Monday, 30 December 2019

Hardy Leaf-miners

On browsing through the list of moth species recorded here in the garden during 2019 I realised that Phyllonorycter leucographella was absent from it.  Somehow I'd managed to miss it while checking for leaf-mines in the autumn (probably a clerical error because the mines are "always there"!).  To remedy the situation I went out today to have a look at our Pyracantha and found 20+ young active upper-surface blister mines on its leaves.

Phyllonorycter leucographella mine, Westcott 30th Dec

Back-lit image of the same mine

In the second image above you can see the stripey larva inside the mine, resting against the mid-rib.  Species which mine evergreen plants seem able to survive the winter like this and now is a good time to seek out Holm Oaks (Quercus ilex) whose leaves are often covered in active mines of Ectoedemia heringella.  I've also found active mines of Stigmella aurella on Bramble leaves in January (there's an example here) although a check around the garden today produced only old vacated mines. 

Dave Wilton
Westcott, Bucks

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