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NOTES ON LEPIDOPTERA, 1954 (The Final Catalogue of the Lepidoptera of Suffolk published in 1937 is referred to here as FC 37) to say, it has been a poor year for observations in this field, but there have nevertheless been a few unusual appearances. The observations apply to Beccles unless otherwise stated. NEEDLESS

Feb. 23rd. A uniformly dark slate-coloured Pale Brindled Beauty (Phigalia pilosaria Schiff.). Mar. lOth. A practically black example of the Oak Beauty {Biston strataria Hufn.), the markings hardly discernible. On my mentioning this to Dr. H. B. D. Kettlewell of the Dept. of Zoology, Oxford, he said, " I am very interested . . . A very dark one is known but I think has so far only been taken in Kent." [Dr. Kettlewell makes a specialised study of variations in the Peppered moth {Biston betulariä L.).] May 6th.. Brindled Beauty {Lycia hirtaria Clerck). FC 37 says, " Supposed to be generally distributed records." In Beccles seems to emerge in force in first of May, only odd examples being seen in March and

Of this, but few fortnight April.

May 1 Ith. Purple Thorn (Seletiia tetralunaria Ilufn.). FC 37, " Considered rare with us in 1890 and little noticed since that time." Only one taken here previously, 17.7.25. May 12th. Least Black Arches {Celama confusalis H.-S.). Worlingham. FC 37, " Sparsely distributed in the east and centre." I have a good series but never see more than one or two in any one year. May 12th. Small Phoenix {Ecliptopera silaceata Schiff.). Worlingham. FC 37, " Very local and somewhat rare in certain woods." Dr. Crowfoot found it years ago, but I have not set eyes on a live one before. Subsequent visits to spot failed to reveal any more. May 14th. Small Engrailed {Ectropis crepuscularia Hübn.). Worlingham. White ground colour. FC 37 includes Engrailed {E. biestortata Goeze) and Small Engrailed (E. crepuscularia Hübn.) under one heading. Not previously discovered around here and subsequent visits also failed to disclose further examples. FC 37 says, " Our most local species ; almost unnoticed for thirty years."


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NOTES ON LEPIDOPTERA

May 26th. Scalloped Hazel (Gonodontis bidentata Clerck) dropped in during evening. Although described by FC 37 as " quite frequent," this is only myfifthsince 1910. Does not sit about on hedges at night like the Scalloped Oak (Crocallis elinguaria L.), and I should think largely keeps to the trees. May 28th. Puss Moth (Cerura vinula L.). Although one of our best-known moths it is quite exceptional for me tofindone. More usually caterpilars are noticed. May 29th. ThefirstRed Admiral (Vanessa atalanta L.) of the year seen at Thorpe Morieux—conditionfine.Scarce this year and Peacocks (Nymphalis io L.) and Small Tortoiseshells (Aglais urticae L.) much below average. Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui L.) absent for second year running. No Comma (Polygonia c-album L.) seen. The notorious immigrant, the Silver Y moth (Plusia gamma L.), also much below average. June 3rd. Chocolate-tip (Clostera curtula L.). First I have seen alive. June 5th. Frosted Yellow (Isturgia limbaria Fab.). See copy of letter to East Anglian Daily Times (page 15). June 16th. Poplar Hawk (Laothoe populi L.). June 24th. Eyed Hawk (Smerinthus ocellata L.). This com under Observation more often than the Poplar Hawk. Bred examples have remained two and even three winters in the chrysalis with me. July 8th. A black Peppered moth (Biston betularia L.). I have only seen black ones since the war. July 9th. Small Waved Umber (Horisme vitalbata Schiff.). First live one I have seen. FC 37, " usually on chalk, so rare along our coast." July 28th. Privet Hawk (Sphinx ligustri L.). Yarmouth. This species not traced locally tili 1947, since when numbers have been brought to my notice. I received some pupae from Kent in 1941 and liberated a number of moths. " Astonishingly rare in our county," FC 37. I think I did something about this ! Tuly 29th. Grey Dagger (Apatele psi L.) unless it was a Dark Dagger (A. tridens Schiff.). The only way is to rear the caterpilars. July 30th. Lackey (Malacosoma neustria L.), a yellow one. Aug. 4th. Lackey, a brown one. Also Gold Spot (Plusia festucae L.) concerning which FC 37 says, " usually singly and never frequent." However, I have seen it in numbers in its haunts.


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NOTES ON LEPIDOPTERA

Aug. 13th. Lesser Swallow Prominent (Pheosia gnoma Fab.). FC 37, " Scattered sparingly." Agreed. The allowance seems about one per annum. Aug. 19th. Flounced Rustic (Luperina testacea Schiff.). I think this held the record with Canary Shouldered Thorn (Deuteronomos alniaria L.) for attendance at gas lamps before we went electric. Some blackish ones turn up now and then. Aug. 20th. Poplar Hawk (Laothoe populi L.) in fresh condition. Evidently greatly retarded by the weather. Also on this date, Dusky Sallow (Eremobia ochroleuca Schiff.) near Beccles. Two were present. Also noted last year on Aug. lOth, 1 Ith and 20th (one in each case). Aug. 27th. September Thorn (Deuteronomos erosaria Bkh.). Not certainly verified as a local attraction until 23.9.52. Another 8.10.53, so this is the third. Sept. 3rd. Orange Swift (Hepialis sylvina L.) in the bathroom. Sept. 7th. Rosy Rustic (Hydraecia micacea Esp). An outstanding competitor for gas lamp honours in days of yore. A giant example 16.10.53 (not a Butter-bur !). Sept. 9th. Red Underwing (Catocala nupta L.) on back gate. I rejoice, for it is many a year since I added one of these noble moths to my collection ! They bred in the garden here when we had a willow. Sept. 1 Ith.

Dusky Sallow (E. ochroleuca Schiff.) at Shimpling.

Sept. 23rd.

Dusky Lemon Sallow (Cirrhia gilvago Schiff.). ERNEST T .

GOLDSMITH.

MORE NOTES ON LEPIDOPTERA, 1954 has not been a very good season for entomologists. few species in my experience have been plentiful. THIS

Very

An evening visit to Barking Woods on 26th March produced most of the usual early spring moths with Biston strataria Hufn. the most plentiful. These showed quite a ränge of Variation. Dßring the next few days Orthosia miniosa Schiff, emerged from larvae found at Weeley in Essex in 1953. This species does not appear to be a very common one in this part of Suffolk but one specimen was taken at Sallow blossom in Barking Woods on


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MORE NOTES ON LEPIDOPTERA

29th March ; this insect appeared with swarms of the usual Quaker moths. There was, however, no sign of O. populeti Fab. which is sometimes to be taken in good numbers on this particular Sallow bush. On 9th May, Nymphalis polychloros L. (Large Tortoiseshell butterflies) were Aying freely near Stowmarket. A single Chamomile Shark moth (Cucullia chamomillae Schiff.) came to light at Stowmarket on 29th May. On 19th June, Melanthia procellata Schiff, was plentiful in Barking Woods and two of the dark form of Boarmia consortaria Fab. were also seen. This species was not recorded from Suffolk for eighty years until Mr. Beaufoy found one in Bentley Woods in 1946 (except for one at Wrentham in 1937). Since then, it has been taken several times in the Needham Market area. A visit to Little Blakenham on 26th June found Epirrhoe rivata HĂźbn. to be quite common, but we found no sign of Euphyia rubidata Schiff, of which species a single example came to light at Stowmarket on 1 Ith July. Light, and searching the Marram grass heads at Southwold on 21st August produced many Noctuid moths of which the Coast Dart (Euxoa cursaria Hufn.) was the most common and quite variable. Beating Wild Clematis at Barking Woods on 29th August produced many Eupithecia haworthiata Stain. larvae and one larva of the Goat Moth (Cossus cossus L.), just boring a hole in the ground in which to pass the winter before pupating. Larvae of Apatele tridens Schiff, and A. aceris L. were found at Stowmarket on 21st September, and Mr. W. G. Thurlow found a Cirrhia fulvago L. ab. flavescens at Dagworth on 25th September. Altogether, 1954 has been a most disappointing year. Apart from the usual, more common, resident larger moths, such as Hawk moths, there have been no local records of any of the rarer of migrant species. Even Plusia gamma L. was not up to its usual numbers, and there were only comparatively few of the Yanessids in August and early September. Red Admirals and Peacocks were fairly plentiful, but I, personally, have not seen a single Painted Lady, and Small Tortoiseshells were not nearly as numerous as usual. H. F.

CHIPPERFIELD

Notes on Lepidoptera, 1954  

Chipperfield, H. E.

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