The 2017 moth recording campaign at Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire continues and new additions to the site list saw Apple Fruit Moth Argyresthia conjugella become the 648th species added on June 16th. Species 649 was Coleophora alticolella, albeit trapped on June 1st, but later identified by genitalia dissection and soon after a Coleophora mayrella trapped on the 17th became the 650th species to be added to the site list since recording proper began back in 1992.
The 651st species identified for the site list was Coleophora peribenanderi trapped at light on the 17th and later identified by genitalia dissection. The photos courtesy of Doug Fairweather.
As ever on reaching a milestone, I offer a big thanks to Yorkshire Water and Reserve Warden Richard Hamphire for supporting both Mr Doug Fairweather and myself in our efforts. We now begin the race to 700 and beyond.
As well as the new species, many site rarities were seen up to June 27th… a flavour of what was recorded follows:-
Until this month, single Teleiodes vulgella were recorded in 1998 and 2011, but one on the 16th was followed by singles on the 17th and 26th making it the best year ever for this species which is considered fairly common in the county.
Tophill’s third Eucosma campoliliana was attracted to light on the 17th – following individuals in 2014 and 2015.
A Pammene regiana found in the field on the 17th was the first documented on site since 2014, becoming the 10th site record for this species.
Despite the heat wave not lasting, the moths continued to appear, including Tophill’s second Clouded Brindle Apamea epomidion on the 18th – the only previous record occurring in 2003, while a Coleophora trifolii on the 19th was only the second confirmed record for the site following one in 2016.
Agapeta zoegana was first recorded at Tophill in 2000 and was noted thereafter irregularly, but almost annually until 2013, after which there were no further records – so it was something of a surprise to find this stunning individual in the traps on the 19th, perhaps proof that the species still has a small population on site.
White Plume Moth Pterophorus pentadactyla is a common species across Yorkshire, but one on the 20th was the first site record since 2011, and only the 17th individual recorded since 1993. The 18th record followed soon after on the 23rd.
Trapping on the 23rd also attracted The Miller Acronicta leporine – the first individual recorded at Tophill since 2013 and only the fifth individual since 1995. The stunning Large Emerald Geometra papilionaria was also trapped the same night – the sixth individual recorded on site since 2006 – the seventh was trapped on the 26th.
The supporting cast included further Eupoecilia angustana sightings. Newly added to the site list this year, records continued throughout the month, including this photogenic individual.
First recorded in 2013, Tophill’s eighth Gypsonoma oppressana on the 13th continued the run of annual appearances, with further singles on the 17th and 24th. The first Red-tipped Clearwing Synanthedon formicaeformis of the year was noted on the latter date – the species now occurring annually since 2011, while Six-belted Clearwing Bembecia ichneumoniformis were seen from the 17th.
Peach Blossom Thyatira batis and Buff Arches Habrosyne pyritoides were two of the other stunning species to be taken at light, while the first day-flying Hummingbird Hawk-moth Macroglossum stellatarum was seen on June 24th.
Other species recorded included – Barred Red Hylaea fasciaria trapped on the 16th, Tophill’s second Red-necked Footman Atolmis rubricollis followed a night later, and small numbers of Common Emerald Hemithea aestivaria, Buff-tip Phalera bucephala, Blackneck Lygephila pastinum, Beautiful Hook-tip Laspeyria flexula and Short-cloaked Moth Nola cucullatella also appeared in the traps.
Recent years have seen an average of 418 species recorded annually on site, and at the time of writing the current year list totals 311 species, with several still to be determined. With six months of the year left, including July and August – two of the busiest months of the year – the bar may well be set to new levels.
Away from the moths, the first Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa were noted from the 24th alongside several Southern Hawker Aeshna cyanea – a true sign the summer is progressing as next out will be Migrant Hawker A. mixta – a species which will be on the wing long into the autumn.
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