Thursday, 6 March 2008

A nice Plume larva to find at the moment is 1501 Platyptilia gonodactyla. This species can be found in the rootstock of Coltsfoot Tussilago farfara over winter but is now making its way up the hollow stems of the plant to feed in the flower. I noticed the first Coltsfoot in flower a couple of weeks back and this morning checked over a patch of Coltsfoot in bloom looking for signs of drooping flower heads. I cut off a few of these drooping flower heads and took them home to check for larva. I carefully split the stems and found two larva part way up the stems of two separate flowers, (not sure if they feed whilst moving up the stems?), I placed a few unopened stems and flowers in a tub with the larvae and they have both disappeared from view presumably into new stems. If you don’t wish to have the bother of rearing through some larvae, its possible to find the pupa in the flower heads that have gone to seed in a few weeks time. Look for the white seedheads on drooping stems and then GENTLY squeeze to seeds between your fingers and if occupied you can feel a small hard lump, this is the pupa. Colin Hart first posted this pupa tip some years back on UK Moths. The Image shown is borrowed from my mate Ian Kimbers website

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