Tuesday 3 December 2013

Another miner for the year list

While ever there are leaves on the trees it is worth the effort having a quick look for leaf mining activity. The are still plenty of leaves on the Goat Willow around here and as a result a good scattering of tenanted mines of Ectoedemia intimella on pretty much all of the trees I search. Ectoedemia intimella larva and mine

Monday 2 December 2013

More from the case files...

There are still larval cases of some of the Coleophorids to be found, here are a few of my relatively recent finds:
Coleophora albitarsella on Ground Ivy Coleophora albitarsella larval case Coleophora solitariella on Stitchwort Coleophora solitariella larval case on Stitchwort Coleophora limosipennella on Elm Coleophora limosipennella larval case on Elm

Tuesday 26 November 2013

A new miner: Stigmella catharticella

Despite searching for the foodplant of this species for a while now I had no luck until this weekend, when I found one example of Buckthorn in a hedge very close to home (although not in an easily accessible area). Very pleased to add this to the list in what has been a very productive year for leaf miners. Stigmella catharticella mine on Rhamnus cathartica Stigmella catharticella mine on Rhamnus cathartica Stigmella catharticella mine on Rhamnus cathartica Dave

Tuesday 8 October 2013

'Tis the season...for miners

Now is as good a time as any to get out there searching for leaf miner activity as they are pretty much everywhere in abundance right now.

He's a few more finds from this weekend:

Phyllonorycter stettinensis on Alder
Phyllonorycter stettinensis

Leucoptera laburnella on Laburnum
Leucoptera laburnella

Bucculatrix ulmella on Oak Bucculatrix ulmella
Stigmella lemniscella on Elm Stigmella lemniscella

Sunday 6 October 2013

Rearing success with a tiny one

Been finding plenty of Phyllocnistis species mines this Autumn, including P. unipunctella on Poplar. Several of which emerged recently and one even sat still long enough to pose for the camera too. Phyllocnistis unipunctella reared ex mine on Poplar

Thursday 19 September 2013

Persistence rewarded

Well after hours and hours of searching for this case-bearer over several years in the end it was the most casual of glances this morning that finally yielded a new one for me in the shape of Coleophora artemisicolella. Well chuffed to say the least... Coleophora artemisicolella larval case Coleophora artemisicolella larval case Spot the case bearer Dave

Friday 13 September 2013

Leaf miner glut continues

Another day with fantastic returns from a miner foray: over 45 species this time and many different ones to the 40 plus day earlier in the week due to different habitat.

 Highlights include:

 Phyllocnistis xenia on Populus Phyllocnistis xenia leaf mine on Populus

Phyllocnistis saligna on Salix Phyllocnistis saligna leaf mine on Salix fragilis
Stigmella viscerella on Elm Stigmella viscerella leaf mine on Elm

Wednesday 11 September 2013

If you go down to the woods today...

A short trip to the woods today yielded over 40 species of leaf miner, with many families represented.

There were thousands and thousands of Phyllonorycter coryli on Hazel, with P. esperella on Hornbeam not too far behind.

Many other species were well into the high hundreds: Caloptilia syringella, Stigmella tityrella, S. hemargyrella, Phyllonorycter messaniella and P. maestingella included.

Some of the highlights included:

Elachista gangabella

Elachista gangabella tenanted leaf mine
Stigmella splendidissimella
Stigmella splendidissimella leaf mine
Stigmella aceris
Stigmella aceris leaf mine Euspilapteryx (Eucalybites) auroguttella
Stigmella samiatella
Phyllonorycter platanoidella
Parornix fagivora
Phyllonorycter mespilella

Tuesday 3 September 2013

Lucky sweep

Had this little beauty when sweeping Field Maple close to home. Even more pleased that it sat still for its photo shoot, as I have always had major trouble with this family in the past...

  Caloptilia semifascia

Monday 26 August 2013

The dirty and the beautiful

Two recent highlights that could hardly be more contrasting, firstly the beauty that is Chrysoesthia drurella. I have found many mines of this species but this was my first adult in the UK. Chrysoesthia drurella

And secondly the somewhat drab Pediasia contaminella, in fact named for its rather dull or dirty

  Pediasia contaminella

Thursday 25 July 2013

A mind blowing quartet

Still having to pinch myself that this set of moths were all nestled in my humble back garden moth trap...halcyon days indeed. Loxostege sticticalis
Loxostege sticticalis

Pempelia obductella
Pempelia obductella

Sciota adelphella
Sciota adelphella

Oncocera semirubella
Oncocera semirubella

Tuesday 23 July 2013

Going dotty

Been seeing all sorts of spots before my eyes of late both attracted to the garden trap and with rearing success: here are a few of the recent monochrome marvels...

Ethmia dodecea
Ethmia dodecea

Yponomeuta cagnagella reared ex larva on Spindle Yponomeuta cagnagella bred ex larva on Spindle

Bird-cherry Ermine (Yponomeuta evonymella) Yponomeuta evonymella

Yponomeuta plumbella reared ex larva on Spindle Yponomeuta plumbella bred ex larva on Spindle

Sunday 21 July 2013

Feelin' hot hot hot...

Well yes the weather is fantastic but the mothing is also red hot or is it a purple patch, anyway here's a few of the highlights from recent days, including several new additions to the garden list, pushing it to the cusp of 700 species...
Evergestis limbata
Evergestis limbata

Schoenobius gigantella - female
Schoenobius gigantella

Lozotaeniodes formosanus
Lozotaeniodes formosanus

Ethmia dodecea
Ethmia dodecea

Yarrow Plume (Gillmeria (Platyptilia) pallidactyla)
Yarrow Plume

Thursday 18 July 2013


Found the larval case of this moth - Psyche casta - a few weeks ago, potted it up hoping to rear through.

I was more than pleased when this beautiful female, who really is nothing more than a glorified egg-sac, duly emerged a couple of days ago, as my mind immediately turned to the possibility of assembling a male to her.

Psyche casta female

Psyche casta female

This also turned out to be a success, with just a single male coming to the female who had been placed in a net bag in the garden (the same net bag that is used for various synthetic Clearwing lures)

Psyche casta - male
Psyche casta - male. Assembled to newly emerged female (above)

Tuesday 16 July 2013

Mines by the dozen

Literally dozens of mines around now from a wide range of species and food plants...
Callisto denticulella mine on Malus
Callisto denticulella on Apple

Parornix anglicella leaf mine
Parornix anglicella on Hawthorn

Phyllonorycter coryli leaf mines Phyllonorycter coryli on Hazel

Parornix devoniella leaf mine and fold Parornix devoniella on Hazel

Leucospilapteryx omissella leaf mine Leucospilapteryx omissella on Mugwort

Monday 8 July 2013

The Holy Grail: found....

The adults of this species have been turning up at the back garden trap every July for several years now, giving a strong indication of a breeding population close by. However, I have been searching for years to find the incontrovertible evidence of breeding - the larvae.

So it was that a few weeks ago, I stumbled across this solitary Yponomeuta larva, that looked that little bit different, it being alone also raised my expectations as this species gets all Greta Garbo as it matures, unlike many of its congeners.

Yponomeuta irrorella larva in spinning on Spindle

 A few days later, pupation and again, cross-referencing images on the Internet (the few I could find anyway) raised my expectations even further, until on Sunday 7th July, the adult emerged confirming my hopes and suspicions and ticking off one of my Holy Grails.
Yponomeuta irrorella bred ex larva on Spindle

Friday 5 July 2013

New UK foodplant for miner

As tentatively reported back in May: http://kentmicromoths.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/early-stages-phyllonorycter.html

I found what appeared to be the mine of Phyllonorycter oxyacanthae on Pyracantha, 
which to that point was not recorded from this foodplant in the UK.

The adult has now emerged, confirming the ID, and as such a new foodplant.

Phyllonorycter oxyacanthae reared ex mine on Pyracantha

Monday 24 June 2013

Miner season shifts up a gear

The number of miners is now steadily on the rise. Here are some of the latest finds... Antispila metalella tenanted mine
 Antispila metalella mine in Dogwood
  Lyonetia clerkella mine
Lyonetia clerkella mine on Hawthorn
  Stigmella hybnerella mine
Stigmella hybnerella mine on Hawthorn
  Phyllonorycter oxyacanthae leaf mine Phyllonorycter oxyacanthae mine on Hawthorn Phyllonorycter oxyacanthae leaf mine underside Phyllonorycter oxyacanthae mine on Hawthorn - underside