Posted by Graeme Lyons , Tuesday 29 March 2011 20:01

I went back to Mill Hill after work to look for a specimen of what I think is Scarce Violet Cosmet Pancalia schwarzella (with permission from SDJC of course!). I thought I would count what proportion of the Pancalia were schwarzella types (i.e. c 7 mm long with no white patch on antennae - top photo). Interestingly I found 17 schwarzella types and only two that were definitely Violet Cosmet Pancalia leuwenhoekella (bottom photo - c 5.5 mm long with white patches). All the moths I saw fell easily and distinctively into one camp or the other. I will hopefully get some help with a dissection to confirm the ID. The alternative is that this is one species that is sexually dimorphic. There is only one very old record of schwarzella in Sussex.
However, I also found a nationally scarce carabid which was a new one to me and was a nice surprise. I recognised it in the field as being one of the species with unusual jaws (like pinball flippers). A couplet in the key I have never answered yes to, I have always wondered what these flat-faced beetles would look like. It had a very punctured pronotum and was 10 mm long. This is not the best photo but at least you can see what it is (the hole on the side of the pronotum is damage). It's Licinus depressus and is a Nb species adapted for eating snails and is found on chalk-grassland according to Luff.
So, worst case scenario I have got the ID on the moth wrong but I have still added two Nb species to my list. If I have it right, it's two Nbs and a pRDB2! Mill Hill is looking like a good place to stop on the way home from work.

1st April (no fooling) UPDATE: Tony Davis confirmed that the top moth is indeed the pRDB2 Pancalia schwarzella, the first records in Sussex since 1931. Penny Green and I are both really pleased to have rediscovered this species in Sussex!

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