grant burleigh's picture

Small creature on laurel leaf

Observed: 21st March 2012 By: grant burleighgrant burleigh’s reputation in Invertebratesgrant burleigh’s reputation in Invertebratesgrant burleigh’s reputation in Invertebratesgrant burleigh’s reputation in Invertebratesgrant burleigh’s reputation in Invertebrates
0482
MvMcrMth
0452
Description:

The creature was moving over the surface of the leaf in a manner reminiscent of Platypezid flies but more slowly. I wondered if it was feeding on particulate material not visible to the unaided eye (e.g. fungi) or indulging in some form of display behaviour (e.g. preliminary to mating).
The larvae of this moth form tunnel mines in bramble leaves and the third image shows a possible example in the site last year (21/09/2011)

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Comments

Wildlife Ranger's picture

Useful Post useful to have

Useful Post useful to have the Mines and Moth together Grant

Best Wishes

WLR

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DavidHowdon's picture

Mines

There is apparently some confusion as to whether the mines of this can safely be distinguished from S. splendidissimella without rearing on the larva.

grant burleigh's picture

Mines

Thanks for the comments. Yes it could be a hazel leaf. I'll check out the archives more thoroughly for brambles when time permits.
Are there any scanning electron microscope studies of fungi etc on leaves?

RHoman's picture

I don't know about

I don't know about leaf-surface fungi, but there is little published about the feeding habits of the Nepticulidae. This

http://pubs.esc-sec.ca/doi/abs/10.4039/Ent1001078-10

gives one piece of evidence. A key work on the group, published in Sweden, notes "the necessity of feeding probably depends on the life-span; most likely adults only take carbohydrates as an energy resource"

Robert Homan

grant burleigh's picture

Stigmella

Thank you for the reference to Nepticulid moths. I went back to our site today to check if there were bramble leaves from last year that had leaf mines on them. There were several, quite close to where I saw the moth. I shall upload some images as a separate post.