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This is the sequel to yesterday’s post …

30 September: While I was searching for the larval mines of the moth Ectoedemia decentella on the few Sycamore seeds I could reach, I found one seed with a hole in it. Thinking it might be relevant, I brought it home and later posted a photo and query on Twitter. Butterfly Conservation senior moth ecologist George replied that this is ‘the exit hole made by a tortrix [moth] larva – likely Pammene aurita, though Pammene regiana also feeds on Sycamore seeds’. Then followed a discussion, prompted by George, between he and 3 other moth-ers about whether Pammene regiana makes an exit hole like this. No one knew for sure.

211012 pammene larval mine (1)

1 October: The next morning, when I picked up the little group of three joined seeds, I noticed what looked like frass sitting below. I mentioned this on Twitter and was advised to put the seeds on tissue in a jar in case the larva was still inside.

211012 pammene larval mine (2)

2 October: My tweet: ‘Exciting news: we have a larva! Not from the original hole. I put that seed, with 2 attached, in a jar, and a larva has emerged from one of the other seeds. It’s currently doing a circuit of the tissue – hoping it will pupate.’ It wasn’t until later, when I was looking at the photos I had taken, that I realised the photo above shows where that larva had begun to eat its way out of the seed (indicated by the yellow arrow).

211012 pammene larval mine (3)211012 pammene larval mine (4)

3 October: The larva pupated. I haven’t been able to get a good image as it’s under the tissue and seems partly stuck to the glass jar. And I realised that I’ll now need to wait until at least next May, maybe later to see which moth emerges. What’s that about patience being a virtue?!

211012 pammene larval mine (5)