I was feeling a little miffed that my walk plans have been stymied by a slippery sided stream that I didn’t fancy trying to jump and was retracing my steps when I spotted this flowering Primrose (Primula vulgaris) – and it made my day, partly because I love these buttery yellow flowers, but also because of the mines on its leaves, a new species for me.
These are the mines of a tiny fly, Chromatomyia primulae, whose larvae also mine the leaves of Cowslip (Primula veris). I couldn’t see any larvae in the mines, which concurs with the information on the British Leafminers website that says the larvae are active in January, and then again from June to November. If I’d known, I could’ve looked for any pupae, which apparently lodge themselves in the mine next to a leaf vein. I might have to go back for a closer look.
Very few of these mines have been recorded in south Wales – only 1 record in each of the 1km-squares around me – though that is probably because they are under-recorded. And that may be the same in other parts of Britain, so do please record any you see. You can read more about these leaf miners on the British Leafminers site referenced above and on the UK Fly mines website here.