A Blog for moth recorders in Bucks, Berks and Oxon
A bit late for the flowers, I'm afraid, but they look like this:
I planted a Cornelian-cherry (really a type of dogwood, native to central and southern Europe) in my garden a few years ago, mainly for its beautiful spring flowers; it grew well (on chalk) and it is now approx. a 15-foot tree - but I have not seen the type of leaf damage typical of Antispila. I did attempt to overwinter several mined leaves (with larvae/pupae present) from other tree species but none led to live adult moths. Were there some useful lessons about how to overwinter mined leaves from the successful ones that you had?John Thacker (Harwell VC22)
John, there's a long discussion could be had on this topic. In essence they need to be put through the winter rather than warm them up immediately. This could be done in a fridge, but that's not usually popular with other family members. The 'enemies' are parasites, drying out too early and mould. I put mine in flower pots which had sterile peat at the bottom and covered these over with nylon curtain-like material and left them outside. Then brought them indoors and put them in some little cages I conveniently already had. Checked them daily to see if anything was perched near the top and waited. Basically, the majority of these insects would perish in the wild and parasites account for a huge amount of this. So collect plenty of specimens and yet don't pack them together too much.
Thanks very much for describing your methodology, Andrew. I did try to replicate leaf-litter conditions in my efforts, so as you suggest it may be mostly down to my not having sufficient numbers (i.e., there was nothing intrinsically different in the handling of your successful and unsuccessful ones).
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