Thursday, 17 September 2015

New LeafWatch recording app

New LeafWatch recording app

Today we have launched the new LeafWatch recording app to make taking part in Conker Tree Science easier than ever. See the press release for full details.

Now is the time to look for the horse-chestnut leaf-miner, and these records continue to be really valuable, especially with the discovery of the horse-chestnut leaf-miner in Scotland last September and its recent arrival in Ireland. Records of the moth with help us understand how non-native species species like this spread.

All you need is to download the app (available for Apple on iTunes and for Android at Google Play) and get recording!

Remember that records of the moth's absence are also really valuable - knowing where it has not got to is really important. We are especially interested in records in Scotland and Ireland, and regions away from the south and east of England, but welcome records from anywhere.

However, be careful not to confuse the damage caused by the leaf-miner with the fungal leaf blotch. These are caused by the fungus Guignardia aesculi and the two types of damage are really easy to distinguish:.  
  • Pale blotches, turning brown, and without a yellow ring. It is the leaf-mining moth - each mine fits within the main leaf veins, although mines can merge together if there are lots of them.
  • Brown blotches always with a yellow ring - usually irregularly shaped crossing the main leaf veins. It is the fungal leaf blotch (not the leaf-miner), so let us know it is not the leaf-miner.
  • It can get confusing because the leaf-miner and the fungal blotch can both occur on the same leaf.

We can verify all the records submitted via the app.

Of course, you can still make records via the Conker Tree Science website - all the records via the app and the website are used for research. If you record via the website then you can record the leaf-miner and the fungal leaf blotch separately.

(Some readers of this blog might remember that the original LeafWatch app was first launched in 2011. At that time it was one of the first wildlife recording apps available. However technology moves on and by 2013 the original app did not work on many smartphones. With the continued spread of the leaf-miner we decided to invest in updating the app to make it easy to record its presence. Most of the investment was actually in connecting the app to a better back-end database called Indicia, so that we can verify records much more easily.)

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