Miner Matters

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Breeding Stigmella species - an alternative method:
With some Stigmella species it is essential to breed out the moths to be certain of the identity of the leaf miner. Maitland Emmet's introduction to Nepticulidae in MBGBI Vol. 1 and his chapter in Friedrich's Breeding Butterflies & Moths are one way of breeding the Nepticulidae.

John Langmaid proposes an alternative method, saying:' I must admit to having been signally unsuccessful in following Maitland's methods, but there is no doubt that he himself was quite successful. Last year I met Duncan Williams of Lairg, Sutherland, who has been extremely successful with a method which Maitland didn't recommend! This was to crumple up a bit of kitchen paper and lay it across the bottom of an ordinary plastic larval breeding box, then to cover that with a layer of squeezed-out sphagnum moss, then to place the mined leaves on top and remove them when the mines are vacated. Then to leave the boxes, sealed with their lids on, in an outhouse or shed for the winter and to bring them in shortly before emergence is due. I did try this method this year, and had rather more success than previously, but not totally so. All in all.....it's a gamble!'


Mimicry in leaf hoppers:

Brian Goodey was sent this photo of a hopper which is a Leucoptera/ Phyllonorycter look-alike by Robin Barfoot. It has been identified by Mike Wilson, in Cardiff Museum as Aguriahana stellulata, which feeds on birch and cherry.

Thanks also to Colin Plant for his help in identifying this bug.

Recent miner articles:
Dickerson, B (2004), Ectoedemia amani Svensson (Lep:Nepticulidae), second British site, Entomologist's Rec.J.Var, 116, 118                                   Halstead, A (2004), The host plants of the lime leaf-mining sawfly, Parna tenella(Klug)(Hymenoptera:Tenthredinidae) in Britain, Br.J.Ent. Nat. His. 17,2, 115-117                                                                                                                                                                                                               Manning, D and Woiwood, I (2004), New Lepidoptera records from a Bedfordshire site including Ectoedemia sericopeza (Zeller) (Lep:Nepticulidae) and Coleophora lassella Staudinger (Lep:Coleophoridae), Entomologist's Rec.J.Var, 116, 119                                                                                                   Prichard, A and Clifton, J (2004), Ectoedemia hannoverella (Glitz) (Lep:Nepticuldae) new to the British Isles, Entomologist's Rec.J.Var, 116, 153-157
Newsletter of leafmines.co.uk                                                                                             September 2004