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NOTES ON A COLLECTING TRIP IN THE EASTERN COUNTIES

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Full-fed larvae of the Swallow-tail (Papilio machaon Linn.) were in most places where its foodplant was flourishing, but other larvae were scarce. On the sandhills near Waxham they saw only two of the Pigmy Footman (Eilema pygmaeola Haw.) and were surprised to take there a fresh Maple Prominent (Lothopteryx cucullina Schiff.). The Rosy Manor (Procus literosa Haw.) was fairly numerous there. Among the butterflies which were seen in some numbers were the Small Copper (Heodes phloeas Linn.), the Gatekeeper (Maniola tithonus Linn.), the Grayling (Eumenis semele Linn.), the Ringlet (Aphantopus hyperanthus Linn.) and the Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris Pod.). C. G . M . DE WORMS, Woking.

A FEW DAYS IN SUFFOLK, JULY 1955 July of this year was one of the most remarkable of recent times with almost uninterrupted sunshine and it was these glorious conditions which greeted me when I reached Ipswich on the evening of July 22nd to stay with Mr. S. Beaufoy. The following morning was just like its many predecessors with clear skies and a blazing sun. We set off at a fairly early hour for one of the woods in the district. Nearly all the butterflies of high summer were well on the move and mostly in good condition owing to the lateness of the season. We were very pleased to see the White Admiral (Limenitis Camilla Linn.) in fair numbers accompanied by even more Silver-washed Fritillaries (Argynnis paphia Linn.). The Ringlet (Aphantopus hyperanthus Linn.) and the Gatekeeper (Maniola tithonus Linn.) were in abundance and just as we were about to leave at midday we had the welcome sight of a Purple Emperor (Apatura iris Linn.) come sailing across one of the rides. We braved the heat of the afternoon to visit another wood in the neighbourhood. Here we saw more of the species of butterflies already mentioned and in addition many High Brown Fritillaries (Argynnis cydippe Linn.). The Skippers were especially common on rush and grass heads with almost equal numbers of the Small Skipper (Thymelicus silvestris Pod.) and of the Essex Skipper (T. lineola Ochs.). At one spot we came across a damp patch patronised by dozens of Green-veined Whites (Pieris napi Linn.). Larvae of the Poplar Lutestring (Tethea or Fab.) were plentiful between leaves of aspen.


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A FEW DAYS I N SUFFOLK

That evening we went back to the wood which was the scene of our morning's activities. This time we were armed with a mercury vapour light which we were able to set up in one of the rides. It turned out a remarkable night with a steady stream of insects. Between 10 and 12.30 a.m. we had recorded 61 species of macrolepidoptera. Almost the first to arrive was a Lobster Moth (Stauropus fagi Linn.). This was soon followed by the Swallow Prominent (Pheosia tremula Clerck) and the Garden Tiger (Arctia caja Linn.). The form of the Minor Shoulder-knot (Bombycia viminalis Fab.) was interesting with grey and black forewings. About 11 p.m., we had quite a run of the Coronet Moth (Craniophora Hgustri Fab.). The Triple-spot Clay (Amathes ditrapezium Borkh.) was also quite numerous as it was apparently in many other areas. The Lackey (Malacosoma neustria Linn.) was also plentiful. Other species of interest observed included the following :—The Poplar Hawk (Laothoe populi Linn.), the Pale Prominent (Pterostoma palpina Linn.), the Iron Prominent (Notodonta dromedarius Linn.), the Lesser Swallow Prominent {Pheosia gnoma Fab.), the Pebble Prominent (Notodonta ziczac Linn.), the Coxcomb Prominent (Lothopteryx capucina Schiff.), the Poplar Grey (Apatele megacephala Fab.), the Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing (Triphaena fimbriata Schreber), the Golden Y (Plusia iota Linn.), the Beautiful Golden Y (Plusia pulchrina Haw.), the Beautiful Hook-tip (Laspeyria flexula Schiff.), the Buff Arches (Habrosyne derasa Linn.), the Suspected (Parastichtis suspecta Hübn.), the Orange Moth (Angerona primaria Linn.), the Pretty Chalk Carpet (Melanthia procellata Fab.), the Large Emerald ('Geometra papilionaria Linn.), and the Peppered (Pachys betularia Linn.). The Sunday, July 24th broke with yet another glorious day. We spent the morning on a heath near Martlesham aerodrome where we found the Silver-studded Blue (Plebeius argus Linn.) in fair numbers. In the afternoon I accompanied my hosts to Barking woods near Needham Market, but in spite of brilliant sunshine not many butterflies were seen. However, there were several White Admirals and Commas and in the later hours we spotted some White-lettered Hairstreaks (Thecla m-album Knoch.) on thistle heads. The Essex Skipper was again numerous. I continued my journey on the 25th to Southwold where I met Commander Harper, R.N., and Mr. E. J. Hare. I had reconnoitred the marshes near Walberswick in the afternoon and we decided to make our pitch near the dyke leading to the Old Mill. Here we set up two mercury-vapour lights. We dusked along one of the ditches where my friends netted three of the Sussex Wainscot (Nonagria neurica Hübn.) in very fresh condition. Insects soon began Coming freely to our lamps and by 1 a.m. when we packed up we had recorded 53 species of macros. One of the most interesting captures was the Kent Black Arches (Nola albula Hübn.)


A FEW DAYS IN SUFFOLK

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of which there are only very few records for the County. The Wainscots were well to the fore both at light and on the reeds. Those specially common were the Fen Wainscot (Arenostola phragmitidis H端bn.), the Southern Wainscot (Leucania straminea Treits.), and the Striped Wainscot (L. pudorina Schiff.). Other species of interest noted were the Scarce Footman (Eilema complana Linn.), the Dingy Footman (E. griseola H端bn.), several of the Triple-Spotted Clay (Amathes diptrapezium Borkh.), the Starwort Shark (Cucullia asteris Schiff.), the Broom-tip (Chesias rufata Fab.), the Dotted Fanfoot (Zanclognatha cribrumalis H端bn.), and the Blackneck (Lygephila pastinum Treits.). July 26th was an even more brilliant and hotter day. In the morning Mr. Hare and I made a local survey of the countryside visiting among other places Frostenden brick pits, but there was no sign of the Large Tortoiseshell (Nymphalis polychloros Linn.) in this locality where I have seen it on several occasions. This was the one great disappointment of our trip. In the afternoon the three of us went over to Dunwich. On the way we found a few Silver-studded Blues and Graylings (Eumenis semele Linn.), both somewhat worn. We finished our journey at Minsmere, a most attractive area with great possibilities for the marsh-loving moths. The Small Copper (Heodes phloeas Linn.) was very common here. For the last night of our stay, Mr. Hare and I revisited the scene of our activities of the previous evening, while Commander Harper tried his luck in another marsh. As soon as we lit our mercury vapour light an example of the Sussex Wainscot came to it and we got four more with a small lamp among the reeds about 11 p.m. We again saw just over 50 species of macros, mostly the same as on the previous night. But in addition we took one Silky Wainscot (iChilodes maritima Tausch.), a female of the Oak Eggar (Bombyx quercus Linn.), a Water Ermine (Spilosoma urticae Esp.), a Lunarspotted Pinion (Cosmia pyralina View.) and a good many of the Crescent (Celaena leucostigma H端bn.) as well as a single Archer's Dart (Agrotis vestigialis Rott.). I returned to Surrey the following day via Orford and Butley Mill. In the latter locality I found a patch of the spear thistle covered with webs of the Painted Lady (Pyrameis cardui Linn.). Several were inhabited by full-fed larvae. In the Long Wood near Ipswich, I saw many White Admirals, Silver-washed Fritillaries and Gatekeepers. So ended a most delightful and successful trip to Suffolk. C. G. M.

DE WORMS,

Three Oaks, Woking.

A Few Days in Suffolk, 1955  
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