5 people met up at Hemley church for this meeting on a gloriously sunny autumn day. The aim was to head down to the extensive saltmarsh habitat beside the river Deben to see what moth species associated with that habitat we could find as something a bit different from the normal leaf miner hunt. On the way down, we noted a number of mines of Cosmopterix zieglerella on the hedgerow Hops as well as lots of Ivy bees (Colletes hederae) on the flowering Ivy.
Once down onto the saltmarsh we started searching the various plants mainly for Coleophora cases.
Almost immediately I located a case on Annual sea blite (Suaeda maritima) that was quite pinkish in colour. This was the case of Coleophora aestuariella, a rare species with hardly any Suffolk records, a great start!
We also located some other larger cases on the same plant, these being Coleophora deviella.
We then moved to a patch of Glasswort (Salicornia). Tony mentioned about the cases of Coleophora salicornae, saying that he had searched many times for it on this particular patch without success. Here it is, I said after a quick look at the first stems – a case of being in the right place at the right time, as this species is only in a case for a matter of days! In fact we found quite a number once we got our eyes in. Other species of interest found included Agdistis bennetii (a small larva), Scrobipalpa nitentella (early feeding signs on Sea purslane), Coleophora limoniella (case on Sea lavender), Coleophora albicans (cases on Sea wormwood), Coleophora atriplicis (cases on Sea purslane), Chinese character (larva on Blackthorn on edge of marsh), Calybites phasianipennella (mines and leaf rolls on Dock), Ectoedemia intimella (mine on Grey willow), Epermenia chaerophyllella (larval workings on Hogweed) and Scrobipalpa acuminatella (larval mine on Thistle). 47sp recorded so good for the restricted habitat with a lot of interesting species.
After lunch, we moved on to the nearby Newbourne Springs SWT reserve for a bit of more traditional leaf mining. Species of note amongst the 48 seen included: Caloptilia semifascia (leaf rolls on Field maple), Stigmella aceris (another site for this increasing species), Nephopterix angustella (spun up berries on Spindle), Coleophora albitarsella (case on Ground Ivy), Phyllonorycter lantanella (mines on Wayfaring tree), Ectoedemia hannoverella (mines on Black poplar hybrid).
Overall a very successful day enjoyed by all.