Spring moths continue to surprise at Tophill Low NR

White-pinion Spotted Lomographa bimaculata Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire May 2017

The recent good run of site moth scarcities continued at Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire during the middle period of the month.

White-pinion Spotted Lomographa bimaculata was first discovered on the site back in 2006 – the second and third records followed in May 2015, with a single noted in 2016, so singles on May 13th and 16th represent a fantastic year for a species which has proved to be elusive at Tophill over the last decade.

Aspilapteryx tringipennella Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire May 2017

A presumed migrant involved a Dark Sword-grass Agrotis ipsilon trapped on the 15th, the 22nd individual since 1996, but trapping on the 16th proved to be the best night of the year so far, with several site scarcities noted including the second site record of Aspilapteryx tringipennella and the sixth record of Aethes smeathmanniana – the first for three years.

Aethes smeathmanniana Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire May 2017

The best moths involved two Geometridae in the group Larentiinae, with both the locally scarce Ochreous Pug Eupithecia indigata and the more common Grey Pug E. subfuscata both being new additions to the site list.

Ochreous Pug Eupithecia indigata Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire May 2017

Grey Pug Eupithecia subfuscata Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire May 2016

Following the second site record of Prays ruficeps earlier in the month, the third was taken at light on 18th, and for the first time, an ‘out of pot’ photograph was taken.

Prays ruficeps Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire May 2017

Finally, a Gracillaria syringella on the 20th was the eighth site record and first since 2014.

Gracillaria syringella Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire May 2017

The west side of O reservoir is always the first place to look for the first Red-eyed Damselfly Erythromma najas of a new season, and predictably the first of the year was present there on the 13th.

Red-eyed Damselfly Erythromma najas Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire May 2017

Broad-bodied Chaser Libellula depressa Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire May 2017

Broad-bodied Chaser Libellula depressa is the eighth species of the year noted at Tophill. Confirmed as breeding species on site 12 months ago, the first pre-flight emergents of 2017 were seen on the 20th.

Readers wishing to keep up to date with Tophill related events should check out the Tophill Low NR blog and twitter feed (the latter updated daily) for official news from Tophill Low.

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