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

Tree-moth mystery solved

After much musing about whether I had found Stigmella suberivora on the non-native cork oak Quercus suber, a discussion on iSpot followed by a little extra microscope work shows it to be Phyllonorycter messaniella. The identification was finally confirmed by looking at the intersegmental spines which are particularly long in the pupa of this species.

The long intersegmental spines which are diagnostic for the pupa of Phyllonorycter messaniella.

This is a widespread species in the UK on evergreen oak Q. ilex and various deciduous oaks, as well as some other tree genera (Heath & Emmet, 1985). However neither this book nor the excellent leaf-miner websites here and here give Q. suber as a host for the moth in the UK. The next job is to find out whether it really is a new host for the moth in this country... update when I know more.


Heath, J. & Emmet, A.M. (eds.) (1985). The Moths and Butterflies of Great Britain and Ireland. Volume 2: Cossidae - Heliodinidae. Harley, Colchester.

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