Thursday, 8 August 2019

Lime Mines

A half-hearted search of some of the lower leaves of our garden lime (Tilia x vulgaris) this evening, glass of wine in hand, produced plenty of the expected signs of Bucculatrix thoracella, the larvae of which spend the early part of their lives in a mine before starting to eat externally.  The adult moth is always a frequent sight in the trap and made its way onto this year's garden list back at the beginning of May.

Mines of Bucculatrix thoracella on lime, Westcott 8th July

By chance I also stumbled upon a vacated mine of Stigmella tiliae which is what I always hope to find on the tree but have done so only once before, back in 2013.  This seems to be quite an uncommon nepticulid in our area and today's find is, I believe, only the third record for VC24 after my original discovery then another near Denham by Andy King in 2014.  It seems to be an unusual species in that the frass pattern can be coiled (as here) or linear.

Mine of Stigmella tiliae on lime, Westcott 8th July

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks    

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