Monday, 5 September 2016

Better catch - more questions

Despite heavy rain for the second half of the night last night's catch was more interesting adding Frosted Orange, Black Rustic and what I hope is a Double-striped Pug (see image 4) to this year's list as well as a few new micros. This should put me past the 200 macros and 100 micros point for this year in the garden.
Image 1 is a leaf mine from a greenhouse cucumber plant. I have no idea how to make a start with leaf-mines but thought I'd ask before the plant is put on the compost heap.

Image 2. Possible Acleris sparsana from last night.

 Image 3. Not a moth! I had a tiny micro that escaped before I managed to get a photo. I thought I had found it, took a quick photo and then realised it was not the missing moth but this rather unusual looking fly?

 Image 4 Possible Double-striped Pug?

 Image 5 Possible Scrobipalpa costella?

As always any advice is much appreciated.
Andy Newbold, Sibford Ferris, Oxon.


  1. Hi Andy, the only known miners of cucumber (Cucumis) in the UK are flies (see That web-site is a very good place to start if you are thinking about moth leaf-mines. I'd suggest going to the home page, selecting 'Mine-keys' at the top and then downloading/printing off the entire key.

    I think you are probably correct that the second image is Acleris sparsana. The most commonly encountered form is plain grey but there are others which have the red shown in your image and I don't think it is Acleris laterana which then becomes a possible confusion species. The fly is actually an aphid and looks rather like Eucallipterus tiliae (do you have lime nearby?). Double-striped Pug is correct, as is Scrobipalpa costella. With the latter, keep an eye out for the vaguely similar Hypatima rhomboidella which is also around now and does appear in gardens.

  2. Well spotted, Dave, It might be worth pointing out that not all generations of Aphids have wings; but the photo'd one does and is thus a dispersal phase of the species. So the host Limes may not be all that nearby.

  3. Thank you for your quick and detailed reply. I will follow your advice on the leaf-mine key. We do have some mature limes about 400 metres from the garden (but no Lime Hawkmoths in the garden yet!) I did catch a Hypatima rhomboidella in Mull a couple of weeks ago and it was my first thought with last night's moth.


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