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20 August 2012

19 August 2012 – A Garden Rose

Garden Rose Tortrix (Acleris variegana)

The trap was full of Underwings, Sexton Beetles (Necrophorus vespillo), Ichneumon flies and Crane Flies – soft, delicate trembling ones and ramshackle monster varieties.  The crowds make it difficult to spot any new micromoth.  Every twitching foreleg disturbs a mad underwing which then zooms across the trap and collides with a Willow Beauty, that startles a Mother of Pearl and the next moment the whole trap is pandemonium.

So it was good to find one new species hiding amid the chaos. Bearing in mind there are approximately 100 varieties of roses in the garden, it seems strange that the Garden Rose Tortrix (Acleris variegana) hasn’t been recorded here before.  ‘Particoloured and unallotted’ is the meaning of the Latin name but Latin has crept into the common name as well – tortus : to twist, which refers to the silken pocket the larva makes inside a rolled-up leaf.

The Garden Rose Tortrix appears in different colours and markings but is quite distinctive.  And very easy to photograph as it is wrapped up very quietly.  Welcome species number 235.

Here is a photograph of the growing caterpillars just to mark their progress – their third instar, I think.