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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Antispila metallella (Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775)
[Lepidoptera: Heliozelidae]

Four-spot Lift


Tinea metallella Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775. Ank. Syst. Werk. Schmett. Wien.: PAGE
Tinea pfeifferella
Hübner, 1813. Samml. Europ. Schmett.: fig. 398
Antispila pfeifferella (Hübner, 1813); Rebel, 1901. Cat. Lep. Pal. 2: 189.
Antispila metallella
(Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775).


Leaf-miner: A gallery leads to blotch, with oval cut-out 5.5-7 mm long. There are two or three brown specks at start of mine (trial slits made by ovipositor) (British leafminers).

The combination of mine and cut-out is very distinctive (UKMoths).

Initially a short corridor close to the leaf margin, suddenly widening into a large blotch, that often overruns the corridor. Finally the larva makes an oval excision of 5.5-7 mm long, and drops with it to the ground. In this excision, that now functions as a case, the larva continues living free. Before the onset of winter, pupation takes place within the case. The female makes a number of test punctures, that often can be seen as a curving row of 2-7 brown spots perpendular to the initial corridor (Bladmineerders van Europa).

The mine is also illustrated in (British leafminers).

Larva: The larvae of moths have a head capsule and chewing mouthparts with opposable mandibles (see video of a gracillarid larva feeding), six thoracic legs and abdominal legs (see examples).

The larva is illustrated in Bladmineerders van Europa.

Pupa: The pupae of moths have visible head appendages, wings and legs which lie in sheaths (see examples).

Adult: The adult is illustrated in UKMoths. The genitalia are not illustrated by the Lepidoptera Dissection Group (check for update).

Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:

Cornaceae        
Cornus sanguinea Dogwood British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Cornus sanguinea Dogwood British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Cornus sanguinea Dogwood British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. UKMoths

Hosts elsewhere:

Cornaceae        
Cornus alba White Dogwood British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Cornus mas Cornelian-cherry   Bladmineerders van Europa
Cornus mas Cornelian-cherry   Biodiversity Heritage Library
Belgian Lepidoptera
Cornus sanguinea Dogwood British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Cornus sanguinea Dogwood British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Biodiversity Heritage Library
Belgian Lepidoptera

Time of year - larvae: July-August (British leafminers).

Time of year - adults: The adults fly in the daytime during May, preferring sunny weather (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: Throughout most of England and can be locally common in places (UKMoths); Bedfordshire, Brecon, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Carmarthenshire, Dorset, East Norfolk, East Suffolk, Glamorgan, Herefordshire, Isle of Wight, Leicestershire, Montgomeryshire, North Hampshire, North Somerset, Shropshire, South Hampshire, South WIltshire, Stafford, West Gloucestershire, West Norfolk and West Suffolk (NBN Atlas).

See also British leafminers distribution map.

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Estonia, French mainland, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Romania, Russia - East, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Ukraine (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Cornus alba, Cornus mas, Cornus sanguinea

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere: Currently unknown.



External links: Search the internet:

Belgian Lepidoptera
Biodiversity Heritage Library
Bladmineerders van Europa
British leafminers
Encyclopedia of Life
Fauna Europaea
NBN Atlas
NHM UK Checklist
UKMoths

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Last updated 23-Jun-2017  Brian Pitkin Top of page