Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Check your evergreens

Whilst the winter wind and rain have swept most leaves from the trees and with it any chance of finding leaf miners, it is still worth checking any Evergreen Oak (Quercus ilex) you happen to be passing as there are mines, both vacated and tenanted, still to be found...

Ectoedemia heringella 

This species is known to be expanding its range, so definitely one worth keeping an eye out for, mines can be plentiful, as illustrated below
Ectoedemia heringella leaf mines
Ectoedemia heringella

Stigmella suberivora
Stigmella suberivoraStigmella suberivora


Thursday, 6 December 2012

Early stages: Phyllonorycter platani

This is the most numerous species I have recorded this year, all as leaf mines and all in urban situations up and down the country, including Leeds, Norwich and all around Canterbury.

Phyllonorycter platani leaf mines in profusion
Phyllonorycter platani leaf mines - underside Phyllonorycter platani larva ex leaf mine As the mines can be quite numerous on each leaf and tend to be quite large too, they can still be located in fallen leaves or are also still visible on leaves that are still clinging on to the tree.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Alder Phyll fills out the year list

Although late in the year, still managed to add another to the year list last week in the shape of Phyllonorycter strigulatella leaf mines on Grey Alder.

Phyllonorycter strigulatella leaf mines

Whilst many leaves had already fallen, those that remained held plenty of mines from this species as well as those of P. rajella, P. kleemannella and P. stettinensis.

 Phyllonorycter strigulatella and P. kleemannella leaf mines Phyllonorycter strigulatella (centre) and Phyllonorycter kleemannella leaf mines on Grey Alder Phyllonorycter rajella leaf mine (underside) Phyllonorycter rajella underside Phyllonorycter stettinensis leaf mine Phyllonorycter stettinensis

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Pistols at dawn

The larval cases of Coleophora anatipennella, aka the Pistol Case-bearer, or at least the feeding signs it leaves behind, can be relatively easy to find at the moment, for as long as the leaves last anyway.  The examples below were found on Blackthorn.

Coleophora anatipennella feeding signs on Prunus
Coleophora anatipennella feeding signs on Prunus

Coleophora anatipennella feeding signs

If you do manage to find the feeding signs, and the case is not present on the leaf, it is worth a close inspection of the nearby leaves and particularly in the leaf axils, as the case can often be found here.

Coleophora anatipennella larval case on Prunus
Coleophora anatipennella

Coleophora anatipennella


Sunday, 4 November 2012

Stigs to the power of 5

Still plenty of leaf mines to be found - here's a quartet of Stigmella species from recent days...

Stigmella samiatella
Stigmella samiatella leaf mine on Castanea

Stigmella perpygmaeella
Stigmella perpygmaeella larva and leaf mine on Crataegus

Stigmella floslactella
Stigmella floslactella leaf mine on Corylus

Stigmella lemniscella
Stigmella lemniscella leaf mine on Ulmus

Stigmella hemargyrella
Stigmella hemargyrella leaf mine on Fagus


Monday, 22 October 2012

Early stages: Strophedra weirana

Another often overlooked and under recorded species can be found in its larval stage on Beech right now.  The feeding signs are quite obvious, so one worth keeping an eye out for.

Larval feeding signs
Strophedra weirana larval feeding signs

Larva in opened spinning
Strophedra weirana larva in spinning on Beech

Monday, 15 October 2012

Early stage excesses

To say that the last few weeks have been productive in terms of early stage finds - mainly leaf miners but also cases and galls - would be an understatement.

Whilst we all seem to have suffered a dearth of adults to the traps this year, with tales of crashes in numbers of usually abundant species becoming clear as we all start to analyse the 2012 figures in detail, here in East Kent I am falling over early stages at every turn.

By way of illustration, here are some figures from the last 15 days i.e. October so far:

213 out of 320 total records (66%) are for early stages
4907 out of 5160 total individuals(95%) are for early stages
75 species recorded as early stages

The most abundant early stages are:
Phyllonorycter coryli - 1126 mines
P. platani- 1505 mines
P. corylifoliella - 355 mines

Other finds include Phyllocnistis xenia, Stigmella aceris, Bucculatrix thoracella, Phyllonorycter platanoidella, Coleophora laricella, Ectoedemia heringella, Parornix fagivora, Strophedra weirana

Phyllocnistis xenia
Phyllocnistis xenia leaf mine

Stigmella aceris
Stigmella aceris leaf mine on Acer campestre

Parornix devoniella
Parornix devoniella leaf mine and fold

Stigmella microtheriella Stigmella microtheriella larva in leaf mine on Hazel


Sunday, 7 October 2012

Miners, miners everywhere

The profusion of leaf miners is still very much in evidence; just this last week have totalled around 2000 individuals of a wide range of species from many food plants. Here's a few of the latest finds:

 Stigmella tityrella
 Stigmella tityrrella mine

Parornix fagivora
Parornix fagivora -  leaf fold (3) Parornix fagivora -  leaf fold (2)

Bucculatrix thoracella
 Bucculatrix thoracella minesBucculatrix thoracella mines (2)

Stigmella basiguttella 
Stigmella basiguttella

Friday, 21 September 2012

Early Stages: Hawthorn miners in abundance

All of the hawthorn hedgerows I look at are currently covered in mines of a range of species, here are four species from the last couple of days:

Ectoedemia atricollis
 Ectoedemia atricollis tenanted mine on Hawthorn (2)
Ectoedemia atricollis tenanted mine on Hawthorn

Parornix anglicella
 Parornix anglicella - leaf fold on Hawthorn (2)Parornix anglicella - leaf fold on Hawthorn

Phyllonorycter oxyacanthae Phyllonorycter oxyacanthae mine on Hawthorn Phyllonorycter oxyacanthae mine on Hawthorn - underside

Phyllonorycter corylifoliella Phyllonorycter corylifoliella mine on Hawthorn Phyllonorycter corylifoliella leaf mine


Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Early stages: Adaina microdactyla

The 'bore holes' and associated galls caused by the larvae of this species are relatively easy to find right now; I found a handful in 2-3 minutes on my way to pick up the kids from school.

Adaina microdactyla - gall on Hemp-agrimony

Adaina microdactyla - gall on Hemp-agrimony (2)

Opening up the stems gently will generally reveal the larva inside...
Adaina microdactyla - larva in Hemp-agrimony stem

Adaina microdactyla - larva in Hemp-agrimony stem (2)


Monday, 17 September 2012

More mining gems

Whilst we all seem to have suffered with records to the traps, leaf mines are in abundance everywhere right now here in East Kent.

Here's a few more from recent days...

Stigmella continuella
Stigmella continuella

Stigmella betulicola
Stigmella betulicola (2)

Stigmella basiguttella
Stigmella basiguttella

Phyllonorycter esperella Phyllonorycter esperella

Phyllocnistis unipunctella Phyllocnistis unipunctella (2)

Leucoptera malifoliella
Leucoptera malifoliella (2)