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


ARCTOSTAPHYLOS. Bearberry. [Ericaceae]

Two species of Arctostaphylos are recorded in Britain. Both are native and include Bearberry (A. uva-ursi) and Alpine Bearberry (A. alpinus).

Two British miners are recorded on Arctostaphylos.

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

Key for the identification of the known mines of British
insects (Diptera and non-Diptera) recorded on Arctostaphylos

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. Spathulate leaf case, about 8 mm long, with a mouth angle arounf 45°. Before making its first case the young larva lives in a frass-filled contorted corridor. (Coleophora species)

On Arctostaphylos uva-ursi in Britain and elsewhere. Banff, Easterness, Elgin and South Aberdeen in Britain. Widespread in continental Europe.

Coleophora arctostaphyli Meder, 1934 [Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae].

1b > Leaf-miner: Larva mines the leaves turning the upper part from red to black. In the spring the larva spins the leaves together and then mines the leaves- creating bladder mines. The larva begins by making a corridor that generally traverses the leaf perpendicularly, and later remains visible as a brown ridge. Upon arrival at the other side this corridor is vacated through an unitidy hole (In some instances an exuvium was found here). Next the larva makes a a large, untidy full depth blotch, either in the same leaf or in a neighbouring one. The blotch, that may occupy the entire leaf, contains many coarse, oval, frass grains. The larva leaves the blotch through a large circular opening. Before moving to a new leaf to old and the new are connected with silk.

On Arctostaphylos uva-ursi in Britain and elsewhere. A species generally of high moorland and mountains, occurring in Scotland from Perth northwards. Also recorded in parts of Ireland, where it occurs at lower elevations. Widespread in continental Europe.

Epinotia nemorivaga (Tengström, 1848) [Lepidoptera: Tortricidae].

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