The hunt for Phyllonorycter pastorella


With the moth trapping season drawing to an early close this year with disappointing weather and a lack of opportunities to get out into the field,  my attention has turned to leaf mines. I am out and about most days and it’s relatively easy to pick up several species of mine on the school run or walking to the shops.

Today I convinced my wife to have a trip to Africa Alive Zoo because there is a line of mature Willows and I was on the hunt for a moth only added to the British list in 2014.

I found several mines within a few minutes; Phyllonorycter viminiella and Phyllocnistis unipunctella were the most interesting. By the 3rd tree along I began to find some early stage mines which seemed to match Phyllonorycter pastorella but they could’ve been one of several species.  

After half an hour of searching I found something very interesting and quickly snapped a photo to get a second opinion… Dr John Langmaid and a few others suggested that the mine was a perfect match for Phyllonorycter pastorella.



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