Sunday, 22 March 2009

At last a Stigmella emerges .2

At last I have success on the Stigmella front ,I can say I am well pleased ,thanks to Charly for his tips and encouragement.Its a poor photo but they are very small indeed.The larvae and leaf were found at Cromwell Bottom on the 11th Feb 2009.


charlie streets said...

Well done Andy and well spotted,it's an easy one to overlook if you're not careful.I'm planning on finding loads of stigmella mines this year to stand a good chance of rearing a few adults through. It's reckoned that even when you know what you're doing, 20% - 40% success is a good result.

You say it's small (mine was 3mm long) but there's a fairly common species, S. microtheriella, which mines Hornbeam and Hazel which I know of a couple of local colonies, which has a WINGSPAN of 3-4mm!! I look forward to photographing that one :-))

Coincidentally the Emmetia marginea mine I found on the same day as your aurella ones emerged overnight.

Nick Carter said...

Charlie, we cleaned out the nest boxes in Luddenden Dean as planned today so I now have about a dozen or so nests for you, what is the best way to get them to you?

charlie streets said...

Great news, cheers Nick, I can collect them pretty much anytime,anywhere.Just drop me an email at:


AndyC said...

Charlie,I must be in luck another S.aurella emerged overnight ,and with close inspection of another I may well have one more soon.These were taken from Northowram.Of the 6 larvae found 2 emerged 2 dissapeared??, i eaten by small bugs and 1 to emerges Fingerscrossed)
The Emmetia marginea looks to have spun up in the middle of the leaf so hopefully have some good news later this week.
Now ive had a little sucsess I am too going to find LOADS this year and try and rear them through.Will look forward to some more days out and about.

charlie streets said...

Beginner's luck no doubt :-))

With the E. marginea, if it's pupated (they do it in the mine) it's best to cut as much of the leaf away as possible to prevent mould (I dissected the mine and removed the pupae completely) and what I did is keep it in a sealed jar with dry tissue on the bottom (to absorb excess moisture) and a little squeezed out,damp (not wet) tissue on top (to keep the jar and it's contents hydrated). Check every day or two and wipe away any visible signs of condensation on the wall of the jar (to avoid mould)
or just let it evaporate.Mine took about 3 1/2 weeks to emerge.

Collected the old bird's nests from Nick's house this morning, I was going to keep them indoors but as soon as all the fleas appeared I thought better of it :-((

Nick Carter said...

Wondered why I was itching in the car on the way to work this morning!

Paul Talbot..aka Moffman said...

Just one word of warning the nests usually have lots of fleas so take care not to open in the house :-))

You were warned about the fleas guys in the post above some weeks back !

There is a recording scheme for fleas in the UK run by George who used to own Marris House Nets(entomological and mist nets). Sue used to send him fleas from old nests material she found whilst out working with her countryside students. Hes particularly keen to get his hands on some Wheatear nesting material to see what fleas they bring in with them on migration, so if anyone knows of any let me know.

charlie streets said...

Nick, I found your place OK, thanks for the directions. I did get well p****d through walking up there in the driving rain. Then when I got on the bus opposite your's it stopped raining and the sun came out!!

Paul, I remembered your advice on fleas and sorted everything outside,they didn't start to appear until all the nests were securely inside my rearing set up - basically a bin bag with a ice-cream tub at one end with cling film on top. Around 20 fleas and counting so far.

However reading that book I bought from you last year on rearing moths by Ekkehard Friedrich, it states that some moths roost in the nest by day and must be checked by night (take note Andy), so I think I will have to rethink my set-up, plastic bags tied in a knot is recommended.

Also it was interesting to read that some moths will only choose nests in holes - I was initially concerned that they might not be able to find those types of nests but obviously they do.

Paul, did you have any success with your efforts with birds nest?

Paul Talbot..aka Moffman said...

Hi Charly
This what I posted on the birders blog in 2007 when I kept some of the old nest material.

""One of the most under recorded groups of moths in the UK are the Tineidae, one of the "micro moth" families. Many of these breed in detritus such as old bird nests.I asked Matt Bell and Nick Carter if they would be so kind as to collect any old nesting material from the boxes at Hardcastle Crags earlier this year. I eventually ended up with a bin bag of assorted nest material. I have had this stored in a couple of special jars I constructed to see what if anything would emerge. The first emergence's were various flies and beetles which I released. But today the first moths have started to emerge with two individuals so far from each jar of a moth called Skin Moth (Monopis laevigella). The photo shows a typical example of this moth on my mate Ian Kimber website, its wingspan is only around 15mm and in length its only around 5mm, so it really is small. Now although a common species nationally and which I have recorded from Calderdale as an adult, this is the first confirmed breeding record from Calderdale and its a definite first for the Crags. So the first record of this moth as breeding species in Calderdale is down to the team from Halifax Birdwatchers who gathered the material, a first for Halifax Bird Club I expect ! If Nick or Matt will contact me and let me know who they wish to have down as named recorder for this record I will enter it into my records with myself as determiner. Cooperation pays and off shows yet another reason for the proposed website to cover all local wildlife not just birds.""

If I get chance today I will look back and see what else I got out of the material.

Nick Carter said...

Good news Paul, can I cut and paste your comment to the birders blog please? As far as named recorder is concnered is Calderdale Bird Conservation Group OK? (or CBCG for short).

Paul Talbot..aka Moffman said...

"""Hi Charly
This what I posted on the birders blog in 2007 when I kept some of the old nest material."""

Hi Nick
You obviously missed the comment above at the start of the response to Charly. I previously posted the comment of the birders blog in 2007.

Nick Carter said...

Yep, you're right, missed it.