Saturday, 31 December 2011

Holm Oak mines

Obviously it's a quiet time of year but there are still some species to look for. An easy place to start is with the mines on Holm (Evergreen) Oak. There are two gallery miners and one blotch miner on this foodplant. The blotch miner is Phyllonorycter messaniella which I don't have any photo's of yet but I'll try to get some later today. In the mean time, you can have a look at

P. messaniella also mines deciduous oaks and Beech so is moderately widely recorded in Sussex, particularly in the west where there has been more recording effort. See Colin's book or

The two gallery miners are both sparsely recorded in the two counties but are easily identified. Ectoedemia heringella produces small, contorted mines. There can be several in a leaf.

Stigmella suberivora produces a much longer mine which is not significantly contorted. Often part of the leaf adjacent to the mine dies off, making it look superficially very broad. At this time of year, some Holm Oak leaves partially die off around the edges and can look a bit like suberivora mines. Hold the leaf up to the light to ensure there is actually a mine present.