Please Send Us Your Moths!
6 April 2006
From our entomologist colleagues in Finland:
As a part of our research on insects associated with the pedunculate oak or English oak (Quercus robur), we urgently need hundreds or even thousands of larvae of the leaf-mining moth Tischeria dodonaea.
This species is fairly to very common in many parts of Central Europe and the UK - and particularly so in botanic gardens!
The larvae hibernate in abscised oak leaves, and the leaf mine is easy to identify (see the picture). The mine is copper in colour and always located on the upper surface of the leaf. Look for concentric black rings creating a pattern reminiscent of a snail shell.
Mined leaves are particularly easy to find before spring vegetation covers them. Hence, you may simply go for a nice spring walk in your garden, pick up the leaves one by one and look for mines. Or - if you are more inclined towards a high-yield approach - you may rake up a bagful of leaves, and then sit in the sun and eye through the leaves for mines. The more you find, the happier we are.
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