Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Scarce VC24 species found at Grangelands

Went to Grangelands (Bucks) today for a walk.  Very little about, but looked at some Asplenium scolopendrium (Hart's-tongue) in the hope of finding leaf-mines on the way back. To my surprise, it turned up trumps with a tenanted mine of Psychoides verhuella.  When I got home I thought I'd better check the plants in my garden, and I found it there, so a garden tick too!
There appear to be very few records of this species (in VC24 at least).  However, the fact that I found it in two different places today, without really trying too hard, means that it must be common where the foodplant occurs.  The larva is clearly around at the moment, though it has been found throught the year.
There are two Psychoides species which mine this plant.  Larvae of both usually feed on the underside of a fern frond under an untidy mass of sporangia, but on occasion enter the leaf to make an extensive irregular blotch mine (British leafminers). P. verhuella in later instars has a black head which distinguishes it from P. filicivora.
Neil Fletcher

1 comment:

  1. Nice one, Neil - excellent photos! Unless it was found anywhere in 2014, I believe the moth was known from only four sites in Bucks: the gardens of Andy King and Peter Hall as well as on Bacombe Hill and the site you mention alongside the track from Pulpit Hill down to Grangelands (which as it happens produced several larvae in 2013 which were reared through). Hart's-tongue Fern must surely be more widespread than that, especially in gardens.


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