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Thursday, 4 November 2021

Like London buses (as they say)....

 After unsuccessfully looking for Ectoedemia argyropeza in previous years, I found a second locality for it this week - in plantings of aspen at the northern edge of Ashpits Pond between Pwll and Burry Port. This time, instead of finding the singleton as I found at WWT Penclacwydd, I easily and quickly found about a dozen or so occupied leaves lying along a pathway.

Above: top photo- some of the leaves showing the `green islands` on four of the leaves found, while the bottom photo shows a close-up of the mined area within the green area close to the junction of the petiole (`stalk`) and lamina (the actual leaf).
The excellent and recommended book Micro-moth Field Tips by Ben Smart states that "the green islands that form on tenanted aspen leaves...appear to be linked to the presence of symbiotic Wolbachia bacteria".
The bacteria maintain the chlorophyll areas, enabling the larva to continue feeding when the rest of the leaf turns various chlorophyll-free yellows and browns etc.

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