Dave Allen, co‐Director of Allen and Mellon Environmental has found a species of moth new to
Ireland in a Belfast park. On an errand to the Lisburn Road he took a short cut through Drumglass Park and noticed a leaf mine on a grey alder Alnus incana tree. This was confirmed by leaf mine expert John Langmaid to be the micro‐moth Phyllonorycter strigulatella whose food plant is the non-native grey alder. The species had not previously been recorded in Ireland where the grey alder has a patchy distribution, and was thought to be restricted to scattered locations in Britain.
The adult moth lays its eggs on the leaf and when the larvae hatch, they form a long and narrow mine as they feed on the leaf. The larva was still in occupation of the mine found by Dave. It is exciting to think that there are still new discoveries to be made but at the same time sobering that knowledge of our wildlife and natural resources is still far from complete. Well done eagle‐eyed Dave for finding this first for Ireland.