It’s what’s inside that matters #4

Raspberry Clearwing (Pennisetia hylaeiformis)

If you know of any Raspberry patches, I’d encourage you to have a close look for signs of this moth: a bit of old fashioned field craft is all that’s required.

Winter is the ideal time to search for signs of larval activity.  Best to start by searching for the galls in the roots, just below ground level. Simply scrape away a bit of soil, if present, the galls are quite obvious.

You can also look for the exit holes, about 15-20 cm above ground level, and later in the year you could always try the pheromone lure that is available.


It’s what’s inside that matters #2

Another internal feeding larva that can be found overwinter is Metzneria aestivella.

Look  inside the seed heads of Carline Thistle: I’d recommend wearing gloves!  The presence of larva is often betrayed by a slight ‘untidy’ look to the seed head.  There’s usually multiple larvae present.

I’ve recorded these from several sites across East Kent, from Folkestone Warren to Fowlmead CP; finding them particularly abundant at the latter site.

Migrant marvel

Andy Millar recorded just one moth in his Rainham garden trap Friday night, but what a moth it was: Syncopacma polychromella.

Unless there are already others in Kent as part of this year’s influx, this looks like the second record for Kent, the last being the first for Britain back in 1952.

Great stuff, Andy. Photo credits: Andy Millar.

Another from the case files

The mobile larval cases of Coleophora argentula seem to be quite plentiful this year.

Although a bit like a needle in a haystack at first, it’s worth having a close look at any Yarrow seed heads; once you get your eye in, they can be quite easy to spot. They can sometimes be found on the stems, in which case (no pun intended) they are much easier to find.

Get on the case

There are still quite a few early stages to be found, including various Coleophorid larval cases.  The bonus is that with many of these, the combination of food plant and case structure allow you to confirm these species, and all without recourse to the most cruel cut of all…

I found the following species this weekend, at various sites across East Kent.  The larval feeding signs are often quite obvious and betray the presence of the case-bearing larva below.

Coleophora lineolea on Stachys

Coleophora solitariella on Stellaria


Coleophora albitarsella on Glechoma

Coleophora gryphipennella on Rosa


More miners at SBBO


Stigmella catharticella mine on Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica)

Spent a few hours on Friday at SBBO, led a leaf miner foray along with Ian Hunter et al, species list much down on the one from a few weeks ago, but the leaves are falling fast.  Did manage to find a few species that I didn’t come across last time and at least one looks like it’s new to the 10km square – Stigmella catharticella mine on Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica).