British leafminers, Hornbeam, leaf-mining moths, leafmines on Hornbeam, leafmining moth larvae, Stigmella microtheriella
Hornbeam is a tree that’s somehow escaped my attention but, at this time of year, when its leaves turn gorgeous and vibrant shades of yellow, I can’t help but notice how widespread it is and, while admiring its autumn colour, I’ve also spotted some leafmines on its leaves.
Reading the mine description on the British Leafminers website, I thought I had found Stigmella microtheriella (egg laid, so mine starting, on or near a vein but not in the axil) but, as there was potential confusion with another moth, Stigmella floslactella, I checked with the experts. Rob, one of those behind the British Leafminers website, kindly confirmed that my identification was correct and also commented that ‘Although S floslactella is said to mine Hornbeam I don’t know anyone who has found it on that host. It’s a very doubtful record.’ Now I – and you, if you see mines like these – can record them as Stigmella microtheriella with confidence!
you really are into your leaf mines! I have noticed that the more I get into nature the more I notice the minutiae of life !
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My interest has certainly developed this year and, like you, I’m definitely noticing more of the minutiae these days. 🙂