Wednesday, 14 April 2021

A few early micro-moth stages to be on the look out for in April

Not much in the way of leaf-mines yet; however, there are a few interesting species that can be found at this time of the year

On Quercus ilex (evergreen/holm oak).

This is not a common tree in north Wales but there are isolated individuals (see BSBI map). These are worth checking for leaf mines made by Stigmella suberivora or Ectoedemia heringella. Both species tend to be very conspicuous. Either would be new for north Wales.

Ectoedemia heringella. Image: leafmines.co.uk

On Erica/Calluna (heather & heath)

Two species of Coleophora can be found on heather at this time of year. Coleophora pyrrhulipennella constructs large, dark cases that stand out, whilst C. juncicolella cases are exceptionally well camouflaged. These are best obtained by sweeping or beating heather to dislodge the cases. Then place the resulting material in a container and wait for bits of heather to appear to start crawling up the walls!

Images of the cases can be found here: http://www.ukflymines.co.uk/Keys/CALLUNA.php

There is a 'Mine of Month' challenge currently going on the MMG Facebook group, which I'd enourage people to join if they haven't already.

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