Thursday, 13 July 2017

Ectoedemia sericopeza

Another moth which came to the garden trap on Monday night was the tiny Nepticulid illustrated below (wing length 3mm).  It was quite well marked for such a tiny beast, which narrowed it down to a group of three or four but would still have needed examination of its genitalia to get to species  - if only it hadn't "done a runner" in my study immediately after the photo was taken.  Rather than heading for the window as most moths do, it hurtled off into a dark corner where I doubt that it avoided our spider population for very long. 

Ectoedemia sp., Westcott 10th July

Andy Banthorpe kindly pointed me in the direction of Ectoedemia sericopeza and Ectoedemia louisella as likely candidates so I decided to have a look for mines on their food-plants (Norway Maple and Field Maple respectively).  Rather than mining the leaves, they burrow into the samaras (winged seeds) of these two trees.  On 11th July I managed to find a vacated mine of Ectoedemia sericopeza on our Norway Maple almost immediately, then the following day discovered several mines of Ectoedemia louisella on a Field Maple in our neighbours' hedge, so I now have local records for both species even though I still don't know for sure what that adult was!  Neither species appears to be at all common but that may be more to do with under-recording.  In Bucks there are a handful of records for each but they are all of adults, suggesting that no-one has made the effort to look for their mines.  If present the mines are relatively easy to spot and are visible on both sides of the samara, the one found on Norway Maple being illustrated below.  Those on Field Maple look very similar.  It is important to be able to locate the egg, which is just about visible in the lower photo (it shows well under a 10x hand lens).

Mine of Ectoedemia sericopeza on Norway Maple

Mine of Ectoedemia sericopeza on Norway Maple

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks        

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.