British leaf mines, British moths, Enchanter's nightshade, Larval mines of Mompha langiella, leafmines on Enchanter's nightshade, Mompha langiella, moth leafmines
I’ve been lingering over leafmines again and have a new one to show you, this time on the lovely little plant that carpets the woodland floor at this time of year, Enchanter’s nightshade (Circaea lutetiana).
The mines, which start off as galleries but are often subsumed into the later blotches, are made during June and July by the larvae of Mompha langiella, a rather nondescript little brown moth. The larvae, as described on the British leafminers website, are ‘light yellow, with darker thoracic legs’ (see photo left below), and, most fortunately, I also found a pupa (below right), which are located ‘occasionally in a mined leaf or in a cocoon between the leaves or on the leaves’.
Though Enchanter’s nightshade is widespread in the places where I walk, I’ve only found one site with these leafmines so far. Can you spot them in your local woodland?
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