I’ve been hunting for leaf mines in recent days, the mines made by the larvae of the micro moth Stigmella aceris, which can be found at this time of year on the leaves of Norway and Field maples. Unfortunately, I haven’t made any finds of my own but my Twitter pal Gareth had the honour of finding the first mines in the Vale of Glamorgan last week so I went and checked out his find site to get a look at the mines for myself.
According to the UK Moths website, this moth was classified as rare until 40 years ago, when it began increasing its range ‘dramatically’. It can now be found throughout central and southern England, and also in south Wales – it was found for the first time in Cardiff in November 2019.
I’ve never seen the adult moth, which has the common name of Scarce maple pigmy – and probably never will – but you can see a photo of it on the British Lepidoptera weebly site here.
And now I’m heading out to check more Maple trees before their leaves all fall and turn to mush …