Tuesday, 1 December 2015

What the zell

Two hours of very productive leaf mine and early stage searching at Sandwich Bay Bird Obs last week (27th Nov) yielded almost 60 species.

Two obvious highlights, both on Salix repens:

Stigmella zelleriella

and Phyllonorycter quinqueguttella

Monday, 23 November 2015

Flippin' Ec

...or, recent success with mines of a couple of rare/uncommon Ectoedemia species in East Kent.

A few weeks ago, was very fortunate to find a single tenanted mine of Ectoedemia arcuatella on Fragaria vesca, Spinney Wood, Aylesham, East Kent. Apparently only the fourth record for Kent (second for East Kent, VC15) with the last back in 1975. This paucity of records had given rise to questions as to whether this should now be classified as an extinct, former resident of Kent.  Certainly one worth looking out for.

More recently, also found tenanted mines of the pRDB3 species, Ectoedemia agrimoniae on Agrimony, North Downs Way, nr Patrixbourne, East Kent.  Good numbers were present on a large clump of Agrimony, all with the characteristic cocoon inside the mine.  This has less than 20 records in the Kent database, so is another one worth searching for.

Monday, 12 October 2015

A hole lot of miners

Sometimes the holes left behind by leaf miners can identify the species responsible. Been finding plenty of these over the weekend...all on Birch.

 Phylloporia bistrigella
 Phylloporia bistrigella

Heliozela hammoniella
Heliozela hammoniella

 Incurvaria pectinea (cut outs plus 4 aborted mines) Incurvaria pectinea

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Rare Lyon alive and well in East Kent: Lyonetia prunifoliella

Been on tenterhooks all week, fingers crossed that this moth would emerge...

But rewinding a week or so, just beyond my garden I found an unusual mine on Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) whilst I was actually collecting Parornix mines to rear.  On rechecking the pot, the typical Lyonetia pupa hammock could be seen fastened to the sides.

All things pointed to one moth, but I wanted to be 100%.  As the pupa developed, the chevron like markings on the forewing could clearly be seen, so far so good.

And lo and behold the male emerged 16th September, confirming the existence of Lyonetia prunifoliella in East Kent.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Early stages: Chrysoesthia species

Chrysoesthia drurella and C. sexguttella mines on Chenopodium seem particularly plentiful this autumn, so worth checking for.

I find the mines in various locations - gardens, rough ground, urban settings - so keep an eye out wherever you see the foodplant.

Chrysoesthia drurella

Chrysoesthia sexguttella

Back with a bang; great start to peak miner season

It has been far too long since my last post but now back on the blog, just in time for peak Lep miner season.

Had a very productive weekend in East Kent with over 65 species of Lep miner, a great start to the autumn miner season.

This included no less than EIGHT Parornix species:

P. betulae

P. carpinella

P. devoniella

P. fagivora

P. finitimella
P. scoticella
P. torquilella
P. anglicella

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Pine-ing for this one

Miners on Pinus aren't always easy but are certainly well worth the effort.

Reared this Cedestis subfasciella from mine found at Telegraph Farm, East Kent.

Cedestis subfasciella Cedestis subfasciella larva

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Purple patch - in miniature

These diminutive guys really do put the micro into micromoth.

Over recent days the Eriocrania species I collected as mines 10 months ago have begun to emerge and they are well worth a little rearing effort:

Eriocrania cicatricella ex mine on Birch
Eriocrania cicatricella

Eriocrania semipurpurella ex mine on Birch
Eriocrania semipurpurella

The mines of the various Eriocraniidae will start to appear over the next few weeks (some species earlier than others of course) and I certainly recommend a spot of mine hunting and even a bit of rearing through, they're not that difficult, you just have a long time to wait.