Australian Immigrant

My first new moth for a while, a Light Brown Apple Moth (#317), is originally a native of Australia.  First found in UK in the 1930s it's now spread across much of England making a pest of itself in orchards and gardens.  Similarly, it's been accidentally introduced to New Zealand, New Caledonia, Hawaii and California.  In Australia the population is kept under control naturally by insect predators, especially parasitic wasps and flies, that eat the larvae.  However in other countries these predators are not present, so the moths can become a significant pest in orchards.  It's an interesting reversal of all the non-native plants and animals introduced (often deliberately) to Australia and New Zealand by European colonists, which now have to be controlled at great cost by local farmers and conservationists.  

#317 Light Brown Apple Moth

#317 Light Brown Apple Moth

Leaf Miners

I like the crazy patterns leaf miners make in the leaves. The traces are made by larvae, mostly of flies or moths, that live between the top and bottom surfaces of the leaf, eating their way around the interior in different ways until they eventually are ready to transform.  By the plant species involved and the pattern left by the larvae you can mostly identify which the species.  I've recorded mines on sugar snap peas, chard and aquilegia; also on weeds such as sow thistles, herb bennett & willowherb.  Mostly they're fairly harmless, though I'm not so happy about the damage to my chard - not that I can do much about it, if I don't want to use insecticide.