Page 1

74

WORMS

T R I A E N O P H O R U S NODULOSUS, (Pallas) is a well-known parasite of pike, though there are very few records of its occurrence in this country. The first larval stage of this species of tapeworm occurs in water-fleas, principally Cyclops. T h e second stage, the plerocercoid, forms subperitoneal cysts, particularly on the liver, in various cyprinid fishes. When fishes infested with the plerocercoids are eaten by pike, the vvorms develop to the adult stage, usually in the intestine. C.

NOTES ON BRITISH LEPIDOPTERA FOR 1952 BY BARON DE W O R M S , M . A . ,

PH.D.,

F.R.E.S.

I HAVE thought it might be of interest to put on record a resume of the past season, 1952, so far as our lepidoptera are concerned so as to give some idea of the relative abundance of various species and also the general trend of the year which rray be said to have opened with quite an eclat. Düring the last days of February a few Painted Ladies (Pyrameis cardni, Linn.) appeared on the south coast to be reinforced by an almost unprecedented immigration of these butterflies during the first days of March. Hundreds were seen Coming in over the sea in Sussex. Flower beds in gardens on the south coast were smothered with these fine insects. The invasion seems to have extended over the whole of our southern shores as far as Western Ireland and during March well over a thousand P. cardui, Linn., were recorded, some from as far north as Scotland. Coupled with this amazing incursion were several other migrant species of moths. T h e Small Mottled Willow (Laphygma exigua, Hübn.), was obtained in some numbers at light over a wide area in the south. Several of the Bordered Straw (Heliothis peltigera, Schiff.), were taken, one in Piccadilly, while some ten specimens of the rare Ni moth (Plusia tti, Hübn.), were recorded in many of the southern counties and in one instance ova were obtained and a Iarge generation subsequently bred. There were also several of that great wanderer, the Striped Hawk (Celerio li-comica, Esp.) One was caught in Lancashire in mid-March. Most remarkab'e of all was the capture of two moths belonging to quite an exotic species identified as Tathorhyncus exsiccata, Lederer (vide Ent. Record, 1952, 64, pp. 131 /2). This species which had never before been seen in the British Isles has its habitat in the Oriental regions and Eastern Mediterranean. It is of interest to note that a specimen of this


NOTES ON BRITISH LEPIDOPTERA

75

insect was caught in the south of France about this period, the first for that country, thereby supper ting the theory of a mass migration from North Africa where there was an exceptionally warm spell at this time of the year. Hopes that some of these rare species might breed with us were dashed by the great blizzard of March 29th, but a further arrival of Painted Ladies in early April laid freely, but few of the summer brood appeared. In spite of this bitter spell the spring proved a very early one. Thefineweather over Easter, April 9th to 12th, brought out many species well ahead of their normal time. I took a Puss moth (Dicranura linula, Linn.), as early as April lOth. Most of the Prominents, including the elusive Odontosia carmelita, Esp., were out by the middle of the month. The latter was unusually common in one area of Scotland. Düring the month, two other local species, the Northern Drab (Orthosia opbna, Hübn.=advena, Schiff.) and the White-marked (Gypsitca leucographa, Hübn.) proved exceptionally abundant in restricted parts of our northwestern counties. This warm weather during April also brought an early emergence of many butterflies. The Orange-tip {Anihocharis cardamines, Linn.) was on the wing by the middle of the month, while the Pearl-bordered Fritillary (Clossiana eupkrosyne, Linn.) followed during the last week. The larvae of the Glanville (Melitcea cinxia, Linn.) and of the Marsh Fritillary (Euphydryas aurinia, Rott.) were in great plenty in their specialised haunts and produced afinedisplay of imagines in mid-May. It was also a good year for the Chequered Skipper (Carterocephalui Paelaemoti, Pall.), especialy in its newly-found habitat in Scotland, where I was glad to see it for thefirsttime on the wing. The close of May also saw the capture of a large number of the Alder moth (Apatele alni, Linn.), some as far north as the Lake District. Thefineweather continued in almost unbroken sequence throughout June and July. In early June several Alder Kittens (Cerura bicuspis, Borkh.) were taken at light in the south as well as in some of our northern counties, especialy in Cheshire. During June, no less than four examples of Jaspidea deceptoria, Scop., were taken in Kent, Surrey and Sussex (vide Ent. Record, 1952, 64, p. 262). ThefirstBritish specimen was recorded from Kent by Mr. Austin Richardson in June, 1948. The Black Hairstreak (Strymonidia prutti, Linn.) was in numbers on June 22nd. Most of the larger Fritillaries were out by the middle of June as also was the White Admiral (Limenitis Camilla, Linn.). The Purple Emperor (Apatura iris, Linn.) followed during the first days of July. It was apparently a good year for this insect. A small party I led to Alice Holt Forest on the 29th were treated to a grand display of many of thisfinebutterfly sailing round the oak tops and often diving low over our heads, but always just out of reach. The exceptionally hot spell early in July brought out many species well ahead of schedule, including Nonagria


76

NOTES ON BRITISH

LEPIDOPTERA

nenrica, Hßbn. by the 18th. It was found in several new marshy localities in Suffolk. Further west in Wiltshire, the Downland Wainscot (Oria musculosa, Linn.) was well out by the middle of the month in exceptional numbers. T h e Notched Emerald (Thalera fimbrialis, Scop.) was numerous during the last fortnight of July in its restricted haunts. T h e early part of August brought the first unsettled period of the summer, but it did not deter the Crimson Underwings from patronising the sugar patch in the New Forest. Both species were quite plentiful with a predominance of Catocala sponsa, Linn. Another new arrival, the Banded Carpet (Euphyia luctuata, Schiff.), reappeared in the south-east as also did another newcomer, Calophasia lutiula, Hufn., of which a single specimen was taken in Kent. Among the Blues, the Chalk-hill (Lysandra coridon, Pod.) was in good numbers in most areas. It was out early in July and almost over by mid-August. At least four examples of the Long-tailed Blue (Lampides boeticus, Linn.) were recorded from Bristol (Entom., 1952, 85, p. 204), Sussex and Surrey. It was subsequently bred from a capture made in the latter county. A specimen of the Short-tailed Blue (Everes argiades, Pall.) was taken in Hampshire (Ent. Record, 1952, 44, p. 255), the first in this country since 1945. August was a good month for many species of moths in Scotland, in particular the Piain Clay (Amathes depuncta, Linn.), while the recently discovered noctuid, Luceria virens, Linn., was again seen plentifully in Western Eire. T h e late summer proved somewhat disappointing for butterflies in general, doubtless caused by the very cold snap in early September. Among the regulär migrants, hardly any Painted Ladies were to be seen, and the Clouded Yellow (Colias crocens, Fourc.) was very scarce in the south-east, though more numerous in some of our south-western counties. There have been no reports of the Pale and the New Clouded Yellow (Colias hyale, Linn, and C. australis, Verity). Among the migrant Hawk-moths there was a fair influx of the Convolvulus (Herse convolvuli, Linn.) in late August, though not in any way exceptional. A few further Striped Hawks (Celerio livornica, Esp.) were taken, one in London and another as far north as Lerwick in the Shetlands. A lucky capture was a female Bedstraw (Celerio galii, Rott.) in Hampshire, which produced a large batch of ova from which larvae were bred to the pupal State. Hardly any larvae of the Death's Head (Acherontia atropos, Linn.) were forthcoming during the potato harvest. On the whole, 1952 can be said to have been quite a good season for lepidoptera in general and will be remembered for the remarkable immigration during its early months. Three Oaks, Shore's Road, Woking. 30th September, 1952.

British Lepidoptera in 1952  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you