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Citrus leaf miner - Phyllocnistis citrella - a new British Species?:
Ben van As discovered Clementines, from Morocco, just before Christmas infested with the citrus leaf miner, Phyllocnistis citrella (Lepidoptera Gracillariidae).

They were found on December 24th, 2003, in Schiedam, Provence Zuid, in Holland. This miner was first found in Holland in 1995, being intercepted by the National Plant Sanitation Service from several shipments of Citrus and Murraya imported from Florida and Southern Europe. They concluded that "In the Netherlands it poses a threat on greenhouse cultures of their hosts."

It is primarily an Asiatic species, which has shown an extremely rapid spread. In Florida it was discovered in 1993 and by 1995 it was found  in Texas, Central America and  Mexico.

It breeds continuously, with up to 13 generations a year! The mines can be found on citrus fruits (as seen here) but also on young citrus leaves. It mines the ventral surfaces, but can also be found dorsally in heavy infestations. The leaves have the characteristic silvery 'snail trails'.

Further details: http://ag.arizona.edu/crops/cotton/insects/other/leafminer.html

This miner is apparently found in Britain also now and can be found on citrus plants - a plant favoured for its decorative properties and grown in greenhouses.

These mines have a characteristic central frass line, which distinguishes them from another miner - Citrus peel miner (CPM), Marmara gulosa (Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae). This is a pest on  citrus in southern and central California and Arizona. This forms mines which do not have a central frass line.

Further details:
http://ag.arizona.edu/crops/cotton/insects/other/peelminer.html .

Image Wijnand Burggraaf - Barendregt

Late miners?  

These mines, on Salix were photographed by Paul Talbot on December 4th 2003 in Cromwell Bottom LNR, Yorkshire, VC63.

The left photo is Ectoedemia intimella (Lepidoptera: Nepticulidae) and the right  photo shows Stigmella salicis (Lepidoptera: Nepticulidae) - the left mine, with Ectoedemia intimella forming the mine closer to the midrib.

These mines are interesting as they are both very late in the season - it is assumed that the mining activity is over for both by early November. Paul has since examined further leaves and found that some E.intimella mines are still occupied into early January 2004.

Newsletter of leafmines.co.uk                                                                                                                                                                    November 2003 January 2004