The wrong car park

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Monday 28 October 2013 21:48

When attending field trips, it's usually a good idea to start at the correct meeting point. I usually stand by this advice but yesterday I found myself in the wrong car park and missed the BBS field trip to Seaford Head. Rather than head home with my tail between my legs, I headed down to Hope Gap to see what I could see. Having recently developed an interest in leaf-mines, I was keeping an eye out for any species of plant that I knew might have something lepidopteran in them. It didn't take long to find Caloptilia syringella on Wild Privet. I then picked up a mine from Agrimony but it wasn't until I got home that I realised I had picked up something interesting...

...a sinuous gallery becoming a blotch mine with the pupae remaining inside the blotch on Agrimony keys it out to Ectoedemia agrimoniae. The fact that the cocoon is lilac is a further clincher, and was quite a surprise when I opened the leaf up. Now the cool thing about this moth is that it is pRDB3 but has not been seen in Sussex since 1906 at the latest! It was then only ever known from Abbot's Wood. How cool is that?! I've only been doing leaf miners for three days and have only seen nine species. It just goes to show that there are good things to be found EVERYWHERE in Sussex but also that there are relatively few people recording difficult groups here too! October continues to be one of the best months this year for me and I end the day on 4569 species.

1 Response to "The wrong car park"

Suffolk Nature Says:

Think you hit the nail on the head there with regards to recording. I too came across a Soldierfly in my garden this year, turned out to be a Stratiomys potamida, which was the first record for this species in my 10 km square for 119 years! Yet there's a glut of qualified ecologists leaving uni struggling to find work and still no ones recording the difficult stuff.

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