Welcome to my blog

This is where I post various musings about wildlife and ecology, observations of interesting species (often invertebrates)
and bits of research that grab my attention. As well as blogging, I undertake professional ecological & wildlife surveys
covering invertebrates, plants, birds, reptiles, amphibians and some mammals, plus habitat assessment and management
. I don't work on planning applications/for developers. The pages on the right will tell you more about my work,
main interests and key projects, and you can follow my academic work here.

Tuesday 30 April 2013

More on the tree-moth combo

A few weeks ago, I posted about leaf-mines on cork oak (Quercus suber) and whether I had found the first British record of the moth Stigmella suberivora on this tree species (it is known from Q. ilex in Britain and Q. suber in continental Europe). Although the mine appeared correct, this is not enough to confirm the record, so I revisited the tree and collected a couple of leaves with occupied mines in order to, hopefully, raise adults which can be positively identified. This is a somewhat uncertain activity but the pupae I collected are being kept in suitably (but not too) moist/humid conditions and, as I write, are definitely still alive.

I have added a couple of images of the pupae, though I have noticed that whereas adults, and to a lesser extent eggs and larvae can be found figured in various publications, reference images of pupae are difficult-to-impossible to find, even on the excellent UK Moths site. So, here they are - fingers crossed that my next post on this topic will cover the final identification!

Unidentified pupa from a Q. suber leaf mine - approx 4mm long - note the mobile abdomen.
Unidentified pupa from a Q. suber leaf mine - head to the left, approx 4mm long, note ventral thoracic hooks and the wings dorsally (beneath in this photo).

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