Tuesday, 4 May 2021

Overwintering micros from Chorleywood.

 Last autumn I collected a number of different leaf-mines and set them up to overwinter. I brought them in about a month ago, so that the warmth could encourage them to emerge early. I have to say the returns have been pretty thin on the ground, with very few adults appearing. This is not a new phenomenon for me - the mortality rate amongst insects is very high. 

I've photographed three of the ones that did come out:

Phyllonorycter joannisi, from Norway Maple. 

Phyllonorycter cerasicolella from Wild Cherry.

Antispila treitschkiella from Cornelian Cherry.

The British Antispila species were re-catalogued in 2018; what was thought to be treitschkiella was not and was recognised as petryi, but the true treitschkiella was recognised as being host-specific to Cornelian Cherry. 


  1. Nice one, Andy, particularly with the "proper" treitschkiella. Assuming that the mine was indeed from Bucks then that should be a county first. I've yet to find the food-plant (Cornus mas) so maybe some visits to garden centres may be on the cards! As you say, the returns from over-wintering leaf-miners are often very small, not least because so many of them seem to be parasitized.

    1. I have to be honest, Dave; the Antispila was from Chorleywood, but from the part of it just over the border in VC 20. As you say, the problem is finding Cornelian Cherry. I couldn't identify this particular plant until March of this year, when the characteristic flowers came out. The leaves look just like dogwood to me. I think Cornelian Cherry may be a bit out of fashion and maybe not in garden centres. This one was clearly old and is in a ancient ornamental garden of a big house. Another way of locating one is to ask one of the gardeners in an public garden. This worked for me another time in Watford.

  2. Tiny they may be, but these are beautifully marked moths.

  3. Hi Andy, well done! Also your photos are very good.


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