Sunday, 8 October 2017

6th October

Virginal pigmy

A return visit to a isolated wood this year proved to be good timing on my part.
I chanced upon Great Wenault Wood last year and uncovered Ectoedemia argyropeza in the most unlikely of situations.

 Ectoedemia argyropeza (Virgin Pigmy)
The four leaves here all contained larvae.

You would not believe that Populus tremula (Aspen) would be in this wood at all given the amount of  non-deciduous trees. I looked last year and again this year, but finding the tree itself is near impossible for it must be high in the canopy fighting for light. It seems quite incredible this one isolated tree harbours an important moth, but there it is.....somewhere?

Larvae aligning the central vein

Last year I took photographs of the leaves themselves showing the characteristic 'green islands' but not the larvae itself.
This year I decided to get some close-ups, with hope that the larvae may be present, which proved ultimately fruitful. I actually found 7 leaves with 4 larvae present plus 3 vacated mines.
There must be more trees about here somewhere surely but actually finding the trees will prove difficult indeed if this one is anything to go on. Hopefully I can scour thoroughly and turn up another this week, fingers crossed.


  1. Ectoedemia argyropeza seems to be very patchy in Gwent - I have checked several groups of Aspen but only found this species once. It's good to see larval photographs of this uncommon little moth. I've never seen the adult at all.

  2. I came across two other sites for Aspen yesterday the 10th October, but I had no signs of larval activity on any leaves.
    It is proving to be a bit of rare moth to find and very isolated at present.


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