at Mendlesham (SW, 7 October), Coleophora lithargyrinella (Zeller) at Dorking Tye (TP, 16 April), Cosmiotes freyerella (Hübner) at Ipswich Golf Course (NS, 27 July), Apodia bifractella (Dup.) at Landguard (NO, 3 August), Ptocheuusa paupella (Zeller) at Minsmere (RH, 18 July), Altenia scriptella (Hübner) at Eye (PK, 2 August), Monochroa moyses (Uffen) at Minsmere (J. Higgott, 1 July), Aproaerema anthyllidella (Hübner) at Landguard (NO, 9 October), Neosphaleroptera nubilana (Hübner) at Ipswich Golf Course (NS, 30 June) and Cydia coniferana (Ratz.) at Rampart Field (SMG, 10 August).

Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 42 (2006)


72

Suffolk Natural History, Vol. 42

Populations of some of the species that have formed recent colonies in the county appear to be faring well based on the results of surveys during the year. L-album Wainscot Mythimna l-album (L.) continues to be recorded in numbers at Bawdsey and Hollesley by MD and NM respectively. The total of individuals for both broods recorded at light at Bawdsey in 2005 was 145. The moth also appeared at other sites during the year Grundisburgh (MH), Alderton (AA), Minsmere (Dave Fairhurst), Great Blakenham (RR), Landguard (NO), Rendham (MD) and Orfordness (JA). A survey by TP at the known site of Cynaeda dentalis (D. & S.) on the 12 June produced a count of over fifty cocoons. Toadflax Brocade Calophasia lunula, (Hufn.) larvae were found again at one of the coastal sites where it was recorded in 2004 with a maximum count of eight larvae during a visit in August. No larvae were found at other coastal sites where the foodplant Common Toadflax Linaria vulgaris is known to occur. A single adult was recorded at light at Landguard (NO, 29 September) during the year. A meeting of the Suffolk Moth Group at Old Hall Wood on 17 June turned up some interesting micro-lepidoptera amongst the 140 species recorded. It was unusual to see Alabonia geoffrella (L.), a colourful species of rather localised distribution, in the moth traps as this moth is much more frequently seen flying during the day. Esperia oliviella (Fab.) appears to have always been a scarce species in the county with the only other recent record occurring at Holbrook (SL & EP, 21 June 2000). Two species, Pseudotelphusa scalella (Scop.) and Spatalistis bifasciana (Hübner), that were added to the county list in 2002 and have remained scarce since were also recorded at this meeting. Macro-lepidoptera of note recorded during the evening included Poplar Lutestring Tethea or (L.), Clay Triple-lines Cyclophora linearia (Hübner), Beautiful Carpet Mesoleuca albicillata (L.) and Orange Footman Eilema sororcula (Hufn.). On the 22 June a few members of the moth group visited Sizewell Beach for an evening’s moth recording. Amongst the many individuals of the more common Crambus lathoniellus (Zincken) a single Crambus pratella, (L.) was nearly over-looked. These two species can be confused with each other and unconfirmed records of the much scarcer C. pratella have been received in the past from various parts of the county. The species has previously been confirmed from Thorpeness in 1966 (S. Wakely) with an unconfirmed record from Foxhall in 1947 (W. RaitSmith) and it is thought that the sightings of this species in the county may be due to migrant individuals. The habitat in the area where the moth has been recorded would appear suitable for supporting a resident population of the species and it may just be coincidence that two of the records have occurred in the same area of coastline. On the same night a single Bedstraw Hawk-moth Hyles gallii (Rott.) also appeared at the lights. The Suffolk Moth Group held a meeting at North Cove SWT reserve on the 29 July with the primary target of the meeting being to look for Fenn’s Wainscot Chortodes brevilinea (Fenn). Morley (1937) makes reference to this species occurring at Fritton Lake (1933 & 1934) and Barnby Broad (1935). Alasdair Aston reported a later record at Weston in 1963. Although the moth occurs in most of the coastal reed-beds surveyed from Minsmere to Benacre, no further records have been forthcoming from the more inland areas where it has occurred in the past. The

Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 42 (2006)


NOTES ON SOME SUFFOLK MOTHS

73

habitat appeared suitable at the site for the species but no individuals of the target species appeared at the five light traps operated. Apart from the lack of Fenn’s Wainscot the evening proved successful in terms of general moth recording with just under 200 species recorded and with the following of particular note – Thiotricha subocellea (Stephens), Dioryctria sylvestrella (Ratz.), Slender Pug Eupithecia tenuiata (Hübner), Haworth’s Pug Eupithecia haworthiata (Doubleday), Marsh Pug Eupithecia pygmaeata (Hübner), Double Lobed Apamea ophiogramma (Esp.), Silky Wainscot Chilodes maritimus (Tauscher), Dark Spectacle Abrostola triplasia (L.) and Dotted Fanfoot Macrochilo cribrumalis (Hübner). Four-spotted Tyta luctuosa (D. & S.) seems to have died out in its known haunts in the Brecks during the 1980s and, despite repeated surveys in the area during the 1990s, it has not been found there since. In June this year Sharon Hearle found a single individual near Kirton just within the county boundary. With other known colonies not too far away from this site across the border into Cambridgeshire it may be that this species could still be resident and have remained undiscovered due to the poor level of recording in the south-west part of the county. Dark Spectacle Abrostola triplasia (L.) seems to have been faring well in recent years. The species would appear to have been in the county in low numbers since the 19th century and noted from most parts of the county apart from the south-west. Since the mid-1990s sightings of this moth have steadily increased. Its current stronghold appears to be in the south-east of the county but it has appeared in other parts at a lower frequency. Records from 2005 include Grundisburgh (MH), Hollesley (NM), Rendham (MD), Bawdsey (MD), Minsmere (RH), Eye (PK), Little Blakenham (PW), Needham Market (NM), North Cove (SMG), Woolpit (PB), Ipswich (IS), Orfordness (JA), Snape Warren (SMG) and Landguard (NO). Some species do not appear to have fared so well in recent years. Lappet Gastropacha quercifolia (L.) seems at a particularly low ebb, if not extinct in the county. The last record I have for this species was from Nowton (RE) in 1995 and with only a handful of records since the mid-1980s. Pale Eggar Trichiura crataegi (L.) is still recorded occasionally, records from the last ten years including Sicklesmere (SD, 2003), Eye (PK, 2000), Bradfield Woods (SD, 2000 & RE, 1996), Knettishall Heath (MH, 1999), St Olaves (J. Crouch, 1997), Barrow (AP, 1997), Nowton (RE, 1996). The once common Lackey Malacasoma neustria (L.) now appears to have become much more localised with records from only a few sites in 2005; Minsmere (RH & A. Parfitt), Landguard (NO), Glemsford (RB), Westleton (RH) and Nowton (RE). Dusky-lemon Sallow Xanthia gilvago (D. & S.) appears to have never been recorded frequently within the county, although Morley (1937) states ‘now generally distributed’ this is not borne out by the distribution of known records. In recent years there appears to have been some contraction in the range with the majority of records coming from the south-east part of the county and odd scattered sites elsewhere. It appears to have declined predominantly in the Brecks and north-eastern areas, although this could be attributed to a change in recorder distribution. This year proved rather a good year in terms of the number of records received with eight sightings made, as in recent years two to three records per year would be the norm. Records for

Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 42 (2006)


74

Suffolk Natural History, Vol. 42

2005 were from Nowton (RE), Mendlesham (SW, 14 September and 7 October), Bawdsey (MD, 29 September), Landguard (NO, 29 September and 10 October), Bromeswell Green (MD & TP, 6 October) and Sicklesmere (SD, 31 October). The decline of this species may be associated with that of its foodplant Wych Elm Ulmus glabra and occasionally English Elm Ulmus minor. Pale-lemon Sallow Xanthia ocellaris (Borkhausen), whose larvae feed on the catkins of Black Poplar Populus nigra and occasionally Lombardy Poplar Populus nigra Italica, is a moth more localised and less frequently record than the former and closely related species. It has been recorded from scattered locations across the county over the years but Barton Mills, Mildenhall and around Ipswich seem to be places where there is more chance of a sighting. In 2005 only two records were received when it was recorded at Elveden (Derbyshire & Nottinghamshire Entomological Society, 30 September) and Little Blakenham (PW, 24 September). In what was generally a rather poor year for the more usual migrants a flush of Golden Twin-spot Chrysodeixis chalcites (Esp.) records in October was quite unusual with records from six sites. In September two individuals had been recorded at Landguard (NO, 3 September) and Rushmere St Andrew (J. Higgott. 6 September). Nearly six weeks later a larger influx began when two individuals were attracted to light at Dunwich Heath (DS & CM) on 16 October followed by a further individual on the following night at the same site. Further records included Bawdsey (MD, 18 October), Landguard (NO, 18 and 19 October), Eye (PK, 20 October), Bawdsey (MD, 21, 22 and 23 October), Dunwich Heath (DS & CM, 28 October) and Denham (N. Whinney, 28 October). A new moth to the county was discovered when Clancy’s Rustic Platyperigea kadenii (Freyer) was recorded at Bawdsey (MD, 11 October). This migrant species has only recently been added to the British list when it was first identified in Kent in 2002 and at the time of the Suffolk record a large influx of the species was recorded in the Kent area. At Ipswich Golf Course an Olive Crescent Trisateles emortualis (D. & S.), another new macrolepidoptera for Suffolk, was recorded at light by NS on 22 June. This vagrant individual may have been European in origin or alternatively may have strayed from the colonies just across the border in Essex. The Suffolk Moth Group have surveyed for this species in recent years in some of the Suffolk woods close to the Essex colonies but without any success. The appearance of a Many-lined Costaconvexa polygrammata (Borkhausen) earlier in the year in the light trap at Landguard (NO) on 21 June was a further new migrant species for the county. Other migrant records of note in 2005 included Cydia amplana (Hübner) at Ipswich Golf Course (NS, 11 August) and Hollesley (NM, 14 August); Dark Tussock Dicallomera fascelina, (L.) at Ipswich Golf Course (NS, 1 August); Gypsy Moth Lymantria dispar (L.) at Hollesley (NM, 12 August); Dotted Footman Pelosia muscerda (Hufn.) at Bawdsey (MD, 29 June) and Ipswich Golf Course (NS, 31 August); Pigmy Footman Eilema pygmaeola (Doubleday at Bawdsey (MD, 29 June); Tree-lichen Beauty Cryphia algae (Fab.) at Bawdsey (MD, 13, 18, 26 July and 18 August), Landguard (NO, 31 July and 4 August) and Minsmere (RH, 1 August); Silver Barred Deltote bankiana, (Fab.) at Orfordness (JA, 30 June); Dewick’s Plusia

Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 42 (2006)


NOTES ON SOME SUFFOLK MOTHS

75

MacDunnoughia confusa (Stephens) at Bromeswell (AH, 26 November) and Langmaid’s Yellow Underwing Noctua janthina (D. & S.) at Landguard (NO, 9 August) and Bawdsey (MD, 2 August). 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; Andrew Aldous (AA), Jim Askins (JA), Robert Brown (RB), Paul Bryant (PB), Matthew Deans (MD), Stan Dumican (SD), Rafe Eley (RE), Joe Firmin (JF), Mike Hall (MH), Robin Harvey (RH), Martin Hough (MH), Alan Hubbard (AH), Paul Kitchener (PK), Stuart Ling (SL), Nick Mason (NM), Clive Moore (CM), Nigel Odin (NO), Adrian Parr (AP), Eric Patrick (EP), R Rozier (RR), Neil Sherman (NS), Ian Sillett (IS), Suffolk Moth Group (SMG), Dave Sutton (DS), Phil Wilkins (PW), Steve Woolnough (SW). 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: tony.prichard@btinternet.com) or the Suffolk Biological Records Centre, The Museum, High Street, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 3QH. References Morley, C. (1937). Final Catalogue of the Lepidoptera of Suffolk. Ipswich, Suffolk Naturalists’ Society. Tony Prichard (TP) 3 Powling Road, Ipswich, Suffolk IP3 9JR

Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 42 (2006)

COMMENTS AND NOTES ON SOME SUFFOLK MOTHS IN 2005  

Tony Prichard

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you