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SOME

INTERESTING

CAPTURES

(Lophopteryx cucullina Schiff.) I N W E S T Mr. William Reid of Sheffield teils me that while collecting near Tuddenham, Newmarket, in late June, 1955, he took a specimen of this Prominent at his mercury vapour light. This species has not often been reported in the Eastern Counties and there are not many Suffolk records so that this one is of particular interest. Mr. Baker who lives at Reydon just outside Southwold has been running a mercury-vapour trap this summer with very good results. His most important capture was nine specimens cf the Varied Coronet (Hadena compta Fab.) in early July. T h e first Suffolk record was a single example taken by Mr. Aston in 1953, while Mr. Austin Richardson secured two near Southwold in 1954. T H E MAPLE PROMINENT

SUFFOLK.

Mr. R. Demuth informs me that he took two of the Varied Coronet at light on July 21st, 1955, near Southwold. The species is evidently getting a hold in the county, especially as it is now quite common in the Colchester area wherever sweet Williams are grown. Mr. Baker was surprised to get a Maple Prominent (Lophopteryx cucullina Schiff.), an unexpected visitor so near the coast. The Starwort Shark (Cucullia asteris Schiff.) was particularly plentiful this summer at his light. By day he found a number of the Poplar HĂśrnet Clearwing (Aegeria apiformis Clerck) on old poplars just on the outskirts of the town. Yet another fine capture was a remarkable aberration of the Magpie Moth (Abraxas grossulariata Linn.), a female almost entirely white except for the orange band on the forewing and the discal spot. This form appears to be referable to centralipuncta and is extremely rare. C.

G.

M.

DE W O R M S .

NOTES ON REAR1NG LEPIDOl ERA A L D E R M O T H (Apatele alni Linn.). In August, 1954, I was given a few nearly fully grown larvae of this interesting and uncommon moth. Within a few days they pupated inside hollow stems provided for the purpose ; here they remained for the winter. Eight moths emerged, the first on 21st May, 1955, and the last 29th May—there were four males and four females. They were kept in an airy box and fed on sugar water, and on 27th May, a pairing was obtained. Eggs were laid, slowly at first, and then at a greater rate ; they were round and finely ribbed ; for the first two or three days they remained pale cream in colour without


245

NOTES ON REARING LEPIDOPTERA

markings, and then red marks appeared, leaving almost circular cream areas scattered all over the surface. T h e larvae started to hatch on 8th June, and were fed on birch ; when first hatched and seen under a magnifying glass, they had a curious translucent appearance, which lessened somewhat after they had been eating for a few days. In the later instars, except the last, the resemblance of the larva to a bird's dropping on the leaf was remarkable ; the middle segments were dark brown with the head and tail ends white. When not eating the larvae always rested in a curled-up position in the form of an interrogation mark. There was a number of long spines on the body, thickened at the ends. After the last moult the appearance of the larvae changed completely ; the resemblance to a bird's dropping was lost, and each segment was marked with a broad yellow bar, making the larvae now verv conspicuous. The long clubbed spines were very prominent, and together with the yellow and black markings served to give the larva a most remarkable appearance. The rearing of the larvae was very easy, and they were fed all the time on birch. On one of the larvae the yellow bars on two adjacent segments were joined ; this larva was segregated from the others, and an attempt will be made next year to obtain a pairing between the resulting moth and one of the others, in order to determine whether the abnormal marking is inherited. When the larvae were fully grown, rotten wood and short hollow stems were provided, and the larvae soon disappeared into the stems or into the rotten wood for pupation. S.

BEAUFOY.

OBSERVATIONS PEARL-BORDERED FRITILLARY (Argynnis euphrosyne Linn.). At the edge of Belstead Wood this butterfly is always to be seen at the correct time of the year, but usually only in small numbers. This last spring, however, they were there in profusion, feeding upon the flowers of bĂźgle. D U K E OF BURGUNDY FRITILLARY (Hamearis lucina Linn.). The larvae of this butterfly feed upon the leaves of primrose and of cowslip, but usually prefer the latter. As there was a remarkable increase in the number of cowslips this last spring, possibly due to the absence of rabbits, the Duke of Burgundy Fritillary may be seen in Suffolk again. It has not been reported for many years, but it is possible that it is still here in very small numbers, and that the increase in cowslips may cause an increase in the butterflies. Will members interested please keep a sharp look-out for the species in May and June in woods where the cowslip grows ?

On Rearing Lepidoptera  
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