Wednesday, 1 November 2017
Stigmella myrtilella - a very elusive miner
I have been half-heartedly searching for mines of Stigmella myrtilella on Bilberry for years, but never found any. Then someone posted a photo of one Twitter with a comment along the lines of "I searched 1000 plants today and finally found a mine". During a day's fieldwork NVC mapping the edge of Waun Afon today, I scanned across loads of patches of Bilberry without seeing any mines. Eventually I thought some additional shelter from Molinia plants might provide suitable conditions, so I checked the first such patch and found a mine immediately. Despite a lot more checking I failed to see another - these are clearly exceedingly elusive moths! There is one previous county record: from Cleddon Bog in 1973.