If you’re following these posts you may have noticed that there’s been a distinct absence of images of the horse-chestnut leaf mining moth itself.  Chewed up leaves – check.  Larvae in the leaf – check.  Adult moth – ……?…..

The reason for this is that the adult moths themselves are pretty small, measuring about 4-5mm in length and consequently hard to photograph “in the wild”.  In early May I attempted to photograph them but the weather conspired to make it impossible.  Even the slightest of breezes renders useless macro shots of such a small subject.

But 2 weeks ago, bright and early, I stopped to check the trees close to my home.  Not expecting to see moths for another few weeks at least I was surprised to find them in very healthy numbers on the leaves and many were mating.  The weather (no wind) was perfect for attempting to photograph them too.

Adult horse chestnut leaf mining moth

Adult horse chestnut leaf mining moth

Pair of copulating horse chestnut leaf mining moths

Pair of copulating horse chestnut leaf mining moths - at 4-5mm in length these tiny but handsome moths are inconspicuous

Copulating horse chestnut leaf mining moths

Copulating horse chestnut leaf mining moths

 

Quite what the larvae of this generation will eat is anyone’s guess.  Many of the leaves on the trees were already severely damaged and had little green area left.

 

 

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