News of wildlife and other issues

Invertebrates in June 2012

The first day of June was a day of warm, somewhat humid and overcast weather, and insects were enjoying it. Speckled Wood butterflies were - as usual - visiting the garden, as well as Large Red Damselflies. But it was in Wanstead Park that a variety of insects could be seen during the morning. Surprisingly, perhaps, there were few butterflies - just Speckled Wood and one or two whites. Some moths were observed: Longhorn moths, Adela reaumurella, and a Grass moth Crambus lathoniellus (pic)

The first grasshopper of the year (at least for me) made an appearance by the Heronry Pond, and was well on its way to adult size. Not enough, really, for me to identify, but... having seen one, I became aware that there were others - albeit smaller - underfoot. On the plant leaves, low down, were numerous Wolf Spiders; higher up were Nursery-web Spiders Pisaura mirabilis. There were a few beetles too, including a Soldier Beetle Cantharis sp. and a new species record for the area: Attelabus nitens  - the Oak Leaf-roller (pic.). Erratically flying about from leaf to leaf were Scorpion Flies Panorpa species. Damselflies were Azure, Common Blue, Red-eyed, Large Red and - by Ornamental Waters - a few Banded Demoiselles.

On the 31st May/1st June at Capel Road, the moth trap caught

1 Epiphyas postvittana  Light Brown Apple Moth 998
1 Cydia pomonella Codling Moth 1261

1 Common Swift 17
1 Currant Pug 1832
2 Willow Beauty 1937
1 Large Yellow Underwing 2107
1 Lychnis 2173
2 Pale Mottled Willow 2389

Overnight on the 1/2 June at Lakehouse, the moth trap produced:

3 Epiphyas postvittana Light Brown Apple Moth 998

1 Common Swift 17
1 Maiden’s Blush 1680
2 May Highflyer 1778
4 Common Marbled Carpet 1764
2 Cypress Carpet 1771a
( a new species for the area)
1 White-spotted Pug 1835
3 Willow Beauty 1937
1 Heart and Dart 2089
1 Shuttle-shaped Dart 2092
1 Shears 2147
1 Common Quaker 2187
2 Grey Dagger 2284
2 Knot Grass 2289
1 Rustic Shoulder-knot 2334
1 probable Marbled Minor, and another or the same Minor sp. 2337
3 Treble Lines 2380
13 Pale Mottled Willow 2389

On the 4/5 June, the same moth trap caught nothing at all (cool, and full moon)

A visit to Wanstead Park and the old Sewage Works site (Aldersbrook Exchange Lands) produced six species of damselfy: Common Blue, Azure, Large Red, Red-eyed, Blue-tailed and Banded Agrion - of which there were lots by the Roding, predominantly male but with some females. Also on the emergant flag-iris leaves were a few Small China-mark moths, Cataclysta lemnata, a creature which lives around slow-moving water and often lands and sits on duckweed. There were few butterflies in evidence, just a couple of Small Heath on the Plain plus a very bright and new-looking Red Admiral in the Sewage Works, and a white-one. Here too was a Dark Bush-cricket, minus one of its jumping-legs. In addition, there were Scorpion-flies about; these are somewhat moth-like creatures, quite easily seen on vegetation, and there are three common species in Britain. These can't be identified properly without detailed examination, so Panorpa sp. will have to do.

The Capel Road moth trap on 6/7 June had just four moths: a micro Aethes smeathmanniana (947), 1 Willow Beauty, 1 Pale Mottled Willow and 1 Magpie (Abraxa rossulariata 1884) (pic). The Magpie was a new species for the area, as was Aethes smeathmanniana

 The Lakehouse trap - as always - did better (I shall have to order a new lamp):


2 Epiphyas postvittana  Light Brown Apple Moth 998
2 Cydia pomonella  Codling Moth 1261
1 Aphomia sociella
Bee Moth 1428

1 Common Swift
1 Garden Carpet
4 Common Marbled Carpet
1 Spruce Carpet
1 May Highflyer
4 Willow Beauty
4 Light Emerald
2 Heart and Dart
4 Shuttle-shaped Dart
1 Setaceous Hebrew Character
1 Common Quaker
1 Rustic Shoulder-knot
1 minor sp.
1 Pale Mottled Willow

Capel moth trap, 8/9 June : 1 Green Oak Tortrix Tortrix viridana, 3 Common Marbled Carpet, 1 White Ermine, 1 Pale Mottled Willow, 1 White-point (2194) (pic) The White-point is an immigrant species, increasing particularly in SE England. This is a new species record for the area.

On 9th June a visit to Wanstead Park followed by a walk through the sewage works, along Aldersbrook Bridle Path and round the cemetery boundary to the Flats produced the following invertebrates: In Wanstead Park, a micro-moth as yet unidentified but click here for a picture. There was a male Banded Demoiselle by the Ornamental Water and near the Grotto was a good selection of bees, a few hoverflies, some newly-emerged damselflies, a Green-veined White butterfly and a Holly Blue. Entering the Aldersbrook Exchange Lands, a Pill Millipede Glomeris marginata was making its way across the cycle route, but rolled up protectively when photograhed (pic). By the Roding there were many Banded Demoiselles on both banks. There were also a few Red Admiral butterflies about, a few Dark Bush-crickets at a young stage of development and a Xysticus cristatus spider carrying an ant (pic). Later on, at the point where the Aldersbrook goes underneath the railway lines, there was a female Black-tailed Skimmer - the first this year. (pic)

The Lakehouse moth trap on 9/10 produced:

1Endrosis sarcitrella White-shouldered House Moth 648
1Epiphyas postvittana  Light Brown Apple Moth 998
1Cydia pomonella Codling Moth 1261

1 Garden Carpet
1 Common Marbled Carpet
1 May Highflyer
1 White-spotted Pug
2 pug sp.
1 Brimstone
6 Willow Beauty
1 Turnip Moth
3 Shuttle-shaped Dart, 3 (inc. a female)
1 White-point
1 Common Wainscot
1 Shoulder-striped Wainscot
1 Rustic Shoulder-knot
2 probable Marbled Minor (but I'm advised to exercise caution with these!)
1 Vine's Rustic
7 Pale Mottled Willow

Capel moth trap, 9/10 June : 1 Green Oak Tortrix, 1 Common Marbled Carpet, 4 Pale Mottled Willow

Capel moth trap, 10/11 June : 1 White-shouldered House-moth Endrosis sarcitrella, 1 Common Swift, 1 Middle-barred Minor, 1 Pale Mottled Willow

 

Lakehouse moth trap, 13/14th June:

3 Common Marbled Carpet
1 Willow Beauty
1 Heart and Dart
2 Shuttle-shaped Dart
1 Shoulder-striped Wainscot
1 Bird's Wing
1 Minor sp. (probably Marbled Minor)
2 Vine's Rustic
7 Pale Mottled Willow

 

Lakehouse moth trap 15/16 June:

1 Treble Brown Spot
1 Lime-speck Pug
1 Dwarf Pug
6 Common Marbled Carpet
2 Willow Beauty
1 Light Emerald
1 Minor
sp. (looks like the illustration of Rufous in Waring and Townsend)
3 Large Yellow Underwing
2 Heart and Dart
2 Vine's Rustic
2 Shoulder-striped Wainscot
1 Pale Mottled Willow

 

Lakehouse Moth trap 18/19 June, sky rapidly cleared and temp. fell, so a cool night:

1 Willow Beauty
1 Common Marbled Carpet
1 Spruce Carpet
2 Heart and Dart
4 Pale Mottled Willow 

 

Lakehouse Moth trap 19/20 June:

1Endrosis sarcitrella White-shouldered House Moth 648
1 Celypha striana
1063
1 Archips podana
Large Fruit-tree Tortrix 977
1 tortrix sp.
1 Aphomia sociella
Bee Moth 1428

1 Garden Carpet
3 Cypress Carpet
2 pug sp.
4 Willow Beauty
1 Bird’s Wing
1 Dark Arches
1 Vine’s Rustic
1 Pale Mottled Beauty

 

Lakehouse Moth trap 22/23 June:

1 Archips podana  Large Fruit-tree Tortrix 977
1 Aphomia sociella
Bee Moth 1428

1 Willow Beauty
1 Large Yellow Underwing
1 Marbled Minor

2 Pale Mottled Willow

 

On Saturday 23rd June the Wren Conservation and Wildife Group organised a moth-trapping evening in Wanstead Park, with experienced lepidopterist Colin Plant bringing a number of moth traps and his expertise to help out. Three traps were set up near the Temple from 10.30pm, and although rain threatened about 10 people attended. The catch included many midge-like flies, but surprisingly few biting ones, and after a hesitant start moths began arriving to be identified. By about midnight the rain began to come down heavily so we abandoned the Park before 1am. In the list of species that follows the numbers after the name are commonly used reference numbers for each species.

Archips podana Large Fruit-tree Tortrix 977
Aleimma loeflingiana  1032 (new species for the area)
Tortrix viridana  Green Oak Tortrix
1033
Chrysoteuchia culmella Garden Grass-veneer
1293

Common Swift (17)
China Mark (1345)
Yellow Shell
(1742
Common Marbled Carpet
(1764)
Freyer's Pug (
1827) new species for the area
Green Pug
(1860)
Double-striped Pug
(1862)
Mottled Beauty
(1941 )
Heart and Dart
(2089)
Flame Shoulder
(2102) new species for the area
Large Yellow Underwing (2107)
Shears
(2147 )
Shoulder-striped Wainscot
(2205 )
Light Arches
(2322 ) new species for the area
Tawny Marbled Minor
(2339 )
Middle-barred Minor
(2340)
Bordered Sallow
(2399) new species for the area
Silver Y
(2441)
Straw Dot
(2474)

Lakehouse moth trap 25/26 June

2 Brown House Moth 647
1
Endrosis sarcitrella White-shouldered House Moth 648
1 Bramble-shoot Moth
1175
1 Codling Moth
1261
2 Garden Grass-veneer
1293
1 Scoparia pyralella
1333
Aphomia sociella Bee Moth 1428

2 Common Carpet
(1738)
1 Common Marbled Carpet
(1764)quite a tatty individual
1 Spruce Carpet
(1769)
1 Foxglove Pug
(1817)
1 Scalloped Oak
(1921)
6 Heart and Dart
(2089)
1 Uncertain
(2381)
1 Pale Mottled Willow
(2389) been coming to the trap since February! 

 

Lakehouse Moth Trap 27/28

Archips podana Large Fruit-tree Tortrix 977
1 Cnephasia stephensiana Grey Tortrix 1020 NFY
1 Cydia pomonella Codling Moth 1261
1 Crambus pascuella 1294 NFY
1 Eudonia mercurella  1344 NFY

1 Grass Emerald (1665) NFY
1 Cream Wave (1693) NFY
1 Riband Wave (1713) NFY
2 Garden Carpet (1728)
1 Spruce Carpet (1769)
1 Foxglove Pug (1817)
1 Currant Pug (1832) NFY
1 Scalloped Oak (1921)
4 Willow Beauty (1937)
8 Heart and Dart (2089)
1 Shoulder-striped Wainscot (2205)
1 Bird's Wing (2301)
1 Uncertain (2381)
2 Pale Mottled Willow (2389)

 

Capel Moth Trap 27/28 (I hadn't put the trap out for some while in Capel Road as the catches had been so poor, then after this warm, overclouded night, the trap in the morning was more like it used to be - 30 or so species identified and 62 individuals, plus some that got away and many unidentified micros...)

1 Scythropia crategella 450 ? (pic)
1 Batia lunaris 640 (a new species for the area)
1 Pandemis  sp. 972?
1 Tortrix viridana Green Oak Tortrix 1033
2 Cydia pomonella Codling Moth 1261
2 Pyrausta sp. (a small specimen) 1361
Hypsopygia costalis  Golden Triangle 1413
Aphomia sociella Bee Moth 1428
1 Homeosoma sinuella 1481 (pic)

1 Least Carpet (1699)
1 Small Dusty Wave (1707)
3 Satin Wave (1709)
3 Treble Brown Spot (1711)
5 Riband Wave (1713)
1 Garden Carpet (1728)
2 Lime-speck Pug (1825)
1 Double-striped Pug (1862)
1 Brimstone Moth (1906)
2 Willow Beauty (inc. perfumaria) (1937)
2 Common Footman (2050) (pic)
2 White Ermine (2060)
1 Turnip Moth (2087)
3 Heart and Club (2088)
8 Heart and Dart (2089)
1 Large Yellow Underwing (2107)
1 Lesser Yellow Underwing (2109)
1 Shoulder-striped Wainscot (2205)
2 Grey/Dark Dagger (2284) (pic)
1 Birds Wing (2301)
1 Dark Arches (2321) (pic)
1 Light Arches (2322) (pic)
1 Marbled Minor (2337)
1 Minor sp. (2337)
1 Rustic (2343)
2 Uncertain (2381)
5 Pale Mottled Willow (2389)
1 Straw Dot (2474)

Capel moth trap 28/29 June

1 Crassa unitella 642 (new species for the area) (pic)
1 Oegoconia sp. 870
1 Tortrix viridana  1033
1 Cydia pomonella Codling Moth 1261
1 Ephestia parasitella  1474 (new species for the area) (pic)
1 Amblyptilia punctidactyla 1498

1 Common Emerald 1659
1 Small Dusty Wave 1707
1 Scalloped Oak 1921
3 Willow Beauty 1937
1 Light Emerald 1961
1 Short Cloaked Moth 2077
1 Heart and Club 2088
5 Heart and Dart 2089
1 Shears 2147
2 Minor sp. (one possibly a Middle-barred Minor, the other was very small)
2 Uncertain 2381
2 Pale Mottled Willow 2389

 
And at the Lakehouse moth trap to round off the month, 30 species and 58 individuals were trapped on the nights of 29/30 June and 30 June/1 July. The underlined species were new for this year.

1 Hofmannophila pseudospretella Brown House Moth 647
2 Endrosis sarcitrella White-shouldered House Moth 648
2 Archips podana Large Fruit Tree Tortrix 977
3 Epiphyas postvittana Light Brown Apple Moth 998
1 Lozotaenides formosanus  1001 (pic)
1 Hedya pruniana Plum Tortrix 1082
1 Cnephasia stephensiana Grey Tortrix 1020
2 Cydia pomonella Codling Moth 1261
1 Chrysoteuchia culmella Garden Grass-veneer 1293
2 Crambus pascuella 1294
1 Eudonia mercurella Small Grey 1344
1 Aglossa pinquinalis  Large Tabby 1421 (new species for the area)
2 Aphomia sociella Bee Moth 1428 (including 1 male)  
 
1 Cream Wave (1693)
1 Riband Wave (1713)
6 Scalloped Oak (1921)
1 Peppered Moth (1931) (new species for the area)
3 Willow Beauty (1937)
1 Mottled Beauty (1941)
1 White Ermine (2060)
2 Short-cloaked Moth (2077)
1 Heart and Club (2088)
10 Heart and Dart (2089)
2 Large Yellow Underwing (2107)
1 Knot Grass (form salicis) (2289)
1 Dark Arches (2321)
1 Uncertain (2381)
1 Vine's Rustic (2384)
4 Pale Mottled Willow (2389)
1 Oak Nycteoline (2423) (new species for the area)
 

 

 

First records of a species for 2012

Attelabus nitens  - Oak Leaf-roller - Wanstead Park, 1 June. New species for the area. (pic)

Grass moth, Crambus lathoniellus  - Wanstead Park, 1st June (pic)

Maiden's Blush Cyclophora punctaria - Lakehouse Moth Trap, 1/2 June.

May Highflyer Hydriomena impluviata 1778 - Lakehouse Moth Trap, 1/2 June. New species for the area

Heart and Dart - Agrotis clavis - Lakehouse Moth Trap, 1/2 June.

Shears Hada plebeja - Lakehouse Moth Trap, 1/2 June.

Grey Dagger Acronicta psi - Lakehouse Moth Trap, 1/2 June.

Rustic-Shoulder-knot Apamea sordens - Lakehouse Moth Trap, 1/2 June. New species for the area

Marbled Minor Oligia strigilis - Lakehouse Moth Trap, 1/2 June

Treble Lines Charanyca trigrammica - Lakehouse Moth Trap, 1/2 June

Small China-mark moth Cataclysta lemnata 1758 - Perch Pond, 6 June

Dark Bush Cricket - 6 June, Aldersbrook Exchange Lands.

Magpie Abraxa rossulariata 1884 - Capel Road moth trap, 6/7 June. New species for the area. (pic)

Aethes smeathmanniana 647 - Capel Road moth trap, 6/7 June. New species for the area.

Setaceous Hebrew Character - Lakehouse Moth Trap, 6/7 June

White Ermine - Capel Road moth trap, 8/9 June

White-point (2194) - Capel Road moth trap, 8/9 June. This is a new species for the area (pic)

Pill-bug Armadillium sp. (probably A. vulgare) - Aldersbrook Exchange Lands (Redbridge Field), 9 June (pic)

Spider Xysticus cristatus - Aldersbrook Exchange Lands, 9 June (pic)

Black-tailed Skimmer - by the Alders Brook, 9 June

The bee-mimic hoverfly Volucella bombylans - Capel Road garden, 10 June (pic)

Small Emerald - Capel moth trap, 12/13 June

Common Blue - Aldersbrook Exchange Lands, 14 June

Burnet Companion (Euclidia glyphica) 463 - Aldersbrook Exchange Lands, 14 June

Celypha striana (1063) - Lakehouse moth trap 19/20 June (new species for the area)

moth Aleimma loeflingiana 1032, Wanstead Park, 23 June

Freyer's Pug 1827, Wanstead Park, 23 June

Flame Shoulder 2102, Wanstead Park, 23 June

Scythropia crategella (450) - Capel Road moth trap 27/28th June (pic)

Batia lunaris - Capel Road moth trap 27/28th June. This is a new species for the area

Crassa unitella - Capel Road garden 28/29 June (pic)

Ephestia parasitella - Capel Road moth trap 28/29 June (pic)

 

for invertebrates in May, click here

for invertebrates in Jan, Feb, March and April, click here

Paul Ferris, June 2012

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Invertebrates in May

Well, up to and beyond the middle of the month, I didn't see many invertebrates at all. Those that had been out and about had probably been so when I wasn't - mainly because when it hadn't been raining it had looked as though it might. It was only on Monday 21st that the weather seemed to change, then it changed drastically - to hot. It continued pretty much that way until the end of the month.

 On 8/9th May the moth trap in Lakehouse attracted 12 moths of six species (and a large caddis-fly):

Epiphyas postvittana Light Brown Apple Moth 998
1 Emmelina monodactyla  Common Plume 1524
1 small, very pale micro, unidentified as yet.

1 Brindled Pug 1852
2 Brimstone 1906
5 Pale Mottled Willow. 2389. Some of these were tatty beyond belief. However, even when they lose colour the black dots on the leading edge of the wings seem to be a giveaway.

A Brindled Pug 1852 was also caught in the Capel Road trap on 9/10th May (pic)

There were many rainy nights and other reasons why neither of the moth traps could be put out, but butterflies seen during the first two weeks of May included a number of Orange Tips, Small White, Speckled Wood, Peacock and Holly Blue. On 15th May, there was a Holly Blue and a micro-moth, Anthophila fabriciana, sometimes called a Nettle-Tap, which is common around nettles. (click here)

On 16/17th the Capel Road trap attracted: 

1 Epiphyas postvittana Light Brown Apple Moth 998

1 Small Dusty Wave 1707 (click here)
1 Common Pug 1834 (click here)
1 Least Black Arches 2078 (click here). This small, dark moth had me stumped until it was suggested that it may be a partly melanistic form of the Least Black Arches. On 17/18th I caught a more typical form of this species and I am now convinced that they are the same. 

 On 17/18th the Capel Road trap had:

1 Shuttle-shaped Dart (click here)
1 Least Black Arches (click hereNola confusalis 2078.  This is a new species for the area

On 18/19th the Capel Road trap had:

3 Early Grey
1 Pale Mottled Willow
1 Common Pug
1 Double-striped Pug

On 19/20th the Capel Road trap had:

1 Common Pug 1834
1 Early Grey 2243

and Lakehouse had:

Endrosis sarcitrella  White-shouldered House Moth 648
1 Epiphyas postvittana Light Brown Apple Moth 998

8 Early Grey 2243
8 Pale Mottled Willow 2389
1 Silver-Y 2441

On the 20th May the Wren Wildlife and Conservation Group organised a walk looking for butterflies, dragonflies and flowers. The weather was not May-like: somewhat overcast and temperatures just about reaching double-figures, so butterflies and dragonflies were hardly at their peak. In fact, so far off their peak were they that apart from one damselfly and one micro-moth we had no sightings of either of those groups. The one damselfly was a Large Red, Phyrrosoma nymphula, newly emerged and hanging on to a Flag-Iris in Perch Pond (click here). There were a few damselfly exuviae (click here) - which are the empty larval-cases - on Flag-Iris, indicating that some at least damselflies had emerged. The micro-moth was Adela reaumurella - commonly called a Longhorn Moth. There are a few species of longhorn-moths and they are so-called because of their particularly long antennae. The term "micro-moth" is a commonly used term for one of the smaller moths, of which there are many and which can be particularly difficult to identify. Adela reaumurella is one of the easier ones: its antennae and bronze colour makes it quite distinctive. (click here)

A few other invertebrates were noted during the day, including spiders, slugs, flys and bees, some ladybirds - both 7-Spot and Harlequin - and just a couple of hoverflies, including the Marmalade Hoverfly, Episyrphus balteatus. Some of the group visited the Gatehouse Pantry at the City of London Cemetery afterwards, and a Hairy-footed Flower Bee Anthophora plumipes (click here) was seen on the Solomon's Seal in the garden there. We also noted that some of the leaves of this plant had been eaten, and it is likely that this will have been the work of the larvae of the Solomon's Seal Sawfly, Phymatocera aterrima. Worth keeping an eye on this one.

Of the other invertebrates, the spider was also on the flag-iris leaves: a Long-jawed Orb Weaver,Tetragnatha extensa. This likes damp places, and if alarmed sits with its four front legs and its four back legs stretched out fore-and-aft in line with its body. It also has the capability of walking on water, which apparently it can do faster than on land. On an adjacent leaf was a non-biting midge of a group called Chironomids. (click here). There was a cranefly, too - possiblyTipula vernalis. (click here)

The night of 21st/22nd had the following in the Lakehouse Trap:

2 Endrosis sarcitrella  White-shouldered House Moth 648
3 Epiphyas postvittana Light Brown Apple Moth 998
2 as yet unidentified micros

2 Oak-tree Pug 1853
2 worn and unidentified pug sp.
1 Brimstone 1906
1 Knot Grass 2289
5 Pale Mottled Willow 2389

The Capel Road trap had nothing apart from a mirid bug - Dryophilocoris flavoquadrimaculatus - quite possibly because the lamp failed to ignite!

A walk across Wanstead Flats on 22nd saw the first two Small Coppers; in Wanstead Park a pair of Speckled Wood butterflies were dancing in dappled shade by Perch Pond, and in Aldersbrook Exchange Lands, a 14-Spot Ladybird Propylea 14-punctata, a Soldier Beetle Cantharis rustica, Orange Tip butterflies, one or two unidentified blue butterflies, some Small Whites and the second species of damselfly this year - a Banded Demoiselle (click here) - were seen. There were also some shield-bugs including the Dock Bug Coreus marginatus and a pair of Bishop's Mitre Aelia acuminita. This increase in activity was much due to a warming of the weather, and a bright, sunny day.

Capel Road's moth trap overnight on 22/23rd:

2 possible Pandemis cerasana Barred Fruit-tree Tortrix 970
1 Aphomia sociella Bee Moth 1428

1 Green Carpet 1776
2 Early Grey 2243

On 23rd May in the garden (Capel Road) there was the annual visit of the Large Red Damselflies - about three, a courting Speckled Wood couple and by the pond - seeing off everything - the hoverfly Helophilus pendulus. Also in the garden was a new species of hoverfly for the area: Merodon equestris eqestris (click here), the Nettle -tap moth Anthophila fabriciana , the Bee Moth Aphomia sociella and the longhorn moth Adela reaumurella (click here). There were numbers of these settling on Red Valerian and Yellow Archangel. There were also - incidentally and doubtless feeding on invertebrates - ten basking Common Frogs by the pond and an uncounted number that jumped in as I approached.

The 23rd May was - like the day before - a hot one, with temperatures up to 25.C. Wanstead Park produced a number of insects, notably a Brimstone butterfly which - as usual - didn't stop for a photograph. Other butterflies were a number of blues - again, not stopping even for i.d. - plenty of Orange Tips, Speckled Woods and two Small Coppers on the Plain. Moths seen were a new species for the area 0652 Alabonia geoffrella (click here), which was on tree-leaves at the edge of Northumberland Avenue, numbers of Adela reaumurella (the longhorn) and a Mother Shipton on the Plain. This last is so-named because part of the wing-pattern is said to resemble a well-known Yorkshire witch (of old). Landing actually on the surface of the Perch Pond was a Small China-mark Cataclysta lemnata. There were also plenty of damselflies in evidence at last, many freshly emerged of course, and these included Blue-tailed, Azure and Large Red Damselfly Pyrhosoma nymphula . Beetles noted were Gastrophysa viridula by Perch Pond and Malachius bipustulatus on May-flowers on the Plain.

In the Capel Road trap on 23/24th:

1 Epiphyas postvittana Light Brown Apple Moth 998
1 Cydia pomonella, Codling Moth 1261
1 unidentified tortrix

1 Lime-speck Pug 1825
1 Bright-line Bright-eye 2192
1 Early Grey 2243
1 Pale Mottled Willow 2389

The Lakehouse trap did much better:

1 Nemophora degeerella 148
1 Esperia sulphurella 649
19 Epiphyas postvittana  Light Brown Apple Moth 998
2 Celypha lacunana: 1076 This is a new species for the area
1 Aphomia sociella Bee Moth 1428

1 Grey Pine Carpet Thera obeliscatia 1768. This is a new species for the area
2 Oak Tree Pug 1853
1 Double-striped Pug 1862
1 pug sp.
3 Knot Grass 2289
2 Pale Mottled Willow 2389

The catch at Capel Road on 24/25th:

1 Syndemis musculana  986 This is a new species for the area. (click here)
1 Codling Moth Cydia pomonella 1261
1 unidentified micro (click here)

1 Satin Wave 1709 (click here)
1 Lime-speck Pug 1825
1 Early Grey 2243

and  a crane-fly species (click here)

 
In Lakehouse Road trap on 24/25th were:

1 Endrosis sarcitrella  White-shouldered House Moth 648
15 Epiphyas postvittana Light Brown Apple Moth 998
1 Cydia pomonella  Codling Moth 1261
2 Aphomia sociella Bee Moth
1428
3 other small micros, which haven't been figured out yet; also 3 Tortrix which may not be Light Brown Apple Moth.

2 Small Dusty Wave 1707
1 Garden Carpet 1728
1 Grey Pine Carpet 1768
1 White-spotted Pug 1835  Eupithecia tripunctaria
This is a new species for the area
1 Oak-tree Pug 1853
2 Brimstone 1906
2 Willow Beauty 1937 (male and female)
2 Shuttle-shaped Dart 2092
1 Knot Grass 2289
2 Pale Mottled Willow 2389

On 25/26th in Capel Road trap:

1 Double-striped Pug 1862
2 Willow Beauty 1937
1 Bird's Wing 2301
1 Marbled Minor or Tawny Marbled Minor Oligia sp. 2337 - this could be Marbled Minor, Tawny Marbled Minor or even a Rufous Minor, the difference really only ascertainable by examination of the genitalia - which I am loathe to do. It would annoy the creature and be fiddly for me. (click here)

In the garden on 25th was new species of beetle in the area, the longhorn beetle Strangalia melanura

26/27 May catch at Capel Road:

1 Tinea trinotella  Bird's-nest Moth 247 - a new species for the area (pic)

1 Common Swift 17 (click here)
1 Common Pug 1834
1 Willow Beauty 1937
1 Pale Mottled Willow 2389

The Lakehouse trap on 26/27th had the following:

5 Epiphyas postvittana Light Brown Apple Moth 998
1 Aphomia sociella Bee Moth 1428

1 Spruce Carpet Thera brittanica 1769. This is a new species for the area
1 Common Pug 1834
1 Willow Beauty 1937
1 Light Emerald 1961
1 Poplar Hawkmoth 1981
2 Shuttle-shaped Dart 2092
1 Large Yellow Underwing  2107
2 Knot Grass 2289
3 Pale Mottle Willow 2389

The 27th May was another very warm day, with temperatures above 25.c. A walk in Wanstead Park in the latter part of the morning proved rather disappointing, as fewer insects were to be seen than expected. There were plenty of damselflies by Heronry Pond, including Common Blue (pic.), Azure and Large Red, but almost no butterflies, apart from a white and some Speckled Wood. Even in the garden, not much happening save for the rapid appearance and disappearance of a blue butterfly, one or two Speckled Wood, and the same three damselfly species as in the Park. Then what I at first took to be a Hornet appeared, and flew off. When it returned it was clearly a female Broad-bodied Chaser, which posed not only for pictures (here) but for video too (below).

Moths in the Lakehouse moth trap on 28/29th were:

2 Hofmannophila pseudospretella Brown House Moth 647
2 Epiphyas postvittana Light Brown Apple Moth 998
unidentified micros, several

1 Garden Carpet, 1728
1 Common Marbled Carpet, 1764
1 White-spotted Pug 1835
2 Willow Beauty 1937
1 Shuttle-shaped Dart 2092
1 Pale Mottled Willow 2389

In the garden on the 29th it was cooler - up to about 22.C - cloudier, but still invertebrate-quiet; a few Speckled Wood, one bright Red Admiral - the first of the year - and a few of the common damselflies. Quite a few bees, and just one Marmalade Hoverfly. A tiny, pale blue flying creature landed on my foot and stayed long enough for a photo-shoot. I assume it was a species of Wooly Aphid. (pic.) This prompted a look for some other aphids, which were quickly found on the leaves of roses. These were green ones. (pic.)

The Capel Road trap provided a Common Marbled Carpet and a Double-striped Pug, in addition to two micros. There were Holly Blues and Speckled Wood occasionally in the garden, and the first Red-eyed Damselfly on Alexandra Lake.

 Overnight 29/30th, Capel Road accumulated

1 Epiphyas postvittana Light Brown Apple Moth 998
1 Common Swift 17

1 Marbled Carpet 1764
1 Green Pug 1860
1 Double-striped Pug 1862
1 Waved Umber Menophra abruptaria 1936. This is a new species for the area.
1 Willow Beauty 1937
2 Pale Mottled Willow 2389

The Lakehouse trap had:

2 Hofmannophila pseudospretella Brown House Moth 647
1 Endrosis sarcitrella  White-shouldered House Moth 648
5 Epiphyas postvittana Light Brown Apple Moth 998
1 Cydia pomonella  Codling Moth 1261
1 Pyrausta aurata  1361
1 Bee Moth Aphomia sociella 1428

1 Common Marbled Carpet 1764
2 White-spotted Pug 1835
1 Green Pug Pasiphila chloerata 1860 (partly melanistic) (pic.)
1 unid. pug sp.
3 Willow Beauty 1937
1 Shuttle-shaped Dart 2092
5 Pale Mottled Willow 2389

The night of the 30/31st at Capel Road:

1 Hofmannophila pseudospretella Brown House Moth 647

1 Common Swift 17
1 Currant Pug 1871
1 Double-striped Pug 1862
1 Pale Mottled Willow 2389
1 Waved Umber 1936 This is a new species for the area

31 May/1st June in Capel Road:

1 Epiphyas postvittana Light Brown Apple Moth 998

1 Common Swift 17
1 Currant Pug 1871
2 Willow Beauty 1937
1 Large Yellow Underwing 2107
1 Lychnis 2172
2 Pale Mottled Willow 2389

 

List of Invertebrates recorded in May for the first time this year, in order of appearance:

Pale Mottled Willow - 8/9th May, Lakehouse moth trap

Common Plume - 8/9th May, Lakehouse moth trap

Anthophila fabriciana, Nettle-Tap - 15th May, Aldersbrook Exchange Lands (click here)

Peacock - 16th May, Aldersbrook Exchange Lands

Common Pug - 16/17th May, Capel Road moth trap (click here)

Small Dusty Wave - 16/17th May, Capel Road moth trap (click here)

Least Black Arches Nola confusalis (2078) - 16/17th May, Capel Road moth trap (click here). This is a new species for the area 

Shuttle-shaped Dart - 17/18th May, Capel Road moth trap (click here)

Double-striped Pug - 18/19 May, Capel Road moth trap

Silver-Y - 19/20th May, Lakehouse moth trap

White-shouldered House Moth, Endrosis sarcitrella - 19/20th May, Lakehouse moth trap

Large Red Damselfly - 20th May, Perch Pond, Wanstead Park

Long-jawed Orb Weaver,Tetragnatha extensa - 20th May, Heronry Pond, Wanstead Park

Brimstone moth - 21/22nd May, Lakehouse moth trap

Oak-tree Pug - 21/22nd May, Lakehouse moth trap

Small Copper, 22nd May, Wanstead Flats

14-Spot Ladybird Propylea 14-punctata - 22nd May, Aldersbrook Exchange Land

Soldier Beetle Cantharis rustica - 22nd May, Aldersbrook Exchange Lands

Ichneumon wasp, possibly Pimpla hypochondriaca - 22nd May, Aldersbrook Exchange Lands

Banded Demoiselle - 22nd May, Aldersbrook Exchange Lands, by Roding (click here)

Dock Bug Coreus marginatus - 22nd May, Aldersbrook Exchange Lands

Bishop's Mitre Aelia acuminita - 22nd May, Aldersbrook Exchange Lands

Bee Moth Aphomia sociella - 22/23 May, Capel Road moth trap

Green Carpet - 22/23 May, Capel Road moth trap

hoverfly Merodon equestris eqestris - 23 May, Capel Road garden

Nettle -tap moth Anthophila fabriciana - 23 May, Capel Road garden

Longhorn Moth Adela cuprella - 23 May, Capel Road garden (click here)

Alabonia geoffrella (0652) - 23 May, by Northumberland Avenue, Wanstead Park (click here) This is a new species for the area

Mother Shipton - 23 May, The Plain, Wanstead Park

Small China-mark Cataclysta lemnata - 23 May, Perch Pond, Wanstead Park

Blue-tailed Damselfly - 23 May, Wanstead Park

Azure Damselfly - 23 May, Wanstead Park

Gastrophysa viridula - 23 May, by Perch Pond, Wanstead Park

Malachius bipustulatus - 23 May, on May flowers on the Plain, Wanstead Park

Lime-speck Pug - 23/24 May, Capel Road moth trap

Bright-line Bright-eye - 23/24 May, Capel Road moth trap

Codling Moth Cydia pomonella - 23/24 May, Capel Road moth trap

Nemophora degeerella - 23/24 May, Lakehouse moth trap

Esperia sulphurella - 23/24 May, Lakehouse moth trap

Celypha lacunana (1076) - 23/24 May, Lakehouse moth trap.  This is a new species for the area

Grey Pine Carpet Thera obeliscata (1768)- 23/24 May, Lakehouse moth trap.  This is a new species for the area  

Double-striped Pug - 23/24 May, Lakehouse moth trap

Knot Grass - 23/24 May, Lakehouse moth trap

Garden Carpet - 24/25 May, Lakehouse moth trap

White-spotted Pug Eupithecia tripunctaria (1835) - 24/25 May, Lakehouse moth trap.  This is a new species for the area 

Willow Beauty - 24/25 May, Lakehouse moth trap

Syndemis musculana  986 - 24/25 May, Capel Road moth trap. This is a new species for the area.

Satin Wave - 24/25 May, Capel Road moth trap (click here)

crane-fly species - 24/25 May, Capel Road moth trap (click here)

Longhorn Beetle Strangalia melanura - 25 May. This is a new species for the area.

Bird's Wing - 25/26 May, Capel Road moth trap

Marbled or Tawny Marbled Minor Oligia sp. -   25/26 May, Capel Road moth trap (click here)

Common Swift - 26/27 May, Capel Road moth trap (click here)

Broad-bodied Chaser - 27th May, Capel Road garden. (click here)

Light Emerald - 26/27 May, Lakehouse moth trap

Spruce Carpet Thera britannica (1769) - 26/27 May, Lakehouse moth trap.  This is a new species for the area 

Poplar Hawkmoth - 26/27 May, Lakehouse moth trap

Large Yellow Underwing - 26/27 May, Lakehouse moth trap

Common Marbled Carpet - 28/29 May, Lakehouse moth trap

Red Admiral - 29 May, Capel Road garden

Pale Tussock Callitera pudibunda (2028) - 29/30 May, Lakehouse Estate. This is a new species for the area 

Waved Umber Menophra abruptaria (1936) - 30/31 May, Capel Road moth trap. This is a new species for the area

Lychnis - 30/31 May, Capel Road moth trap

Pyrausta aurata - 30/31 May, Lakehouse moth trap

Green Pug - 30/31 May, Lakehouse moth trap  (pic.)

 

for invertebrates in June click here

 

 Paul Ferris, May 2012

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Green Tree-frogs at Snaresbrook?

The account below of Green Tree-frogs in Snaresbrook was taken from 'The Essex Naturalist', Vol.1. 1887

It is suggested that the species may have been Hyla arborea, the European Tree-frog, which is native to Europe excluding Britain, Ireland, Spain and Portugal. The Editors' comments are interesting: they don't seem to have persisted!

Locally, we only seem to have Common Frogs Rana temporaria (as well as Common Toads Bufo bufo), although not too far away - certainly at Rainham Marsh - there are other non-native frogs living and breeding quite happily. These may be Marsh Frogs or Edible Frogs, and maybe Pool Frogs as well, but as these seem to interbreed quite frequently there is some uncertainty!

 

green tree frogs snaresbrook essex nat vol1 1887

Paul Ferris, 21st April 2012

Exchange Lands Cycle Path update

Work to lay the surface of the Roding Valley Way shared-use track through the Exchange Lands started during the first half of April - a very wrong time for such disturbance to be taking place. (see here for previous article) Already many birds had started nesting in the vegetation alongside the route - birds like Long-tailed Tits would have made use of such areas, Common Whitethroats - one of the specialities of this area - had just started to move in and Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps were vigorously singing during a Wren Group migrant bird-watch walk there on 15th. It may have been that bad weather had delayed a proposed start, but this disregard of the wildlife aspect of the area in favour of a cycle route is typical of the attitude in general towards our environment.

Construction work in the Exchange LandsConstruction work in the Exchange Lands on 4th AprilA couple of weeks ago there was an article on Radio 4 that talked about just how rare Lesser-spotted Woodpeckers are. The CIty of London Corporation - in their efforts to protect people from branches of trees falling on heads - had just had the tops lopped off  the very trees that had provided nesting places last year for this species and Little Owls on Wanstead Flats! Also on Wanstead Flats - and for reasons that I cannot think of lest it be stop people tripping on uneven  ground - the rough grassland around one of our rare Creeping Willow shrubs is now being mown - leaving it isolated in a lawn. In Wanstead Park, the area that is being mown for recreation and picnic purposes (I suppose) seems to be expanding and I fear that it will at some time encroach upon one of the Park's rarities - the Harebell. Swings and roundabouts, anyone?

On a more positive note - I hope - the Skylarks on the Flats will soon be nesting and signs should be up advising dog-walkers of this, encouraging them not to let their dogs run loose over those areas. Similarly, in Wanstead Park the Bluebells of Chalet Wood are becoming very flowery, and the signs that were put up at the access-points to that wood asking to avoid trampling and not to pick, should have gone up. Those Bluebells are a victim of their own success, with bluebell walks already organised, individuals and families going to enjoy them and photographers going to photograph them. Let us hope that the tepee-builders don't have too much impact this year; the trampling caused by this fun-activity is seriously detrimental to the development of the plants and should be discouraged. I really think that we should even go to the extreme of erecting temporary fenced routes for people to follow - no more than low, roughly constructed single-log barriers - to act more as psychological barriers than physical ones. Might be able to make some good use of those felled or fallen branches?

Paul Ferris, 17th April 2012

Invertebrates in April

The first notable insect in my garden on 1st April was a Speckled Wood butterfly - albeit they had been seen during March. There were a number of bees about and also hoverflies, including Melanostoma scalare, Eupeodes luniger, Eristalis tenax and a Syrphus species - probably torvus. The night (1/2 April) was cold, and the moth catch in Capel Road was just two Hebrew Character, and in Lakehouse just one Hebrew Character. On 2nd April in Aldersbrook Exchange Lands was one Peacock and a number of small White butterflies (at least five). These were not necessarily Small Whites, although probably, and certainly one was a Green-veined White. The moth catch on 2/3rd April was the usual two Hebrew Characters (it's a kipping place) plus a new moth for this year - a Satellite. This moth has a distinct mark on each wing, which looks a little like a planet with two orbiting satellites - or perhaps like a flying saucer!

On 10th April, two Speckled Wood butterflies were circling each other in a courtship ritual in my garden. I wasn't able to put the trap out until 10/11th, and the catch that night was one Hebrew Character, one Early Grey, two Clouded Drab. The night of 11/12th produced one Hebrew Character and one Clouded Drab, which I recognised as the same individual as one of those caught the night before. Only one Hebrew Character on 13/14th. On the 14th, a male Orange Tip butterfly was seen in Wanstead Park during a BNA walk.

It may be noticed that the name "Hebrew Character" seems to be cropping up a lot, and indeed one, two, and up to four have occured on almost all nights since 1st March. I suspect that the one or two may have been the same individuals who have just found the trap irresistable. Even on the cold nights in mid-April, one was present - the only moth again on 15/16th.

Between 15th-20th, there was a lot of rain and lowish temperatures at night, so the moth trap was not put out. A day-time reprieve from rain, together with some sunshine and temperatures just reaching 13.C. brought out a blue butterfly - probably a Holly Blue - in my Capel Road garden as well as three species of ladybird: a Harlequin, a 7-spot and a few 22-spot. There were also a selection of hoverflies including Syrphus and Eristalis species, a Zebra Spider and a Pisaura spider.

Putting the moth trap out in Capel Road on 20/21st resulted in a nil catch. The daytime on the 21st was much brighter than of late, and on entering Wanstead Park I immediately saw a few Longhorn Moths Adela reaumurella - albeit not doing their usual dance amongst the leaves, but just sitting still. There was quite a bit of insect activity around the patch of Yellow Archangel by Reservoir Wood, however, with numbers of bees including the Hairy-footed Flower Bee Anthophora plumipes  very active (click here). On 22nd, another visit to the Park added the tiny Horse-chestnut Leaf Miner moth to this year's new entrants, with a few on the trunk of a horse chestnut, of course. Butterflies seen were a Green-veined White, an Orange Tip and a Speckled Wood.

The poor weather during the day and night resulted in a nil catch in the Capel Road trap overnight on 24/25th, but the Lakehouse trap caught one Early Grey, one Twenty-plumed Moth, one Light Brown Apple Moth, and two Brindled Pug. A  Brimstone came to light but didn't enter the trap.

On the evening of the 25th a moth trap was set up in the grounds of the City of London Cemetery as a trial. The weather was bad, with rain and cool temperatures, so not unexpectedly the catch was nil.

List of Invertebrates recorded in April for the first time this year, in order of appearance:

Speckled Wood - 1st April, garden

hoverfly Melanostome scalare - 1st April, garden

hoverfly Eupeodes luniger - 1st April, garden

hoverfly Syrphus sp. - 1st April, garden

hoverfly Eristalis tenax - 1st April, garden

Green-veined White - 2nd April, Aldersbrook Exchange Lands

moth Satellite - 2/3 April, garden

Orange Tip - 14th April, Wanstead Park

22-spot Ladybird - 20th April, garden

Longhorn Moth Adela reaumurella - 21st April, Wanstead Park

Hairy-footed Flower Bee Anthophora plumipes - 21st April, Wanstead Park

Horse-chestnut Leaf Miner - 22nd April, Wanstead Park

Twenty-plumed Moth - 23/24 April, Lakehouse moth trap

Light Brown Apple Moth - 23/24 April, Lakehouse moth trap

Brindled Pug - 23/24 April, Lakehouse moth trap

Brimstone - 23/24 April, Lakehouse garden

 

Paul Ferris, April