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Friday, 25 October 2013

Turning over a new leaf....gone green again.

On Thursday morning (24.10.13) I decided to go for a walk, just an easy ramble and not targetting anything in particular - as tends more often to be my fashion. However, this desire just to relax and enjoy the last pulses of autumn warmth soon metamorphosed into a leaf mine search, such is the obsession we naturalists have.
The walk took me along down the lane just to the left of the entrance to the WWT Penclacwydd Centre at Llwynhendy and down to Tir Morfa farm, now empty and rather derelict. These lanes and coastal marshes were once a regular haunt of mine when I lived nearby, and Barry Stewart also resided at Tir Morfa itself when I first knew him (and Tir Morfa was only slightly less derelict!).
Anyway - apart from other wildlife noted - the following leaf mines were seen/collected. On Rhamnus carthartica (buckthorn) at the edge of the farmyard at Tir Morfa the following was collected - Stigmella cartharticella perhaps (to the right of the main vein in photo)? NB. ALL my suggested determinations are provisional and corrections/confirmations/comments/suggestions are always welcome.
A planted Salix caprea (goat willow) had two little round blotches/mines each side of the main vein (the stem in the centre of the photo just shows the large stipules found on goat willow).

Later, walking at the edge of the main original WWT holding for a short distance along the cycletrack to the east, blotched leaves of Alnus cordata (Italian alder) were collected:
On the way home, I stopped at Old Castle Pond (between Llanelli and Sandy Water Park) to check some Petasites japonicus for rusts (none), as well as looking at some holm oaks Quercus cerris. The latter had two types of blotch/mine present; the mine (leaf on left) may be Stigmella suberivora whilst the blotches may be Phyllonorycter messaniella.
Lastly, at the top of my lane at Tyrwaun, Pwll the following (blotch and wiggly mine), were gathered from Ulmus procera/minor trees:


  1. I'm not sure the Rhamnus thing is a mine - it looks like linear feeding damage perhaps from a beetle larva. That's a shame, as I think the Stigmella would be new for the county.

    I think the small Salix mines are a beetle.

    The Quercus ilex IDs sound correct.

    The Stigmella on Ulmus should be IDable.

  2. and the Salix leaves are too narrow for S caprea - with stipules like that I wonder if it's S caprea x aurita or S cinerea x aurita

  3. Yes, good point, I`ll recheck the Salix, Sam. There were a lot of miscellaneous Salix from landscaping stockists planted at WWT. For example, some of the Salix cinerea planted is not the local oleifolia but the imported ssp cinerea.
    Mat....might be worth you checking the Rhamnus leaves at Carmel...might be lucky.