The leaf and stem mines of British flies and other insects
 

(Coleoptera, Diptera, Hymenoptera and Lepidoptera)

by Brian Pitkin, Willem Ellis, Colin Plant and Rob Edmunds

N.B. Links to the latest version of 'Leafminers and plant galls of Europe' are being edited

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ALNUS. Alder. [Betulaceae]


Four species and two hybrids of Alnus are recorded in Britain, although a number of species may be planted for ornament. Alder (A. glutinosa) is the only native species of Alnus in Britain, although Italian Alder (A. cordata), Grey Alder (A. incana), Red Alder (A. rubra) and Green Alder (A. viridis) have been recorded. The BSBI provide a downloadable plant crib for Alnus.

Thirty-nine British miners are recorded on Alnus.

A key to the European miners recorded on Alnus is provided in Bladmineerders van Europa.

Alder - Alnus glutinosa. Image: © Brian Pitkin

Alder
Alnus glutinosa



Key for the identification of the known mines of British
Diptera recorded on Alnus


Note: Diptera larvae may live in a corridor mine, a corridor-blotch mine, or a blotch mine, but never in a case, a rolled or folded leaf, a tentiform mine or sandwiched between two more or less circular leaf sections in later instars. Pupation never in a cocoon. All mining Diptera larvae are leg-less maggots without a head capsule (see examples). They never have thoracic or abdominal legs. They do not have chewing mouthparts, although they do have a characteristic cephalo-pharyngeal skeleton (see examples), usually visible internally through the body wall. The larvae lie on their sides within the mine and use their pick-like mouthparts to feed on plant tissue. In some corridor miners frass may lie in two rows on alternate sides of the mine. In order to vacate the mine the fully grown larva cuts an exit slit, which is usually semi-circular (see Liriomyza huidobrensis video). The pupa is formed within the hardened last larval skin or puparium and as a result sheaths enclosing head appendages, wings and legs are not visible externally (see examples).

See Key to non-Diptera.


1 > Leaf-miner: Larva forming a linear leaf-mine, considerably widening at end (Spencer, 1976: 94-95, fig. 133).

An upper-surface corridor, initially very shallow, gradually widening (often quite broad in the end), not associated with leaf margin or veins; mature mine often with a characteristic brown colouration. Frass in two rows. The gold-coloured larva leaves the mine before pupation, through a semicircular exit slit in the upper epidermis (Bladmineerders van Europa).

An upper surface gallery, narrow at first but, widening considerably towards the end (British leafminers).

On Alnus in Britain and elsewhere. Widespread in Britain and continental Europe.

Agromyza alnivora Spencer, 1969 [Diptera: Agromyzidae].



Key for the identification of the known mines of British
non-Diptera recorded on Alnus


Note: The larvae of mining Coleoptera, Hymenoptera and Lepidoptera may live in a corridor mine, a corridor-blotch mine, a blotch mine, a case, a rolled or folded leaf, a tentiform mine or sandwiched between two more or less circular leaf sections in later instars. Larva may pupate in a silk cocoon. The larva may have six legs (although they may be reduced or absent), a head capsule and chewing mouthparts with opposable mandibles (see video of a gracillarid larva feeding). Larvae of Hymenoptera and Lepidoptera usually also have abdominal legs (see examples). Frass, if present, never in two rows. Unless feeding externally from within a case the larva usually vacates the mine by chewing an exit hole. Pupa with visible head appendages, wings and legs which lie in sheaths (see examples).


1a > Leaf-miner and case-bearer: The larva lives outside the mine, protected by a case, and feeds on the underlying plant tissues via a hole cut in the epidermis. From that point it eats away as much leaf tissue as it can reach without fully entering the mine. Mine does not contain frass (Coleophora species)

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1b > Leaf-miner, twig-miner or bud miner, but not a case-bearer: The larva lives mainly inside the mine. Mine usually contains frass. In later instars the larva may live sandwiched between two more or less circular sections cut from the leaf.

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2a > Leaf-miner and case-bearer: The larva creates a succession of cases, in this instance fashioned from parts of a leaf. The final case is 11-13 mm long, slender, and fixed at 45° to the leaf surface, with anal end laterally compressed and bivalved (British leafminers). A slender, brown, spathulate leaf case, in the end about 13 mm long; mouth angle about 15°. Young case slender, not hooked (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Alnus, and Alnus glutinosa in Britain plus Alnus incana, Alnus viridis and Betula elsewhere. In Britain a rather local species which is slowly increasing its range. It occurs in scattered colonies in central and southern England, but also occasionally elsewhere. Widespread in continental Europe.

Coleophora alnifoliae Barasch, 1934 [Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae].

2b > Leaf-miner and case-bearer: The early case is tiny and the larva makes a series of tiny holes on the leaf. After overwintering it makes a shiny pistol shaped case in spring and window feeds (British leafminers). The young larva, before hibernation, makes tiny mines, sometimes tens in one leaf. After hibernation window feeding is done. In this latter stage the larva lives in a shining black pistol case of about 7 mm, that, with a mouth angle of 70°-80°, stands almost perpendicular on the leaf (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Crataegus, Malus, Prunus, Pyrus and Sorbus, but not yet on Alnus, in Britain plus numerous genera and species of several plant families, including Alnus, elsewhere. Occurs in England and Wales, commoner in the south. Widespread in continental Europe.

Coleophora anatipenella (Hübner, 1796) [Lepidoptera: Bucculatricidae].

2c > Leaf-miner and case-bearer: Larva mines leaves. The case is enlarged several times by mining a leaf-edge and inserting the existing case into the mine which is joined with silk. The final case is 7-8 mm long (British leafminers). Larva in a composite leaf case, composed of large leaf fragments. Characteristically, the leaf fragments are attached in a failry untidy way. In spring the case has two colours, because the old material (dull yellowish, grey or pink) dates from before the hibernation, while new, reddish brown material dates from after the winter. The case finally is about 7-8 mm long; the mouth angle is 40-45°. (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Alnus, Betula, Carpinus, Castanea and Corylus in Britain and elsewhere. Widespread in Britain and continental Europe, Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland.

Coleophora binderella Staudinger, 1859 [Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae].

2d > Leaf-miner and case-bearer: Lobe case. Many small leaf fragments are attached to the tubular case; its end is strongly curved downwards. The larvae are attached to the leaf underside, where they make a large number of relatively small full depth mines (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Betula and Corylus, but not yet on Alnus, in Britain plus Alnus and Carpinus elsewhere. Widespread but not common in Britain. Widespread in continental Europe. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland.

Coleophora fuscocuprella Herrich-Schäffer, 1855 [Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae].

2e > Leaf-miner and case-bearer: Larva mining leaves, the blotches brownish. The final case is 8-11 mm long, slender, and fixed at 45° to leaf surface, with anal end laterally compressed. The case has a serrated keel due to formation from the edge of a leaf (British leafminers). Spatulate leaf case. Strikingly slender, bivalved case, 8-11 mm long, with a slight curve at the rear end, that is keeled and often toothed. The end is laterally compressed. Mouth angle 45°. The full depth mines often are conspicuously brown (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Betula and Carpinus, but not yet on Alnus, in Britain plus Alnus, Corylus and Myrica elsewhere. Widespread in Britain and continental Europe. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland.

Coleophora milvipennis Zeller, 1839 [Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae].

2f > Leaf-miner and case-bearer: Composite leaf case. The material used to enlarge the case consists of large pieces of full depth mine, that are attached with such precision that they may seem seemless. In the course of summer an autumn two (sometimes three, according to Hering, 1927b) pieces are added. No more material is added after hibernation, causing the case in spring to be rather uniformly coloured (contrary to C. binderella, that does add an extension in spring, and is made of fresh leaf material) (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Case of Coleophora orbitella on Betula pendula Image: © Willem Ellis (Bladmineerders en plantengallen van Europa)

Case of Coleophora orbitella on Betula pendula
Image: © Willem Ellis (Bladmineerders van Europa)

On Alnus, Betula, Carpinus and Corylus in Britain and elsewhere. Widespread in Britain and continental Europe. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland.

Coleophora orbitella Zeller, 1849 [Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae].

2g > Leaf-miner and case-bearer: The larva feeds by inserting its head into small mines it creates on the leaves of birch, elm, alder, or hazel. Occasionally it is found feeding on other trees, or on herbaceous plants onto which it has accidentally Fallén. It forms two cases during its larval life. The first case is initially curved, smooth, laterally compressed with a bivalved anal opening, and about 2 mm long in September. During October it feeds, and adds a few rough collars of larval material around the oral opening. After hibernation, it feeds again in April and early May, adding more protruding collars until they equal or exceed the original smooth part of the case. At the same time, it expands the case girth by the creation of a silk gusset ventrally. The second case, 6 or 7 mm long, is formed in May, leaving the vacated first case attached to its last feeding mine. The new case is tubular with a trivalved crimp at the anal opening. The dorsum is formed from the edge of the leaf from which the case was cut. This results in a more or less serrated dorsal keel, depending on the plant species and the individual piece of leaf used. Considerable variation in the degree of serration can be found, even among specimens off the same tree. The case colour varies with food plant, from yellowish brown on birch, darkening through elm and hazel to dark brown on alder (UKMoths). The strongly curved young case is is a composite leaf case, the adult case is a tubular leaf case. The adult case is bivalved, about 7 mm in length; the mouth angle is around 30°. The case is straw coloured and almost always has a toothed dorsal keel (remnant of the margin of the leaf from which the case was cut). Neither larvae or cases of C. coracipennella, prunifoliae, serratella and spinella can be separated; from serratella (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Alnus, Betula, Corylus, Ulmus and Sorbus in Britain plus Carpinus, Mespilus, Ostrya, Hippophae, Ribes, Myrica, Forsythia, Amelanchier, Chaenomeles, Cotoneaster, Crataegus, Cydonia, Eriobotrya, Malus, Prunus, Sorbus, Spiraea, Populus and Salix elsewhere. This is probably the commonest species of British coleophorid, and is found throughout the British Isles. Widespread in continental Europe.

Coleophora serratella (Linnaeus, 1761) [Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae].

2h > Leaf-miner and case-bearer: Tubular leaf case. The case is almost barrel-shaped, with a large leaf fragment that, while withering, folds itself untidily arround the tube (Bladmineerders van Europa). A biennial life cycle in the UK (may be annual in continental Europe). The second and third cases are formed by cutting out a large leaf portion and then wrapping it around - leaving an edge protruding, which then withers (British leafminers).

On Betula, Crataegus, Malus and Sorbus, but not yet on Alnus, in Britain plus Alnus, Carpinus, Malus, Sorbus and Tilia elsewhere. Widespread but not common in Britain. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland. Widespread in continental Europe.

Coleophora siccifolia Stainton, 1856 [Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae].

2i > Leaf-miner and case-bearer: The larva feeds on a wide range of trees, shrubs and herbs, favouring Rosaceae, but not exclusively. The fully developed cased larva may be found active in October and again, after winter diapause, in April. Cases, about 6 mm, of diapausing larvae may be found through winter, fixed to a tree or fence post. The dorsal surface of the case is usually covered in leaf fragments, but they can sometimes be worn off almost smooth. The ventral surface is swollen at the middle and has a keel, which usually bends upwards at the posterior. The cases of C. ahenella (on Rhamnus, Frangula, Viburnum and Cornus) and C. potentillae (case less swollen, keel not bent up, resting position less prone) are very similar (UKMoths). Brownish lobe case that lies almost flat on the leaf, either on the upper or on the lower side. Case widest about the middle. Ventrally there is a distinct keel. Mouth angle 0°. Full depth mines rather large. The flaps of cuticular tissue that serve to enlarge the case are cut out of the upper epidermis. (contrary to C. ahenella and C. potentillae, that use tissue from the lower epidermis). The removal of these tissue flaps creates holes that are much larger than those that serve as the entrance to the mine (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Coleophora violacea larva,  lateral

Coleophora violacea larva, lateral
Image: © Willem Ellis (Bladmineerders van Europa)

Polyphagous. On numerous genera and species in several plant families, including Alnus, in Britain and elsewhere. Widespread in Britain and continental Europe.

Coleophora violaceae (Ström, 1783) [Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae].

3a > Bud and twig bark miner: Mine in buds or twig bark (British leafminers).

On Alnus glutinosa in Britain. Records from southern England and the Republic of Ireland. Widespread in continental Europe.

Bohemannia quadrimaculella (Boheman, 1853) [Lepidoptera: Nepticulidae].

3b > Leaf-miner: Long, full depth mine, starting at an oviposition scar, mostly in the distal part of the midrib; the scar may be swollen and gall-like. Frass line variable in width, sometimes quite broad. Usually the corridor loosely follows the leaf margin, and the part of the leaf that is cut off from the centre dies off. The larvae live in spring, when the leaf is unfolding; later in summer affected leaves are recognisable because the tip of the leaf and parts of the marginal teeth are missing, by remnants of the corridor and by a general disfiguring of the leaf. The larva leaves the mine before pupation (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Betula, but not yet on Alnus, in Britain plus Alnus glutinosa, Betula pendula, Betula pubescens and possibly Populus nigra elsewhere. Widespread in England, Scotland and continental Europe.

Anoplus plantaris (Naezen, 1794) [Coleoptera: Curculionidae].

3c > Leaf-miner: Oviposition in the underside of the midrib or a thick lateral vein; the oviposition site develops into a large scar. The larva makes a corridor that runs towards the leaf margin. The ultimate part of the mine is a corridor in the leaf tip, with frass in a narrow black central line (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Alnus in Britain plus Alnus incana and Alnus glutinosa elsewhere. Widespread in England and continental Europe.

Anoplus roboris Suffrian, 1840 [Coleoptera: Curculionidae].

3d > Leaf-miner: A very clear blotch, without preceding corridor, usually harbouring several crimson marbled larvae. The mine mostly begins near the base of the midrib. Most frass is ejected from the mine, but some of the grains are trapped in a loose spinning below the leaf, that has been made by the larvae during excursions. The larvae can leave their mine and restart elsewhere (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Betula, but not yet on Alnus, in Britain plus Alnus, Betula nana, Betula pendula and Ulmus minor elsewhere. Widespread in Scotland and continental Europe.

Atemelia torquatella (Lienig & Zeller, 1846) [Lepidoptera: Yponomeutidae].

3e > Leaf-miner: The larva of this species creates a gallery mine. The mine is similar to those of the alder-feeding Nepticulidae, but is generally shorter, with the larval exit-hole on the upperside of the leaf rather than the underside. After vacating the mine, the larva grazes on the underside of the leaf in the manner of other Bucculatricidae (UKMoths). Short and narrow corridor, starting at an oval, iridescent egg shell that is usually placed at the leaf underside, close to a thick vein. The larval chamber is more than three times as long as wide and is vacated through an upper surface exit slit. Frass in a narrow central black line; when the mine is made in Bog-Myrtle the thick frass line almost fills the corridor. Older larvae live free and cause window-feeding (Bladmineerders van Europa).

The larva pupates in a cocoon and is illustrated in British leafminers.

Bucculatrix cidarella

Bucculatrix cidarella cocoon
Image: Rob Edmunds (British leafminers)

On Alnus glutinosa and Myrica gale in Britain plus Alnus incana and Alnus viridis elsewhere. Widespread in Britain and continental Europe.

Bucculatrix cidarella (Zeller, 1839) [Lepidoptera: Bucculatricidae].

3f > Leaf-miner: The larvae mine the leaves at first, then create small feeding windows (UKMoths). Small, full depth, hook-like corridor, usually in a vein axil, with a proportionally large larval chamber. The remainder of the mine almost entirely stuffed with frass. At the start if the mine an iridescent egg shell. The larvae soon leave their mine and start living free on the leaf (Bladmineerders van Europa). The pupa and white ribbed cocoon are illustrated in British leafminers.

Bucculatrix thoracella cocoon

Bucculatrix thoracella cocoon
Image: Rob Edmunds (British leafminers)

On Tilia, but not yet on Alnus, in Britain and Acer, Aesculus, Betula, Carpinus, Fagus, Sorbus and Tilia elsewhere. Widely distributed in southern England. Widespread in continental Europe.

Bucculatrix thoracella (Thunberg, 1794) [Lepidoptera: Bucculatricidae].

3g > Leaf-miner: The larvae feed at first in a mine, and later in a folded or rolled leaf (UKMoths). The mine begins with a usually rather short gallery, that opens into (and often is overrun by) a silvery epidermal upper-surface blotch with light brown frass. When the mine gets older it contracts and becomes an elongate blister or even a tube. Soon the larva leaves the mine and continues feeding within a downwards rolled leaf margin, that is fastened with silk (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Under a silk membrane on underside of leaf (UKMoths). Pupation in a transparent, yellow-shining cocoon at the leaf margin (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Alnus cordata, Alnus glutinosa and Alnus incana in Britain plus Alnus minor elsewhere. A relatively common species throughout much of Britain. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland. Widespread in continental Europe.

Caloptilia elongella (Linnaeus, 1761) [Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae].

3h > Leaf-miner: Initially in short gallery becoming a brownish blotch near the leaf margin. Later in two or three Parornix-like folds at the edge of the leaf (British leafminers). Small (up to 10 mm long), lower-surface blotch near the leaf margin, with a brownish lower epidermis. The mine in fact is a tentiform mine, but so little silk is produced that the blotch hardly contracts at all. The mine is preceded by a quite short corridor, that is overrun by the later blotch. The older larva leaves its mine and starts feeding under a flap of the leaf margin that is folded down and fixed with silk on the blade underside. Two or three such folds are made, not necessarily on the same leaf. The fact that no leaf rolls are made, but parts of the leaf are folded down rather makes one think of the work of a Parornix (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Alnus cordata, Alnus glutinosa and Alnus incana in Britain and Alnus glutinosa elsewhere. Southern England and the Republic of Ireland. Widespread in continental Europe.

Caloptilia falconipennella (Hübner, 1813) [Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae].

3i > Leaf-miner: The mine begins as a contorted gallery, when the young larva can be seen to have dark plates on each segment. These plates are later lost and the gallery becomes a blotch with scattered frass (UKMoths). Mine begins at a globular, black, lower-surface egg shell. From there starts a short tortuous corridor, that widens into a blotch, often between to lateral veins. Frass dispersed. Pupation outside the mine (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Mine of Ectoedemia minimella on Betula pubescens Image: © Willem Ellis (Bladmineerders en plantengallen van Europa)

Mine of Ectoedemia minimella on Betula pubescens
Image: © Willem Ellis (Bladmineerders van Europa)

On Betula and Corylus, but not yet on Alnus, in Britain and Alnus and Betula elsewhere. Widespread in Britain and continental Europe.

Ectoedemia minimella (Zetterstedt, 1839) [Lepidoptera: Nepticulidae].

3j > Leaf-miner: A large brownish blotch, without an initial corridor. Usually the mine starts near a vein axil, and expands towards the leaf margin. The mine mostly remains enclosed by two thick lateral veins; only near the leaf margin (and especially in thin shadow leaves) the mine may trespass over the side veins. Often several mines in a leaf. The mine is upper surface, but quite deep, specially when the larva is young not all tissue is eaten away, and the mine keeps a greenish tinge there. Contrary to Heterarthrus vagans, at least as common on the same host, the larva vacates the mine prior to pupation (Bladmineerders van Europa).

The larvae of sawflies have at least six thoracic legs (although they may be reduced or absent), a head capsule and chewing mouthparts with opposable mandibles but no abdominal legs.

On Alnus in Britain and elsewhere. Widespread in Britain and continental Europe. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland.

Fenusa dohrnii (Tischbein, 1846) [Hymenoptera: Tenthredinidae].

3k > Leaf-miner: A rather large, clear, partly full depth blotch that begins in the axil of a thick lateral vein. Often the ovipostion leaves a greyish-green scar. Generally several mines in a leaf. The mine expands within the confines of the midrib and two lateral veins; only close to the leaf margin, where the lateral veins are thin, the mine may trespass over a vein (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Alnus, Betula and Ulmus in Britain and elsewhere. Recorded in Britain and the Republic of Ireland. Widespread in continental Europe.

Fenusa pumila Leach, 1817 [Hymenoptera: Tenthredinidae].

3l > ? Leaf-miner: The larvae feed on a range of deciduous trees, windowing leaves in autumn and eating the buds, catkins, young shoots and then spun leaves in the spring (UKMoths). Cocoon formed in soil or where the larva fed British leafminers.

On Corylus, Crataegus, Populus, Quercus and Salix, but not yet on Alnus, in Britain and Alnus, Betula, Corylus, Crataegus, Populus, Quercus and Salix elsewhere. Widespread in Britain. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland. Widespread in continental Europe.

Gypsonoma dealbana (Frölich, 1828) [Lepidoptera: Tortricidae].

3m > Leaf-miner: The mine formed in the leaf-veins and midrib leads to an oval blotch (British leafminers). When fully fed, the larva cuts out an oval case, in which it descends to the ground and pupates (UKMoths). The mine begins in one of the more heavy veins of a leaf. Boring in the vein the larva descends towards the midrib. Often in this process the larva moves from one thick vein to another by way of a hair-thin transverse corridor. Once in the midrib the larva descends, not rarely even for one or two cm into the petiole (one can see that by cleaving a petiole). Finally the larva returns into the leaf by way of the midrib, and makes a short, full depth, quickly widening corridor with a clear central line of frass. In the end an oval excision of made of about 2 x 5 mm, in which the larva drops to the ground (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Alnus in Britain and elsewhere. Widespread and locally common throughout England, Wales and parts of Southern Scotland. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland. Widespread in continental Europe.

Heliozela resplendella (Stainton, 1851) [Lepidoptera: Heliozelidae].

3n > Leaf-miner: A large, practically full depth brownish blotch, without an initial corridor. The mine begins somewhere on the leaf and expands in all directions, without having much consideration with even major veins. In this respect the mine differs from that of Fenusa dohrnii on the same host plant. Moreover, as a rule there is just one mine per leaf. The full grown larva makes a disc-shaped cocoon within its mine, with a diameter of about 7-9 mm. Unlike F. dohrnii the larva is rather vividly pigmented and can easily be observed without dissecting the mine. Like most sawflies the larva lies belly-up in its mine (Bladmineerders van Europa).

The larvae of sawflies have at least six thoracic legs (although they may be reduced or absent), a head capsule and chewing mouthparts with opposable mandibles but no abdominal legs.

On Alnus in Britain and elsewhere. England and Wales in Britain. Widespread in continental Europe. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland.

Heterarthrus vagans (Fallén, 1808) [Hymenoptera: Tenthredinidae]

3o > Leaf-miner: The larva starts making a corridor of a few mm, followed, and mostly overrun, by a circular blotch of 4-5 mm diameter (Bladmineerders van Europa). Generally several larvae feed in a single leaf, creating a distinctive pattern of feeding windows. The larvae then cut out circular cases and drop to the leaf-litter to continue feeding, leaving behind a leaf containing many circular or oval cut-outs (UKMoths).

On Alnus, Betula, Carpinus, Corylus, Malus and Tilia in Britain and Acer, Alnus, Betula, Carpinus, Corylus, Ostrya, Cornus, Robinia, Malus, Prunus, Pyrus and Sorbus elsewhere. Widely distributed in Britain and continental Europe.

Incurvaria pectinea Haworth, 1828 [Lepidoptera: Incurvariidae].

3p > Leaf-miner: A circular or oval brownish blotch with a central spiral of dense blackish frass (British leafminers), sometimes several mines in one leaf (UKMoths). Oviposition is at the leaf underside, well away from the leaf margin; the egg has a fine reticulate surface. The mine is a rather large, perfectly circular blotch without a trace of a preceeding corridor. Around the dark centre the frass, glued to the upper epidermis is arranged in distinct arcs (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Pupation in a silken cocoon, usually on detritus (British leafminers).

On Betula, Cotoneaster, Crataegus, Cydonia, Malus, Prunus, Pyrus, Rosa and Sorbus, but not yet on Alnus, in Britain and on Alnus, Betula, Amelanchier, Aronia, Chaenomeles, Cotoneaster, Crataegus, Cydonia, Malus, Mespilus, Prunus, Pyrus and Sorbus elsewhere. Widespread in England and into Southern Scotland. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland. Widespread in continental Europe.

Leucoptera malifoliella (O. Costa, 1836) [Lepidoptera: Lyonetiidae].

3q > Leaf-miner: Oviposition in the midrib. From there a corridor the larva enters the lamina which suddenly and strongly widens. The larva finally pupates in a globular cocoon inside the mine. Because the mine is formed when the leaf already is fully developed mined leaves have a normal shape (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Alnus, Betula and Myrica in Britain and elsewhere. A southern species in the Britain. Widespread in continental Europe.

Orchestes iota (Fabricius, 1787) [Coleoptera: Curculionidae].

3r > Leaf-miner: Oviposition in the underside of the midrib or a thick lateral vein; later a large scar is visible there. Initially the larva tunnels in the midrib or vein, that inflates and disfigures somewhat as a result. Then the larva starts a corridor in the leaf blade, quite narrow at first, but strongly widening as the larva approaches the leaf margin or leaf tip. The mine is reddish brown in colour. The mature larva makes itself a dark brown globular cocoon in the mine and pupates there. Because the mine is made at a time that the leaf still is unfolding, the leaf becomes permanently rumpled. In the course of the summer the mine erodes away, but the combination of the oviposition scar, the swolllen mibrib and the frayed leave missing a large part of its distal half remains unmistakable (Bladmineerders van Europa, as testaceus including calceatus).

Orchestes quercus larva,  dorsal

Orchestes testaceus pupa, dorsal
Image: © Willem Ellis (Bladmineerders van Europa)

On Alnus in Britain and elsewhere. There are records of Orchestes testaceus including Orchestes calceatus from and continental Europe.

Orchestes testaceus (Müller, 1766) [Coleoptera: Curculionidae].

3s > Leaf-miner: The larva feeds on hazel or hornbeam, creating blotches with intertwining threads of frass, typical of the genus (UKMoths). Large white blotch, starting at the leaf margin. Frass in long threads. Often several larvae in a mine. Pupation outside the mine (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Carpinus and Corylus, but not yet on Alnus, in Britain plus Alnus and Ostrya elsewhere. Widespread in England and recorded in the Republic of Ireland. Widespread in continental Europe.

Eriocrania chrysolepidella (Zeller, 1851) [Lepidoptera: Eriocraniidae].

3t > Leaf-miner: The mine is underside, about 25 mm long, often from midrib to margin of leaf. The lower epidermis appears smooth. There may be several mines in a leaf (British leafminers). Large, lower-surface tentiform mine, often occupying the entire space between two side veins, from the midrib almost to the leaf margin, Lower epidermis without clear folds.The larva is grey (all other phyllonorycters on Alder are white). Pupa in a light brown cocoon that is fastened to the roof of the mine. The cocoon is entirely free of frass: all frass is accumulated in the inner corner of the mine (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Alnus in Britain and elsewhere. Widespread in Britain. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland. Widespread in continental Europe.

Phyllonorycter froelichiella (Zeller, 1839) [Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae].

3u > Leaf-miner: The mine is underside, small, seldom reaching midrib. The lower epidermis with several small creases, sometimes several larvae mine the same leaf (British leafminers). Lower-surface tentiform mine between two side veins, often at quite some distance from the midrib. Lower surface with many folds, all very weak. Often several mines in one leaf. Pupa in a white cocoon in an angle of the mine, attached to the roof. The cocoon is free from frass; all frass is heaped in an angle of the mine, opposite to the cocoon (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Alnus in Britain and elsewhere. Widespread in Britain. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland. Widespread in continental Europe.

Phyllonorycter kleemannella (Fabricius, 1781) [Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae].

3v > Leaf-miner: The mine is underside, small, at or near midrib. The lower epidermis with one strong crease (British leafminers). Lower-surface tentiform mine, not longer than 20 mm, usually in the axil of a thick lateral vein, with one strong length fold. Pupa in a tough off-white cocoon that is fastened to the floor and the roof of the mine. Almost all frass is incorporated in the sides of the cocoon (visible with a loupe in transparancy as two dark lines). In autumn not infrequently five or more mines in one leaf (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Alnus in Britain and elsewhere. Widespread in Britain. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland. Widespread in continental Europe.

Phyllonorycter rajella (Linnaeus, 1758) [Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae].

3w > Leaf-miner: The mine is upper side, oval, over midrib or side-vein - the upper epidermis flimsy with one strong crease (British leafminers). Unlike other species that form an upperside mine, the surface is not papery, but quite glossy and heavily creased. The mine begins green and then turns orange or brown when more mature (UKMoths). Upper-surface, fairly small, almost flat tentiform mine with a characteristic yellow green colour. The mine has a single, moderately strong, fold. Generally the mine is positioned over a lateral vein. Frass in a clump in a corner of the mine (Bladmineerders van Europa). The pupa is formed in a white cocoon (British leafminers).

On Alnus in Britain and elsewhere. Widespread in Britain and continental Europe.

Phyllonorycter stettinensis (Nicelli, 1852) [Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae].

3x > Leaf-miner: The mine is underside, between veins, narrow and close to midrib (British leafminers). Often there are several to one leaf, and have a distinct brown tinge (UKMoths). Elongated, lower-surface, in the end tubular contracted tentiform mine, usualy starting at a small distance from the midrib. The lower epidermis with many weak wrinkles but no clear folds. Often several mines in a leaf. All frass is accumulated in an angle of the mine. Pupa in a white cocoon that is free from frass (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Alnus in Britain and elsewhere. Widespread in Britain and continental Europe.

Phyllonorycter strigulatella (Lienig and Zeller, 1846) [Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae].

3y > Leaf-miner: Large, transparent, in fresh condition pale green blotch that begins at the leaf margin, without an accumulation of frass. Mine and larva are undistinguishable from those of S. vicina, but vicina larvae live from mid May until mid June, while the larvae of betuleti are found only in August - October (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Alnus and Betula in Britain an delsewhere. Widespread in Britain and continental Europe.

Scolioneura betuleti (Klug, 1816) [Hymenoptera: Tenthredinidae].

3z > Leaf-miner: A narrow gallery with frass in thin central line. The moths must be bred through to distinguish S.alnetella and S.glutinosae (British leafminers). Ovipostion at the leaf lower surface. Then a full depth slender, corridor, often following a vein or the leaf margin for some distance. Frass in a continuous central line that nowhere is wider than one third of the corridor width. Frass never coiled. Usually only one mine in a leaf. Pupation outside the mine (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Alnus in Britain and Alnus and Betula elsewhere. Widespread in Britain. Also Northen Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. continental Europe.

Stigmella alnetella (Stainton, 1856) [Lepidoptera: Nepticulidae].

3za > Leaf-miner: A gallery with frass partly dispersed, but sometimes in a thin line (as S. alnetella). The moths must be bred through to distinguish between this and S.alnetella (British leafminers). Oviposition at the leaf underside. Then a full depth, fairly slender corridor, often several in a leaf. Frass line very variable, sometimes coiled, mostly more than on third of the width of the corridor. Pupation outside the mine (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Alnus in Britain and elsewhere. Widespread in Britain and continental Europe. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland.

Stigmella glutinosae (Stainton, 1858) [Lepidoptera: Nepticulidae].

3zb > Leaf-miner: Full depth corridor, beginning at the base of the midrib and very roughly following the leaf margin; all the while the corridor widens, until almost the entire leaf has been mined out. Frass, as coarse grains or thread fragments, in the centre of the mine. The larva pupates in the mine, in a globular cocoon made of secretion (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Betula, Corylus and Salix, but not yet on Alnus, in Britain and Alnus, Betula, Corylus, Popoulus and Salix elsewhere. Only known in Britain from East Sussex. Widespread in continental Europe.

Tachyerges stigma (Germar, 1821) [Coleoptera: Curculionidae].

3zc > Leaf-miner: Oviposition in the base of the midrib, without giving rise to an oviposition scar. The larva initially bores inside the midrib. Later it leaves the midrib, forming a broad corridor in the blade, that widens into a blotch. Finally the larva pupates in a globular cocoon inside the mine. Because the mine develops at a time that the leaf is fully developed, mined leaves are not disfigured (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Betula, Corylus and Salix, but not yet on Alnus, in Britain and Alnus, Betula, Corylus, ? Populus and Salix elsewhere. Widespread in Britain and continental Europe.

Tachyerges pseudostigma (Tempère, 1982) [Coleoptera: Curculionidae].



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Last updated 09-Aug-2017  Brian Pitkin

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