I had the pleasure of leading a field trip last week looking for leafmines. Well I say that I led it, what that really means is that I told people where to meet up and spent a few hours in the company of some very knowledgeable people looking at leafmines. This was the fourth Buckinghamshire Invertebrate Group leafmining field trip and was held at Salcey Forest on the Bucks/Northants border with the Northants Moth Group.
So far, the list for the day is 65 species, 46 of which were leafmines, the rest comprising a few galls, adult and larval intertebrates.
Leafmines provide a way of finding many otherwise difficult to find species, as the adults are very rarely found, and even when they are can be very hard to indentify. The species are also often very under-recorded so provide very valuable records. There are some excellent online resources to help indentify leafmines.
Despite having been interested in leafmines for some years, I still managed to record four new species, two of which are significant county records, both Notable b. First Ectoedemia rubivora which occurs on Rubus fruticosus agg. (Bramble).
We had two scarce species on Rosa, Emmetia angusticolella and the Nb species Emmetia angusticollella.
Also very nice to find on Rosa was a case-bearing larva of Coleophora gryphipennella, only the second time I'd recorded this species, but we saw several larvae.
A few other things we found, or at least the few I took photographs of! Euthrix potatoria (Drinker) and Psyche casta larva
A mine on Urtica dioica (Common Nettle) which I think can only be Agromyza anthracina because of the threads of frass.
Overall a great day with lots to see and lots to think about. I'd recommend leafmines to anyone interested in extending their moth list or looking for a new avenue of exploration!