A diary of my mothing activity covering highlights and photos from my moth trapping activities. Mainly Norfolk (UK), occasionally beyond. I may mention other wildlife sightings here, especially insects, but for birds see my birding diary.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Ypsolopha murinella - first moth-tick of the year!

Went out to the garden just before dusk to put the light in place and decided to take a second look at the piece of straw stuck to the side of the shed.  I've a feeling it was there this morning when I checked the moth trap and I dismissed it as a piece of straw.  But it wasn't a piece of straw, it was a Spindle Smudge Yposolopha mucronella!  A new moth for me and easily the best moth so far this year!

Spindle Smudge Ypsolopha mucronella, North Elmham, 12th March

Another Varied Carpet Beetle appeared in the bathroom today - in almost exactly the same place as the last one - where are they coming from?  Can't find any suitable breeding habitat for them in the bathroom!

Varied Carpet Beetle, North Elmham, 12th March

Recently I had a look at a beech leaf I'd kept back from September that had then contained leafmines occupied by Small Beech Pigmy Stigmella tityrella.  Not really sure how to grow out leafmines and I've no idea if the thing I'm taking to be the pupa is alive or dead, or even empty - or indeed if it is the pupa.  Anyway, when looking to see if anything had emerged from it I discovered a tiny green mite with a few long hairs on its back.  I don't know much about mites but a bit of research uncovered two species that occupy beech leaves (there might be thousands more for all I know).  One (Aceria nervisequa) has distinctive galls that appear to be absent on this leaf.  The other has rolled up edges to the leaf with hairs - my leaf doesn't look nearly as obviously rolled as the photos online but the edges of the leaf are quite hairy in places and maybe just a little rolled.  So don't know, but maybe that's what the mite is: Acalitus stenaspis.  I can't find any pictures of the adult mite online, so no idea if it's supposed to look green and hairy or not.

Couldn't manage to get it to sit still long enough to take photos through the microscope while it was alive, but when I looked again today it was dead, and sitting still.

dead mite from Beech leaf, perhaps Acalitus stenaspis?, North Elmham, 12th March

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