Sunday, 11 August 2019

More Mines

As has been mentioned before, searching for leaf mines is a great way of expanding one's garden list to include some of our smallest species.  Even though we've not yet arrived at the traditional leaf-mining months of September and October, another dozen moths were added to the Westcott year-list this afternoon with larval mines found on blackthorn, cherry, hazel and hawthorn.  They included two active Nepticulids on hawthorn, Stigmella crataegella and Stigmella hybnerella, of which crataegella is a new species for the garden (it mines only in July and early August and I usually forget to look for it then). 

Active and vacated mines of Stigmella crataegella, 11th August

Active mine of Stigmella hybnerella, 11th August

I also took a quick tour of the lower leaves on our Norway Maple and in ten minutes found 33 vacated mines of Stigmella aceris.  This species was first noticed on the tree in 2016 (just a single mine) and has now been found on it each subsequent year.  The moth appeared in the UK in the 1970s and has been slowly spreading, although the speed of that spread seems to have accelerated considerably over the past few years.

Mine of Stigmella aceris with deceased larva, 11th August

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

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