Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Phyllonorycter lantanella

Until recently all Worcestershire records of this species were of mines on Wayfaring Tree, Viburnum lantana, and all from the southern half of the county. In October last year I found a single mine on Viburnum tinus, the evergreen, winter-flowering cultivar often seen in parks and gardens, and this was retained in the hope of rearing an adult.

 In December I discovered several old mines on a large Viburnum tinus bush close to where I live in Halesowen and although these were all vacated or predated, two still had exuviae present, allowing identification of Phyllonorycter lantanella from the pupal features, in particular the cremaster.

 In the new year further searches around Halesowen located 3 more bushes allowing the collection of 16 mines, in two of which, live, overwintering larvae could be seen.

These mines have so far shown a high level of parasitization with the emergence of 7 parasitoids and just one moth, on April 18th.

 This species has obviously gone unnoticed in my area so it may well be worth checking in yours, you may still have time to find occupied mines from which adults may emerge.

Patrick Clement

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