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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SORBUS. Rowans, Whitebeams and Service-trees. [Rosaceae]


Thirty-seven species, subspecies and hybrids of Sorbus are recorded in Britain. These include the native Rowan (S. aucuparia), Common Whitebeam (S. aria) and Service-tree (S. domestica). The BSBI provide a downloadable plant crib for Sorbus.

Thirty-eight British miners are recorded on Sorbus



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


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, 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, but not yet on Sorbus, 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).

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

On Carpinus, Corylus, Quercus and Salix, but not yet on Sorbus, 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: 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, but not yet on Sorbus, in Britain and Cotoneaster, Crataegus, Cydonia, Malus, Prunus, Pyracantha and Sorbus elsewhere. Southern England. Widespread in continental Europe.

Coleophora prunifoliae Doets, 1944 [Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae].

2f > 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].

2g > 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].

2h > 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].

2i > 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].

2j > 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 Sorbus, in Britain and elsewhere. Widespread in Britain and continental Europe.

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

3a > Leaf-miner: Before overwintering larvae make a small, full depth blotch (Robbins, 1991a). After hibernation, they live freely under a silk. Larvae mine in late autumn (Agassiz, 1996a). Not rare, in Belgium (De Prins, 1998a) (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Crataegus, Cotoneaster, Rosa and Sorbus in Britain and Crataegus, Cotoneaster and Sorbus elsewhere. Widespread in Britain, except the far north. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland. Widespread in continental Europe.

Paraswammerdamia nebulella (Goeze, 1783) [Lepidoptera: Yponomeutidae].

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 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 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].

3d > 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, but not yet on Sorbus, 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].

3e > 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 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].

3f > 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 Sorbus, in Britain and elsewhere. Widespread in Britain and continental Europe. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland.

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

3g > 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].

3h > Leaf-miner: In a small Phyllonorycter-like mine initially, but with brown rather than green lower epidermis. Later in two or more successive cones formed by folding leaf-lobes downwards (British leafminers). The mine begins at a flat, iridescent egg shell. It starts as an epidermal corridor, widening into (and mostly over run by) a shallow lower surface blotch in the tip of a leaf segment. The lower epidermis is off-grey with small light brown spots at first, but soon turns brown. Silk is deposited within the mine, causing it to contract. This wrinkles the lower epidermis, but there are no clear folds formed. Soon the larva starts consuming the palissade parenchyma, and the upperside of the mine than turns brown as well. Frass in loose grains. After some time the larva leaves its mine and continues living free under a downfolded leaf segment, kept in place by some spinning. Here too the leaf tissue is consumed up to the palissade parenchyma, browning the leaf (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Crataegus, Fragaria and Sorbus in Britain and Amelanchier, Cotoneaster, Crataegus, X Crataemespilus, Fragaria, Mespilus and Sorbus elsewhere. Widespread in Britain, Ireland and continental Europe.

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

3i > 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].

3j > 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].

3k > 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].

3l > 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].

3m > Leaf-miner: The mine is an underside, strongly creased blister, causing a distinct pucker in the upperside of the leaf (UKMoths). 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). 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).

Host in Britain unknown. On Chaenomeles 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 cydoniella (Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775) [Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae].

3n > Leaf-miner: The mine is underside, between veins, causing leaf to arch. The lower epidermis is at first white, then brown (British leafminers). Lower-surface tentiform mine, white at first, later brown, between two side veins. Pupa without a recognisable cocoon in the mine. Before ecdysis the pupa works itself halfway out of the upperside of the mine (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Viburnum and Sorbus in Britain and elsewhere. Occurs in the southern counties of England and Wales. Widespread in continental Europe.

Phyllonorycter lantanella (Schrank, 1802) [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 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 often in the lobe of the leaf. There are many creases in lower epidermis, which is strongly contracted, causing lobe or leaf-edge to fold over (British leafminers). Rather small, lower-surface, tentiform mine with a yellow-green epidermis that has a number of folds. Pupation within the mine. The pupa of the summer generation in a quite flimsy cocoon; in the autumn generation there is more, golden, silk. All frass in a clump in the distal angle of the mine (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Crataegus, Cydonia and Pyrus, but not yet on Sorbus, in Britain and Crataemespilus, Crataegus, Cydonia, Mespilus, Pyracantha, Pyrus and Sorbus elsewhere. Widespread in Britain, Ireland and continental Europe.

Phyllonorycter oxyacanthae (Frey, 1856) [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 in Britain and Cotoneaster, Crataegus, Cydonia, Malus, Prunus, Pyrus and Sorbus elsewhere. 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, but not yet on Sorbus, 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-miner: The frass linear in early gallery, widening to blotch with dispersed frass (British leafminers). Oviposition at random point of the leaf, either at upper- or lower-surface. First a quite slender corridor is made, with a relatively broad, continuous, frass line, that always leaves a clear margin at either side; the corridor winds freely through the leaf. This initial corridor often abruptly changes in direction, widens into a blotch that mostly lie along the leaf margin. Pupation outside the mine (Bladmineerders van Europa).

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

Stigmella hybnerella (Hübner, 1813) [Lepidoptera: Nepticulidae].

3v > 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 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].

3w > Leaf-miner: Rather short, full depth, gradually widening corridor, the last section suddenly widenened still a bit more into an elongated blotch. Frass in a central line, about 1/3 of the width of the corridor. Pupation outside the mine (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Mine of Stigmella mespilicola
Mine of Stigmella mespilicola on Sorbus torminalis
Image: © Guy Meredith (
British leafminers)

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

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

3x > Leaf-miner: A long sinuous mine, frass variable, which often follows leaf-edge (British leafminers). Egg at the upperside of the leaf. The mine is a long, gradually widening corridor that often closely follows the leaf margin for a long distance. Frass at first in a broad central line, but soon it becomes coiled. Occasionally mines occur with linear frass throughout; such mines can be distinguished from those of Stigmella magdalenae because they are broader and less confined the a small space (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Sorbus in Britain and elsewhere. Widespread but localised distribution throughout the British Isles, being commoner in the north. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland. Widespread in continental Europe.

Stigmella nylandriella (Tengström, 1848) [Lepidoptera: Nepticulidae].

3y > 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].

3z > 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 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].

3za > Leaf-miner: Egg at the leaf underside. Initially a straight, narrow corridor, becoming wider and more contorted, in the end almost a botch. Frass linear throughout. Pupation outside the mine (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Sorbus in Britain and elsewhere. Distribution in Britain unknown. Also recorded in Germany.

Stigmella torminalis (Wood, 1890) [Lepidoptera: Nepticulidae].

3zb > 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 Sorbus, in Britain. On several genera and species in several plant families including Sorbus elsewhere. Widespread in Britain and continental Europe.

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



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