When Neil Randon kindly awarded me a Rambler for my blogging last year, he did mention that one of the things that he particularly liked about North Downs and beyond in 2013 was a certain lack of 'bits of twig and mothy things'. Neil, look away now...
Up at Box Hill this afternoon I decided to check the leaves that are still left on the trees for mines. I'm no expert (pure novice), but I thought that I'd give it a go. First up was Holly, and, if I've got it right, there is only one species that mines a holly leaf, and that is the fly Phytomyza ilicis. There were plenty of mined holly leaves on show. Is it all this easy? Next up was this mine on a bramble:
Looking at the leafminer website (all interests are catered for on the web!!) I first plumped for this mine being made by Stigmella splendidissimella, but then decided upon Stigmella aurella. Looking at the Smaller Moths of Surrey book, maybe these two species are best left lumped on a mine alone. Any ideas out there?
Oh so much to learn and so little time to do it in.