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

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MALUS. Crab Apple and Apple. [Rosaceae]


Nine species of Malus are recorded in Britain. These include one native species, Crab Apple (M. sylvestris). Apple (M. pumila) is introduced.

Malus domestica is treated as Malus pumila by Stace (2010).

Forty-three British miners are recorded on Malus.

Sneezewort - Achillea ptarmica. Image: © Brian Pitkin
Apple
Malus pumila


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


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.


1a > Leaf-miner: Initially a linear mine which later develops into a conspicuous blotch; frass in two rows in linear section, scattered irregularly in the blotch. Larval mandibles with two teeth (Spencer, 1976).

Corridor, gradually and considerably widening towards the end. Frass in two rows in the corridor part, further up dispersed irregularly. Pupation outside the mine (Bladmineerders van Europa).

A short broad upper surface corridor leading to a long blotch between veins (British leafminers).

On Agrimonia, Filipendula, Fragaria, Geum, Potentilla, Rubus and Sanguisorba, but not yet on Malus, in Britain. On additional Rosaceae elsewhere. Common and widespread throughout Britain. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland, Europe, Japan, U.S.A. and Canada.

Agromyza idaeiana (Hardy, 1853) [Diptera: Agromyzidae].

1b > Leaf-miner: Mine irregularly linear, even forming secondary blotch. Pupation in mine (Spencer, 1972b: 93 (fig. 315).

Very shallow, irregularly branched corridor, sometimes a narrow blotch. The mine is upper-surface, sometimes also interparenchymatous. The colour is pale green, larer more rust-coloured. Frass in small, widely spaced grains. Papation takes place within the mine. Hibernation in the mine, among Fallén leaves (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Only on Malus in Britain and elsewhere. Currently known in Britain only from Kent. Widespread in continental Europe

Phytomyza heringiana Hendel, 1922 [Diptera: Agromyzidae].



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


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).

2

1b > Leaf-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.

3

2a > 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 in Britain plus numerous genera and species of several plant families elsewhere. Occurs in England and Wales, commoner in the south. Widespread in continental Europe.

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

2b > Leaf-miner and case-bearer: The larva initially makes a blotch mine in the leaf, which it then excises to form its case. The larva overwinters in its case before resuming feeding in spring. A new case, 6-7 mm long, is then constructed from a further blotch mine (UKMoths). The second case is indistinguishable from C. spinella and C.prunifoliae (British leafminers). The final case is a tubular leaf case, 6-7 mm long, light brown at first, darker later. The rear end is trivalved, the mouth opening is around 45°. The larvae live at the underside of the leaves, and make sizable full depth mines (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Crataegus, Malus and Prunus in Britain and Cotoneaster, Crataegus, Malus, Prunus and Sorbus elsewhere. Scattered colonies throughout the UK. Widespread in continental Europe.

Coleophora coracipennella (Hübner, 1796) [Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae].

2c > Leaf-miner and case-bearer: The full grown larva lives in a dull black pistol case of c 9 mm that, with a mouth angle of 80-90° stands erect on the leaf. Characteristic is the presence of some ear-like flaps. At least after the hibernation the larvae do not mine any more, but rather cause skeleton feeding (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Coleophora currucipennella
Case of Coleophora currucipennella on Quercus rubra
Image: © Paul van Wielink (Bladmineerders van Europa)

On Carpinus, Corylus, Quercus and Salix, but not yet on Malus, in Britain and Betula, Carpinus, Corylus, Fagus, Quercus, Malus, Prunus, Pyrus, Sorbus and Salix elsewhere. Widespread though not common in Britain. Widespread in continental Europe.

Coleophora currucipennella Zeller, 1839 [Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae].

2d > Leaf-miner and case-bearer: The species spends two years as a larva, the first one-and-a-half years in a small pistol-case, and in the second spring building a long straight case which is dark brown and rather distinctive (UKMoths). The lava lives from autumn until summer next year. In autumn a composite leaf case is made, shaped like the handle of a walking stick. Early in the following spring a tubular leaf case is made that in the end is rather large (10 mm) and is positioned vertically on the leaf; mouth angle 90° (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Cotoneaster, Crataegus, Malus, Prunus, Pyrus and Sorbus in Britain and Amelanchier, Chaenomeles, Cotoneaster, Crataegus, Cydonia, Malus, Prunus, Pyrus, Sorbus and Spiraea elsewhere. Occurs locally in the south east of England and the Channel Is. Widespread in continental Europe.

Coleophora hemerobiella (Scopoli, 1763) [Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae].

2e > Leaf-miner and case-bearer: The case resembles that of C. violacea, but does not lie so flat again the leaf as this species (having a mouth angle of 30 to 50°). C. violacea also has a case which bulges in the middle, whereas in C. potentillae the case tapers towards the posterior (British leafminers). Immediately after emergence the larva makes a full depth, quickly widening, corridor, with frass as small grains in a broad central band. Finally results a blotch of 2 x 5 mm, from which the youth case is cut. The fully developed case is a hairy, greyish brown to silver grey lobe case of about 1 cm long, with a clearly laterally compressed end; the mouth angle is about 90°. The case is difficult to separate from that of C. ochripennella (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Betula, Agrimonia, Crataegus, Filipendula ulmaria, Fragaria vesca, Geum, Helianthemum nummularium, Potentilla, Prunus spinosa, Rosa, Rubus caesius, Rosa fruticosus and Salix cinerea, but not yet on Malus, in Britain plus Malus sylvestris, Ribes, Sanguisorba and Spiraea elsewhere. Widespread in Britain and in continental Europe.

Coleophora potentillae Elisha, 1885 [Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae].

2f > Leaf-miner and case-bearer: Tubular leaf case, 6-7 mm long, light, later dark brown, trivalved, with a mouth angle of 45°. The larva lives at the underside of the leaf, and makes sizable full depth mines there (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Malus and Prunus in Britain and Cotoneaster, Crataegus, Cydonia, Malus, Prunus, Pyracantha and Sorbus elsewhere. Southern England. Widespread in continental Europe.

Coleophora prunifoliae Doets, 1944 [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, but not yet on Malus, 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 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: Larva in autumn forming a few small mines. Feeding restarts in the same case in spring before changing to a new case by late April. In spring the cases or mines cannot be reliably separated from those of C. coracipennella or C. prunifoliae (British leafminers). The larva lives two years. In the first year, in autumn, a composite leaf case is made that resembles a boomerang: front and rear end stand at almost right angles. In its second year the larva makes a trivalved tubular leaf case of about 6 mm, with a mouth angle of c. 45°; the case tapers somewhat to both ends (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Cotoneaster, Crataegus, Malus, Prunus, Pyrus and Sorbus in Britain plus Mespilus elsewhere. Widespread in England and continental Europe. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland.

Coleophora spinella (Schrank, 1802) [Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae].

2j > Leaf-miner and case-bearer: Tubular silken case of only 5-6 mm. The case is weakly constricted near the anal end, and strongly just behind the mouth. The case is sharply bent there; therefore the mouth angle is 0° and the case lies adpressed to the leaf. The fully developed case normally is trivalved. Larvae at the underside of the leaf (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Crataegus, Malus, Prunus and Sorbus in Britain plus Cotoneaster elsewhere. Widespread in England and continental Europe.

Coleophora trigeminella Fuchs, 1881 [Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae].

2k > 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 Malus, in Britain and elsewhere. Widespread in Britain and continental Europe.

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

3a > Leaf-miner: The larvae create a distinctive blotch mine in the leaves of apple (Malus). The larva cuts an exit hole on the underside of the leaf, which distuingishes the mine from that of Ectoedemia atricollis (UKMoths). Egg either at upperside or underside of the leaf, close to the leaf margin. The mine begins as a narrow corridor which is strongly contorted, unless it lies close to the leaf margin. The corridor abruptly widens into an elongate blotch, that often runs over the initial corridor. The frass is brown; it almost fills the initial corridor; in the blotch it is concentrated in its first section. Pupation external; exit slit invariably in the lower epidermis. In Ectoedemia atricollis, of which the mine bears some resemblance to the one of pulverosella the exit slit is in the upper epidermis; moreover, atricollis is much later in the year (Bladmineerders van Europa). The gallery leads to large brownish blotch (British leafminers).

On Malus in Britain and elsewhere. Fairly well distributed in the British Isles. Also recorded from Ireland. Widespread in continental Europe.

Bohemannia pulverosella (Stainton, 1849) [Lepidoptera: Nepticulidae].

3b > Leaf-miner: The larvae initially mining the leaves in a short, contorted gallery. As the larva develops it leaves the mine to feed externally, creating windows on the upperside of the leaves (UKMoths). Oviposition at the leaf upperside, egg shell iridescent. Small, hook-like corridor, mostly in a vein axil. Frass in a very thick central line. The larva soon leaves the mine through an untidy hole and subsequenty feeds living freely on the leaf (Bladmineerders van Europa). Pupation occurs in a ribbed white cocoon spun on debris. The winter is passed in this stage. (UKMoths).

On Crataegus, Malus, Pyrus and Sorbus in Britain and Amelanchier, Chaenomeles, Cotoneaster, Crataegus, Cydonia, Malus, Mespilus, Prunus, Pyracantha, Pyrus and Sorbus elsewhere. Widespread throughout England and southern Scotland. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland. Widespread in continental Europe.

Bucculatrix bechsteinella (Bechstein & Scharfenberg, 1805) [Lepidoptera: Bucculatricidae].

3c > Leaf-miner: The young larvae mine the leaves, causing a gallery followed by a semi-translucent blotch on the upper surface of the leaf. It then vacates this and folds the edge of a leaf down to feed within, usually twice, before pupating externally among detritus (UKMoths). The mine begins as an inconspicuous epidermal corridor, mainly recognisable by its reddish brown frass line. In the next instar a blotch is formed. The mine not starting over a vein, rather lies between two veins. The colour initially is silvery, but soon the mine gets a characteristic onrange-brown tinge. Usually, but by no means invariably, the mine is upper-surface; lower-surface mines keep their original silvery colour. Silk is deposited witihin the mine, but in little quantities and the mine contracts only lightly. The mine hardly contains any frass. After some time the larva leaves the mine and then lives free in a leaf margin that has been folded downwards and fixed with silk. Two such folds are usually made, and eaten out to the upper epidermis (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Malus in Britain and Cotoneaster, Crataegus, Malus and Pyrus elsewhere. Widespread in England, Wales and continental Europe. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland.

Callisto denticulella (Thunberg, 1794) [Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae].

3d > Leaf-miner: In the first instar the larva mines the leaves, forming short, irregular, blotch-like mines, but in later instars it lives externally, feeding in spun leaves and often twisting those of tender shoots. Larval head light-brown or yellowish brown, edged with black postero-laterally, ocellar area blackish; prothoracic plate black edged with whitish anteriorly; abdomen dull dark green; pinacula distinct, black, sometimes brownish but with black bases to setae; anal plate large, black (Bradley et al., 1973). Small, full depth mine without a definite shape; little frass. Some silk is deposited in the mine. The larva soon leaves the mine and continues feeding among spun leaves (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Polyphagous. On numerous genera and species of several plant families, including Malus, in Britain. On numerous genera and species of several plant families, but not Malus elsewhere. Widespread in Britain and continental Europe. Also recorded from the Channel Is.

Cnephasia incertana (Treitschke, 1835) [Lepidoptera: Tortricidae].

3e > Leaf-miner: The larvae form galleries along the edge of the leaf, leading to the development of large blotches on the leaf margin (UKMoths). Oviposition on the leaf underside. There begins a full depth corridor that gradually widens into an irregular elliptic blotch. Generally the corridor part for a large stretch follows the leaf margin. If oviposition occurred well away from the leaf margin, the corridor starts by making some irregular loops around the oviposition site; however, when, as often occurs, the egg is placed close to the leaf margin, at once the leaf margin is mined. Frass blackish brown (rarely brown) in the corridor, black in the blotch. In the corridor the frass lies in lumps or indistinct coils; in the blotch the frass is irregularly dispersed. Pupation outside the mine; exit slit in the upper epidermis, contrary to Bohemannia pulverosella, with which atricollis may co-occur on Apple (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Crataegus, Malus and Prunus in Britain and Crataegus, Malus, Mespilus, Prunus, Pyrus and Staphylea elsewhere. Widespread in Britain and continental Europe. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland.

Ectoedemia atricollis (Stainton, 1857) [Lepidoptera: Nepticulidae].

3f > Leaf-miner: Oviposition by way of an ovipositor, no egg visible therefore. The larva makes an irregular blotch. The part of the mine nearest to the oviposition site is more thranslucent than the later, in transparancy more greenish, part of the mine. The mine usually lies close to the leaf tip, often several together. After its first moult the larva makes a roundish excision, 3-4 mm in diameter. Incurvaria larvae, while resting, take a horse-shoe like posture, unlike the larvae of Antispila species. Sandwiched herein it drops to the ground and continues feeding of dead leaves. The excision occupies about half of the surface of the blotch (Bladmineerders van Europa). The mine is also described in (UKMoths).

On Vaccinium myrtillus, Prunus and Rubus chamaemorus, but not yet on Malus, in Britain. On several genera and species of several plant families, including Malus, elsewhere. Widespread in much of the British Isles and continental Europe.

Incurvaria oehlmanniella (Hübner, 1796) [Lepidoptera: Incurvariidae].

3g > 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].

3h > 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 preceding 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 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: Lyonetidae].

3i > Leaf-miner: A long, whitish smoothly-curved upper-surface mine with broken black frass (British leafminers). Oviposition is by means of an ovipositor; what remains is a small scar: no egg shell is visible at the start of the mine. From here a long, sometimes very long, slender, full depth corridor winds throught the leaf, not steered by leaf margin or the leaf venation. The midrib is crossed effortless; the corridor frequently also crosses itself; the section of the leaf cut off then usally turns brown and dies off. Frass in a narrow central line. The larva vacates the mine prior to pupation through an exit in the upper epidermis. The vacated larval chamber is proportionally much longer than in the case of Stigmella mines ( > 3 x longer than broad) (Bladmineerders van Europa). Pupation in a silken cocoon suspended from threads attached to food plant or other vegetation (British leafminers).

Polyphagous. On numerous genera and species in several plant families, including Malus, in Britain and elsewhere. Widespread in Britain and continental Europe. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland.

Lyonetia clerkella (Linnaeus, 1758) [Lepidoptera: Lyonetiidae].

3j > Leaf-miner: The larva mines the leaves of various roseaceous trees, such as blackthorn and apple, forming a gallery leading to a blotch (UKMoths). Eggs are deposited in the underside of a leaf, well away from the margin, often several per leaf. Around the oviposition site a cavity develops that in the end often leaves a hole in the leaf. Then a narrow, hardly widening, winding corridor, largely filled with a broad reddish brown frass line. The corridor abruptly widens into a wide, full depth blotch, that often lies against the leaf margin. The larva may leave its mine and continue elsewere, even on a different leaf. Note that the first blotch may already lie on a different leaf. Frass dispersed, in oval granules. Most frass is ejected through semicircular cuts along the outer limit of the blotch; part of it is often trapped in strands of silk under the leaf (Bladmineerders van Europa). The pupal cocoon is suspended from silken 'guy ropes' and closely resembles that of L. clerkella (UKMoths).

On Betula, Chaenomeles, Crataegus, Cydonia, Malus, Prunus and Sorbus in Britain and Betula, Chaenomeles, Cotonneaster, Crataegus, Cydonia, Malus, Mespilus, Prunus, Pyrus and Sorbus elsewhere. Formerly locally resident in parts of southern and central England, this moth seems to have died out as a British species and has not been reliably encountered since around 1900. Widespread in continental Europe.

Lyonetia prunifoliella (Hübner, 1796) [Lepidoptera: Lyonetiidae].

3k > Leaf-miner: Early mine a blotch with lower and upper epidermis turning brown. Then either a fold at the leaf edge, or a mine resembling that of a Phyllonorycter, but formed by a silken pad on the underside (British leafminers). The mine begins with a lower-surface epidermal corridor, but soon the larva starts feeding on the sponge parenchyma. The mine then becomes a flat lower-surface blotch. Silk, deposited in the mine causes the lower epidermis to pucker ligtly. The lower (later also the upper) epidermis of the mine is greyish brown to brown. After leaving the mine the larva lives freely under a folded leaf margin, or in a fold at the underside of the leaf, in its centre, that is covered with silk (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Larva greenish white; head light brown with a pair of brown spots (Bladmineerders van Europa). The full grown larva is remarkably slender, hyaline, with a large roundish black spot on the pronotum. The instar just before pupations lacks this spot. Larva and pupa are described by Lüders (1900a) and Grandi (1931a, 1933a) (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Malus and Sorbus in Britain and Cotoneaster, Malus and Sorbus elsewhere. Widespread in Britain, Ireland and continental Europe.

Parornix scoticella (Stainton, 1850) [Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae].

3l > Leaf-miner: A mine with several creases in lower epidermis. On thinner leaves, such as crab-apple, the upper surface may be arched to form a tube (British leafminers). Lower surface tentiform mine with a yellow-green epidermis that has a few folds. Pupation within the mine. The pupa is amber or chestnut brown, and lies in a white cocoon. Generally the frass is accumulated in a corner of the mine, but sometimes a small quantity is incorporated in the wall of the cocoon (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Cydonia, Malus and Sorbus in Britain and Malus elsewhere. Quite commonly distributed in England and Wales, scarcer in southern Scotland and Ireland. Widespread in continental Europe.

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

3m > Leaf-miner: The mine is in the upper epidermis of a leaf, usually over midrib or vein. The mine is at first silvery, later with brown speckling (British leafminers). Silvery, upper-surface, epidermal tentiform mine, centered over the midrib or a heavy lateral vein. Unlike P. leucographella, with which this species shares some host plants, the upper epidermis looks dirty by the presence of numerous fine black-brown specks of frass. The epidermis remains without folds until the mine becomes strongly contrated. Young mines look like a streak of silver on top of a vein (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Betula, Crataegus, Malus, Pyrus and Sorbus in Britain and Betula, Fagus, Amelanchier, Chaenomeles, Cotoneaster, Crataegus, Cydonia, Malus, Mespilus, Prunus, Pyrus, Sorbus and Spiraea elsewhere.

Phyllonorycter corylifoliella (Hübner, 1796) [Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae].

3n > Leaf-miner: The mine is an underside, strongly creased blister, causing a distinct pucker in the upperside of the leaf (UKMoths). Elongated, lower surface, tentiform mine with one strong fold in the lower epidermis. Pupa in a white cocoon, in which no frass in incorporated; all frass in a clump in the mine. Before ecdysis the pupa works itself out of the mine through the floor in the mine (Bladmineerders van Europa). Difficult to distinguish between P. cydoniella and P. blancardella on the basis of mine characteristics - both form arched tubes on the leaf of M. sylvestris. P. cydoniella tends to make the larger mine on M. sylvestris and the pupa is in a cocoon, with frass to one side (British leafminers).

On Cydonia, Malus and Sorbus in Britain and Cydonia, Malus, Prunus, Pyrus and Sorbus elsewhere. A local species, distributed mainly in the southern and south-eastern area of England. Also recorded in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Widespread in continental Europe.

Phyllonorycter hostis Triberti, 2007 [Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae].

3o > Leaf-miner: The mine is upper side and silvery, over the midrib. Leaf later may fold upwards, concealing the mine (British leafminers). Oviposition is on the base of the midrib. From there an epidermal corridor is made, running towards the leaf tip. The corridor then is widened into an epidermal, silvery blotch, finally into a longitudinally contracted tentiform mine. Frass in fine, shining grains, mostly in a line over the midrib, rarely in a mass in a corner of the mine. The epidermis of the mine has a number of yellow spots, but never the black specks that are apparent in P. corylifoliella. Bladmineerders van Europa).

Polyphagous. On Cotoneaster, Crataegus, Fagus, Laburnum, Malus, Pyracantha, Pyrus and Sorbus in Britain and additionally Chaenomeles, elsewhere. Widespread in England, southern Scotland and continental Europe.

Phyllonorycter leucographella (Zeller, 1850) [Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae].

3p > Leaf-miner: Lower-surface, yellow-green tentiform mine, 20-32 mm long, with a number of fine folds in the lower epidermis. In most cases the mine is elongate, situated between two lateral veins. The reddish to chestnut brown pupa lies in a flimsy cocoon in which no frass is incorporated: the frass is stored not in a clump but in a row of loose grains behind the cocoon. Just before edcysis the pupa works itself out of the mine through the lower wall; mostly the empty exuvium sticks halfway out of the mine (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Mine of Phyllonorycter mespilella on Sorbus
Mine of Phyllonorycter mespilella on Sorbus
Image: © Martin Gray (
British leafminers)

On Pyrus and Sorbus, but not yet on Malus, in Britain and Amelanchier, Cotoneaster, Cydonia, Malus, Mespilus, Prunus and Sorbus elsehwere. Recorded in East Kent, Hereford, Hunts, Surrey and Worcester in Britain. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland. Widespread in continental Europe.

Phyllonorycter mespilella (Hübner, 1805) [Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae].

3q > Leaf-miner: The mine is oval on Q. ilex (note - there may be several mines in the leaf), and similar to P. quercifoliella on deciduous oaks. It is between adjacent veins on beech and hornbeam (British leafminers). Small, oval, lower-surface tentiform mine, 9-14 mm long, mostly between two lateral veins. The lower epidermis with a single sharp fold (sometimes forked near its end). Pupa in very flimsy cocoon, that contains a bit of frass laterally and at the rear end (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Betula, Carpinus, Castanea, Fagus, Nothofagus, Quercus, Malus, Ostrya and Prunus in Britain and Carpinus, Castanea, Fagus, Quercus, Prunus and Tilia elsewhere. Widespread in Britain, Ireland and continental Europe.

Phyllonorycter messaniella (Zeller, 1846) [Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae].

3r > Leaf-miner: A large mine with a strong crease in lower epidermis. Leaf-edge often folded downwards (British leafminers). Lower-surface, yellow-green tentiform mine with a few sharp folds in the epidermis. In Rowan the mine is parallel to the leaf margin, in Cherry usually between two lateral veins. The light brown cocoon lies in a wide cocoon, in which no frass is incorporated; all frass is accumulated in a clump in an angle of the mine. Before hatching the pupa penetrates the mine wall; generally the exuvium remains stuck halfway out of the mine (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Phyllonorycter sorbi pupa,  cremaster,  dorsal
Phyllonorycter sorbi pupa, cremaster, dorsal
Image: © Willem Ellis (Bladmineerders van Europa)

On Chaenomeles, Prunus and Sorbus, but not yet on Malus, in Britain and Cotoneaster, Crataegus, Cydonia, Malus, Prunus, Pyrus and Sorbus. Widespread in Britain, Ireland and continental Europe.

Phyllonorycter sorbi (Frey, 1885) [Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae].

3s > Leaf-miner: The young larva mines the leaves of its foodplant then hibernates. It will then mines leaves or flowerbuds, then blossom or leaves (British leafminers). Branched, sometimes stellate, brownish, very transparent, sometimes long corridor that contains no frass. All frass is ejected through a number of tiny openings that generally are close to a vein. Only the young larvae are miners (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Malus, Prunus and Pyrus in Britain and Amelanchier, Chaenomeles, Cotoneaster, Crataegus, Cydonia, Malus, Prunus, Pyrus and Sorbus elsewhere. Now and then the species is recorded from Corylus avellana, Rhamnus and Betula. Recorded in England, from York southwards. Widespread in continental Europe.

Recurvaria nanella (Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775) [Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae].

3t > Leaf-miner: Usually a very small (but see below), pear-shaped, upper-surface blotch, most of it stuffed with reddish brown frass. Often several mines in a leaf. Ovipisition is already in May, but the larvae hatch late and initially develop very slowly; only against the end of summer the mines become apparent. The larvae remain in the mine and hibernate in the fallen leaves. The bright-coloured frass and their large number makes these mines very conspicuous in autumn, despite their small size. The weevils feed pinhole-sized windows in the leaf upperside (maturation feeding) (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Rhamphus oxycanthae
Minee of Rhamphus oxyacanthae on Crataegus monogyna
Image: © Willem Ellis (Bladmineerders van Europa
Rhamphus oxyacanthae larva,  dorsal
Rhamphus oxyacanthae larva, dorsal
Image: © Willem Ellis (Bladmineerders van Europa)

On Crataegus, Prunus, Mespilus and Sorbus, but not yet on Amelanchier, Malus or Pyrus, in Britain and Amelanchier, Chaenomeles, Crataegus, Cydonia, Malus, Mespilus, Prunus, Pyrus and Sorbus elsewhere. Widespread in England and continental Europe.

Rhamphus oxyacanthae (Marsham, 1802) [Coleoptera: Curculionidae].

3u > Leaf-mine: The young larvae make very small (≤ 3 mm) corridor or blotch mines, usually several in a leaf. The primary mine generally lies adjacent to the midrib; as far as I have seen the egg always is upper-surface. The secondary mines often are found in leaves without primary mine: obviously the larvae easily move to another leaf. The secondary mines are made from the underside of the leaf; while moving around silk is deposited under the leaf. Most frass is ejected from the mines, and part of the frass grains remain stuck in the spinning. Rather soon the larvae start living completely free in a common spinning under a leaf. They hibernate in a hibernaculum and continue living free in the spring (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Scythropia crataegella

Mines of Scythropia crataegella on Crataegus
Image: Ben Smart

On Cotoneaster, Crataegus, Malus and Prunus in Britain and on Cotoneaster, Crataegus, Malus, Prunus and Pyrus elsewhere. Fairly common in the southern half of Britain, but not occurring northwards of Yorkshire. Widespread in continental Europe.

Scythropia crataegella (Linnaeus, 1767) [Lepidoptera: Yponomeutidae]

3v > Leaf-miner: Egg either at upperside or underside of the leaf. The mine begins as a narrow cooridor, often following a vein or the leaf margin. Later sections of the corridor are mch wider and contorted, mostly forming a secondary blotch. Frass in a narrow central line, sometimes a bit broader towards then end of the mine. Often several mines a a leaf (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Mine of Stigmella desperatella on Malus sylvestris Image: © Willem Ellis (Bladmineerders en plantengallen van Europa)
Mine of Stigmella desperatella on Malus sylvestris
Image: © Willem Ellis (Bladmineerders van Europa)

On Malus and Pyrus in Britain and elsewhere. Distribution in Britain unknown. Widespread in continental Europe.

Stigmella desperatella (Frey, 1856) [Lepidoptera: Nepticulidae].

3w > Leaf-miner: The mines are found between veins. The initial gallery is narrow and then forms an orange-brown blotch (British leafminers). Egg at the underside of the leaf. The mine is a small compact corridor, rather strongly widening towards the end, mostly in a vein axil. Colour of the mine often orange. Frass in a broad, irregular central line (Bladmineerders van Europa).

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

Stigmella incognitella (Herrich-Schäffer, 1855) [Lepidoptera: Nepticulidae].

3x > Leaf-miner: A long thin linear gallery with frass in a thin line, sometimes broken. This distinguishes it form S.nylandriella, which never has linear frass throughout the mine. The gallery of S.magadalenae is also narrower than S.nylandriella. S. magdalenae can both be an edge miner or make a small mine in the leaf blade, or run along a vein (British leafminers). Egg at the underside of the leaf, independent of the venation. The corridor is narrow from start to end, and compressed on a small space, sometimes following the leaf margin for a while, more often along a major vein. Frass in a narrow, regularly interrupted central line. In thick leaves the frass line is broader, and the corridor is shorter (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Sorbus, but not yet on Malus, in Britain and Amelanchier, Cotoneaster, Malus and Sorbus. Widespread in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland. Widespread in continental Europe.

Stigmella magdalenae (Klimesch, 1950) [Lepidoptera: Nepticulidae].

3y > Leaf-miner: The gallery is sinuous, widening later, with linear frass (British leafminers). Egg at the underside of the leaf, near a vein. The mine is quite variable. It is a rather strongly tortuous corriodor, sometime widening only a little, sometimes strongly, at times ending in a secondary blotch. Frass black or brown, in a narrow central line (Bladmineerders van Europa).

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

Stigmella malella (Stainton, 1854) [Lepidoptera: Nepticulidae].

3z > Leaf-miner: The reddish frass is linear, later in arcs, finally dispersed (British leafminers). Long corridor, that widens only little, and winds freely through the leaf, not influenced by the venation. In thick, sun-exposed leaves the mine may be much shorter, especially in Cotoneaster, Malus and Pyrus. Frass brown, in arcs. (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Cotoneaster, Crataegus, Malus, Pyrus and Sorbus in Britain and Amelanchier, ? Chaenomeles, Cotoneaster, Crataemespilus, Crataegus, Crataemespilus, Cydonia, Malus, Mespilus, Prunus, Pyrus and Sorbus elsewhere. Widespread in Britain. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland. Widespread in continental Europe.

Stigmella oxyacanthella (Stainton, 1854) [Lepidoptera: Nepticulidae].

3za > Leaf-miner: A narrow gallery, leading abruptly to a blotch (British leafminers). Egg at the leaf underside. The first part of the mine consists of a slender undulating corridor with a proportionally wide uninterrupted frass line, that leaves a clear transparent zone at either side. After a moult this corridor widens aburptly into a bloth, that develops into the oppsite direction. The frass is concentrated here ia a diffuse central spot. The mine hardly ever crosses the midrib. Pupation outside the mine (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Prunus, but not yet on Malus, in Britain and Malus and Prunus elsewhere. Widespread in Britain, Ireland and continental Europe.

Stigmella plagicolella (Stainton, 1854) [Lepidoptera: Nepticulidae].

3zb > Leaf-miner: A narrow gallery leads abruptly to large blotch (British leafminers). Oviposition on the leaf underside. The mine begins as a very slender winding corridor of 15-20 mm, the second part of which is almost stuffed with frass. The corridor abruptly widens into a blotch with dispersed frass; in large leaves this blotch is almost circular. Mostly the midrib is not crossed, but the mine can occupy the major part of a leaflet. Often several mines in leaf (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Sorbus, but not yet on Malus, in Britain and Amelanchier, Cotoneaster, Malus and Sorbus elsewhere. Widespread in Britain. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland. Widespread in continental Europe.

Stigmella sorbi (Stainton, 1861) [Lepidoptera: Nepticulidae].

3xc > Leaf-miner: Full depth blotch, invariably beginning at the leaf tip or the tip of a leaf lobe or tooth. Oviposition site covered by a black, shining drop of hardened secretion. Frass generally in long threads, but sometimes in elongated granules. Pupation in the mine, not in a cocoon (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Corylus avellana, but not yet on Malus, in Britain. On several genera and species in several plant families including Malus elsewhere. Widespread in Britain and continental Europe.

Trachys minutus (Linnaeus, 1758) [Coleoptera: Buprestidae].

3xd > Leaf miner. The egg is deposited in the base of the midrib. After oviposition the female severes the petiole, causing the petiole to break. The leaf start to wilt and falls, but still remains green for a considerable time. The larva tunnels in the midrib, and makes from there broad, full deep blotches in the lamina. Frass dispersed in the mine. Often several larvae in a leaf. Pupation in the ground. Blommers & Vaal (2002a) and Gønget (2003a) describe the biology in more detail. (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Crataegus, Mespilus and Prunus, but not yet on Malus, in Britain and Amelanchier, Cotoneaster, Crataegus, Cydonia, Malus, Prunus and Pyrus elsewhere. Recorded in several counties in southern Britain and widespread in continental Europe.

Neocoenorrhinus pauxillus (Germar, 1824) [Coleoptera: Rhynchitidae].



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