Mission: alien moths

How to take part

Download instructions for the Mission: alien moths

About this mission

  • Anyone in the UK can complete this mission.
  • The alien leaf miner moth has spread in the UK since it was first detected in London in 2002.  Each year the moth spreads further. We want to know how far it has got and how much damage it is doing.
  • Records of trees with no damage (damage score = 0) are just as important as positive records to help us understand how far the moth has got.
  • The alien moth over-winters in leaf litter under the tree and there is evidence that if the leaf litter is removed (e.g. in parks or gardens) then it causes a reduction in the amount of damage to the horse chestnut leaves.
  • You don’t need to pick leaves for this mission, but if you do decide to, please only pick leaves that you can easily reach from the ground.
  • We were collecting data to answer two specific questions:
    • Is the damage greatest where the moth has been longest?
    • Is the damage least when there is no leaf litter under the tree in the winter?
  • If you find an infected tree, you can also take part in: