Saturday, 26 January 2008

898 Limnaecia phragmitella

Occupying fens and marshes, this species is fairly generally distributed over a large part of the British Isles. The larvae feed inside the seed heads of bulrush (Typha spp.) throughout the winter. They can often be detected by the presence of quantities of protruding down from the Seed heads.

Another regular winter tip but useful repeating it for those who have not found it before. On my morning walk at Cromwell Bottom on Friday I snapped off a few seed heads with obvious signs of the white down protruding and broke them open and each one contained numerous larvae of this species. They are very easy to rear through to the adult stage. Simply keep the seed heads in a plastic container and wait for the adults to emerge in June/July. It pays to cover the container with some very tight fitting mesh (pop socks) or the larvae escape when getting ready to pupate. It’s amazing how small a gap they can get through, so unless you want a container of typha seed heads without adult moths keep the container firmly lidded.

1 comment:

drepana said...

Hi, I have examined some seed heads at a private fishing pond near Mytholmroyd and others at a small mill pond between Stoodley pike and the Shepherds rest, Lumbuts but no tell tale signs (except for the natural seed dispersal explosions). Disected a couple all the same but no Limnaecia phragmitella