Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Leaf-mine success

A wander around the garden at Westcott, Bucks in today's sunshine, looking at fallen leaves on the lawn before they were chomped by the mower, produced two good finds.  The first was an active mine on Birch of Stigmella luteella.  This species was new for the garden back on 14th October when I found a vacated mine, but it is always better to see one that is tenanted and in this case it was within a very obvious "green island" on an otherwise brown leaf, the larva being able to stimulate the leaf chemically into continuing to produce chlorophyll for it to eat. 

Mine of Stigmella luteella on Birch, Westcott 1st November

The other was a vacated mine on a fallen leaf of Norway Maple Acer platanoides.  This can only be Stigmella aceris, which is an excellent discovery here.  Back in 2012 I found a single mine on a Norway Maple in Upper Winchendon, just a few miles away, but that and today's find are the only Bucks records that I know of away from the Chilterns where the majority have been found on Field Maple Acer campestre.  Not at all a common species in the county.  

Mine of Stigmella aceris on Norway Maple, Westcott 1st Nov
Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks


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