Birds, Leps, Observations & Generalities - the images and ramblings of Mark Skevington. Sometimes.

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Garden Leaf-mine Ticks

Behind the shed, hidden away and left undisturbed, I allowed a small patch of self-set bramble to take hold. I had no intention of letting it establish properly - this was a deliberate attempt to get a garden tick in the form of the ubiquitous leaf-miner Stigmella aurella.

I remembered and checked yesterday ... long gallery mines, very white looking, purplish edged ... Stigmella aurella duly added to the garden list with several vacated mines. I do like it when a plan comes off.

I also noticed what appeared to be a slightly different mine - still a long gallery but much less white and with no purple edging. It also had a continuous thin frass-trail in the gallery ...

I checked the leaf-miners website and MBGBI Vol 1, and followed up with a confirmatory check with Adrian Russell (County Recorder and leaf-mine recorder). As I anticipated - a splendid bonus tick (garden, County and British) in the form of Stigmella splendidissimella. Great. Now to pull up the bramble!

Last night I neglected to put the traps out as it seemed to be clearing and turning cold at dusk. I then nipped out to the bins at 23:00 and found that it was actually quite still and mild so I got the combo trap out and running. I find that in the late and early season quite a lot of stuff is very late coming to light so I guessed it would still be worthwhile despite having missed 5 hours of darkness. Sure enough, the single trap pulled in 20 of 10sp. Nothing too exciting but good to keep trying - I'm determined to record Sprawler and December Moth this year (neither seen in the garden since 2001).

0332a Firethorn Leaf Miner (Phyllonorycter leucographella) 1
0998 Light Brown Apple Moth (Epiphyas postvittana) 1
1524 Emmelina monodactyla 2
1771 Juniper Carpet (Thera juniperata) 5
2240 Blair's Shoulder-knot (Lithophane leautieri hesperica) 1
2258 Chestnut (Conistra vaccinii) 1
2259 Dark Chestnut (Conistra ligula) 2
2262 Brick (Agrochola circellaris) 3
2264 Yellow-line Quaker (Agrochola macilenta) 3
2441 Silver Y (Autographa gamma) 1


I should have gone to Rutland Water to day to try and catch up with the Bearded Tits that have been knocking about for a couple of weeks but we spent most of the late morning preparing for and executing Alex's birthday party at Lazer Force. Great - a bunch of 7/8 year olds running round shouting - a relaxing Sunday ..... now to await the flurry of dressed up street beggars demanding sweeties ....


Broom Birder said...

Hi Skev,

Never had Juniper Carpet before.....what do they feed on? What ever it is , you must have loads of it.

Broom Birder said...

Before you say Juniper, what varieties do you have in your local area. We have various coniferous trees, but in Bedfordshire Juniper Carpet is a real rarity.


Skev said...

Matt - as far as I know it feeds on various varieties of Juniper, not just native. I'm sure there must be a few cultivated varieties in various gardens on the estate. I've never had Juniper Pug though, but others in VC55 seem to get it every year.