Rare leaf insect found in museum garden

A species of insect never previously recorded in Britain has been discovered in York's Museum Gardens.

The pattern made by the leaf miner

The leaf miner known as phytomyza scotina is normally found in central and eastern Europe, from Germany to Russia.

But during a survey in York of other leaf miners – creatures that live in and eat the leaf tissue of plants – scientist Barry Warrington collected samples which analysts in the Czech Republic confirmed to be a British first

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Stuart Ogilvy, assistant curator of natural sciences at York Museums Trust, said: “To some people the tiny leaf miners are best known for the patterns their larvae create when feeding in leaves.

“We have quite a few different species of them in York Museum Gardens but it is fantastic that Barry’s research has shown us that this includes a species unique to Britain. It again proves the diversity of life which is right here in the centre of York and how important these green spaces are for nature and also for us to enjoy.”

Since the Trust was established in 2002, the tansy beetle, found only on a 20-mile stretch of the River Ouse, has been reintroduced to the Museum Gardens. In 2014, a rare white spotted black micro moth not seen before in Yorkshire was discovered. Bird species seen include treecreepers, goldcrests and tawny owls.