Friday, 1 November 2019

Mines on Rhamnus

Rhamnus (Buckthorn) and Frangula (Alder Buckthorn) must be out there in the countryside locally - all those Brimstone butterfly caterpillars must be feeding on something - but I rarely come across these plant species and I certainly do a lot of searching in hedgerows especially during the winter months.  I had to do a pick-up today from the RIS trap at Marsh Gibbon, Bucks so stopped at a roadside hedgerow Buckthorn which I know of and look at regularly not far from the village.  Sure enough, evidence was found there of the two main moth species which mine its leaves:

Vacated mines of Bucculatrix frangutella on Buckthorn,
Marsh Gibbon 1st November

Active mine of Stigmella catharticella on Buckthorn,
Marsh Gibbon 1st November

I saw a dozen or more active mines of Stigmella catharticella, some still quite small (which seems a little bit late in the season for them now).  There are a couple of Coleophorids too which use these plants and some likely-looking leaf damage was found but there was no sign of any larval cases.  We have both Rhamnus and Frangula growing in the garden, the latter 15 or more years old, but I've yet to find any miners on them.  One day, perhaps...!

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

1 comment:

  1. Perhaps it is a little late for the catharticella, Dave. 3 days ago there were dozens of their mines on Buckthorn at Aldbury Nowers (just Hertfordshire) but only one of them had a tenant when I got them home.


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