Sunday 26 May 2013

Just like Christmas

Sadly, I am not referring to the opening of my trap as would usually be the case at this time of year, but success in rearing through a lifer.

Ancylis laetana reared ex larva

Ancylis laetana - larval leaf roll

The analogy to Christmas is that I did not know exactly which larva this was when I collected it last Autumn.  The larva eventually pupated and hence it was a perfect little 'present' all neatly packaged up.

On checking the nursery this morning I was greeted by a very fresh Ancylis laetana, a moth I had never recorded before, so the surprise was even better.

Friday 24 May 2013

Early stages: Paracrania (Eriocrania) chrysolepidella

I wasn't specifically mine hunting this evening as I was actually looking for other larvae but, as ever, you never know what you're going to find, hence the images below of the mines and larva of Paracrania chrysolepidella; one of the moths where we have to get used to a different Generic name as in the UK it was formerly one of the group of Eriocrania.

Paracrania (Eriocrania) chrysolepidella mine on Hazel
Eriocrania chrysolepidella larva in mine on Hazel
Paracrania (Eriocrania) chrysolepidella mine on Hazel
This one always takes a bit of searching for, even though I happen to have plenty of both Hornbeam and Hazel close by: this is actually the first time I have had this one on Hazel, it has always been Hornbeam before for me.

Unlike several other miners, even when you do find this one, it always tends to be in ones and twos and is very locally distributed. That said, the mines are quite obvious when present and ID is straightforward.

Monday 20 May 2013

Early stages: Yponomeuta plumbella

The feeding signs of the very young larvae are quite evident on Spindle right now.  Look for obviously wilted young shoots as the wilting is caused by the young larvae feeding from within the stems.  Closer investigation will reveal tiny holes where the larva has entered the shoot and if you take great care in opening the shoot, the larva can be found, although at such a small size, it really is a needle in a haystack job.

Yponomeuta plumbella larva
Yponomeuta plumbella larval feeding signs
Yponomeuta plumbella larval feeding signs
Yponomeuta plumbella - feeding signs

Sunday 19 May 2013

Small but perfectly formed

Whilst micros at the trap remain few and far between, there seem to be plenty to be had from a bit if daytime searching. These three diminutive beauties have really helped to brighten things up.

  Glyphipterix simplicella
 Glyphipterix simpliciella

  Incurvaria masculella
Incurvaria masculella

  Cameraria ohridella
Cameraria ohridella, there are hundreds of these around just about every Horse Chestnut tree I look at right now.

Friday 3 May 2013

Early stages: Coleophora paripennella

It is that time of year again when it is worth keeping a close eye out for the feeding signs of various larvae, including the case bearing Coleophorids, many of which make very obvious feeding signs that betray their presence. I came across several cases of Coleophora paripennella yesterday on the basal rosette of leaves of Centaurea.

  Coleophora paripennella Coleophora paripennella feeding signs Coleophora paripennella
This last one is just to give an idea of scale...
Coleophora paripennella

Wednesday 1 May 2013

Early stages: Phyllonorycter leucographella plus one

Otherwise known as the Firethorn Leaf Miner.

Given the widespread nature of the larval food plant, Pyracantha, this one can be found in many gardens and suburban locations and is spreading rapidly northwards.  If you do find this one, there tends to be hundreds of mines on any given Pyracantha, sometimes it seems that almost all leaves are affected.

Phyllonorycter leucographella mines Phyllonorycter leucographella mine Phyllonorycter leucographella larva
Final word on this, when searching on Pyracantha, keep an eye out for other mines as I recently found this one, which although waiting to rear through for ultimate confirmation, this appears to be the first UK record on this food plant for Phyllonorycter oxyacanthae.
Phyllonorycter oxyacanthae mine on Pyracantha
Phyllonorycter oxyacanthae mine on Pyracantha - the first UK record on this plant, East Kent, April 2013.