Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Calling botanists in south-west Scotland

The distinctive galls ofDasineura harrisoni forming
aggregates on the leaf petiole.
Image courtesy of  S. Dunlop
Thanks to Stuart who got in touch with this message:

"Dr. Cliff Henry, Area Ranger at the Giant's Causeway, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland recently found galls of Dasineura harrisoni, a gall-maker on Filipendula ulmaria. This is the first verified record for the British Isles. There has been one record from Denmark this year. It is unlikely that this minute fly has flown from Denmark to Northern Ireland in one leap, so it's possible that there may be specimens in South-west Scotland, which is close to Giant's Causeway. 

"There are a few gall-causers on Filipendula, but the galls of Dasineura harrisoni are distinctive, forming aggregates on the leaf petiole, as shown in the image on the right. A quick survey of known Filipendula specimens might well yield a first Scottish record, so this is a call for botanists from Islay, Jura, perhaps even Ayrshire/Dumfries/Galloway to make a quick check on their local populations.

"Specimens will be required, since DNA sequencing has not yet been carried out.

"Contact: cipeen@hotmail.com for further information".