Holly leaf miner ( Phytomyza ilicis )
If you blip a lot of natural history subjects you are always on the lookout for something you have not used before.
If it is like this one you don’t expect to get many stars but it is satisfying to record a
The tiny Holly Leaf Miner fly burrows into the softer rear side of Holly tree leaves and lays up to five eggs. It does this in April or May. Usually just one or two develop into larvae which are like tiny maggots.
Many are lost to predators. Blue Tits are especially keen on them. The larvae grow slowly and it is not until the following January or February that they mine through the leaves and transform into tiny flies which emerge in May.
So now you know. If you have Holly next Christmas see if you can find any.