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miner matters - october 2005
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A new foodplant for Phyllonorycter leucographella (Zeller, 1850) (Lep: Lithocolletinae)

The range of foodplants utilised by Phyllonorycter leucographella is expanding since its discovery in 1989 in the UK.

Colin Plant in his 'Hosts of the British Leaf-mining insect fauna' (2005) (in prep) gives the following as the known foodplants: Crataegus (Hawthorn), Malus (Apple), Pyracantha (Firethorn), Pyrus communis (Pear) and Sorbus aria (Whitebeam).

Barry Dickerson has now found P. leucographella on London Plane (Platanus x hispanica). Because of the size of the leaf one had three mines along its mid-rib (shown opposite) and on one of the other leaves a mine was over the middle of one of the side veins.

They were found in October 2005 in St.Neots (Hunts, VC31).

P.platani was also present in some of the leaves.



The next two photographs are also from leaves of London Plane. These were found by Kevin Royles in Brington Church (Hunts, VC31) on 03.ix.2005

Note again that the blister mine is upper surface and along the vein.




A close up of the mine can be seen here. The mine of P.platani can also be upper surface but the blister mine in this case tends to be whiter initially and then becomes an uniform brown colour, whereas the characteristic speckling of P.leucographella is seen oppposite.

The mine of P.platani is broader and can also be found on any part of the leaf, upper or lower surface. Any folds tend to run parallel along the long axis of the mine with this miner.

If further host plants are found for this (or any other miner) then please let Colin Plant know.


Images© Barry Dickerson


Further news of a new foodplant comes from Steve Hind and Roger Brereton who discovered P.leucographella feeding on Beech (Fagus sylvatica) on 18.viii.2002, in Hurdsfield, Macclesfield, Cheshire (VC58). He says that 'The mines typically develop over a leaf vein into the usual peardrop shape'

 Recent Miner articles:

Kaila, L & Langmaid, J (2005) The Elachista regificella Sircom complex (Lep.:Elachistidae) in Britain. Entomologist's Rec J.Var. 117, p187-193

sponsored by Colin Plant Associates (UK) LLP/Consultant Entomologists