Thursday, 7 March 2019

Elachista stabilella

For the past few years, around this time, I have been searching the rough grasses on the edge of Windmill Hill for Elachista mines in the hope of finding E.stabilella. This is the only site we have for this moth in the county. It had not been recorded since 1999 despite several searches for mines and sweep netting the area at various times. I was beginning to think that it might have died out on the site, so I was very pleased to find 3 mines on my search this year. The larvae looked right according to published descriptions, but it is still something of a shock when the moth you were hoping for emerges from it's pupa.

Not the most exciting looking moth perhaps, but it is good to know that it is still on site. Maybe the next challenge is to find a new site for the species, but we are painfully short of calcareous grassland in the county, so options are limited.

Oliver Wadsworth.

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