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Rob Edmunds, one of the people behind the British Leafminers website, labelled these leafmines ‘tadpoles’ and, as you can see, it’s a very apt description. They are also tiny, as these mines appear on Blackthorn or Sloe (Prunus spinosa), the leaves of which are only 2 – 4cms long.

211004 Stigmella plagicolella (1)

The adults of the moth Stigmella plagicolella, also known as the Scrubland Pigmy, are active twice each year, firstly in May and June, and then again in August, so their larval mines can be seen soon after those periods, in July and then again during September and October. So, this is a mine to look out for when all you gin drinkers out there are collecting the fruit to make Sloe gin.