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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Bucculatrix frangutella (Goeze, 1783)
[Lepidoptera: Bucculatricidae]

Buckthorn Bent-wing


Tinea frangutella Goeze, 1783. Ent. Beitr. 3:
Bucculatrix frangutella
Herrich-Schäffer, 1855
Bucculatrix frangutella
(Goeze, 1783).


Leaf-miner: The highly distinctive, violet or purplish spiral mines of this species are often the key to its discovery. They can be found on leaves, often several to a leaf. After the initial leaf-mining phase, the larva feeds externally on the underside of the leaves, creating small feeding windows, before pupating in a ribbed cocoon typical of the Bucculatriginae (UKMoths).

A narrow corridor, densely wound, amost entirely filled with purplish brown frass. The last 1 to 2 cm of the corridor are free from the spiral, and almost straight. At this point the mine is left and the larvae continue to live free on the leaf, causing window feeding. The empty larval chamber, obviously free from frass, is conspicuousy slender. The egg, in the very centre of the spiral, is at the leaf lower side, as is the exit from the mine (Bladmineerders van Europa).

The leaf-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 British leafminers.

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

The cocoon is illustrated in British leafminers.

Bucculatrix frangulella cocoon
Bucculatrix frangutella cocoon
Image: Rob Edmunds (British Leafminers)

Adult: The adult is illustrated in UKMoths. The male and female genitalia are illustrated (as frangulella) by the Lepidoptera Dissection Group.

Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:

Rhamnaceae        
Frangula alnus Alder Buckthorn British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Frangula alnus Alder Buckthorn British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Frangula alnus Alder Buckthorn British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. UKMoths
Rhamnus catharticus Buckthorn British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Rhamnus catharticus Buckthorn British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Rhamnus catharticus Buckthorn British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. UKMoths

Hosts elsewhere:

Rhamnaceae        
Frangula alnus Alder Buckthorn British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa, as Rhamnus frangula
Frangula alnus Alder Buckthorn British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Belgian Lepidoptera
Rhamnus catharticus Buckthorn British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Rhamnus catharticus Buckthorn British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Belgian Lepidoptera
Rhamnus davurnicus     Bladmineerders van Europa
Rhamnus erythroxyloides     Bladmineerders van Europa
Rhamnus imeritinus     Bladmineerders van Europa
Rhamnus rupestris     Bladmineerders van Europa
Rhamnus saxatilis     Bladmineerders van Europa
Rhamnus saxatilis subsp. tinctorius     Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: August and September (UKMoths).

Time of year - adults: June and July (UKMoths; British leafminers).

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: Mainly in the southern half of England, including Suffolk (Elveden Forest) (UKMoths), Hampshire (Fleet) (British leafminers); Cambridgeshire, Dorset, East Cornwall, East Gloucestershire, East Norfolk, East Suffolk, Glamorgan, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Isle of Wight, Middlesex, North Hampshire, South Devon, West Norfolk, West Suffolk and Westmorland (NBN Atlas), with occasional scattered colonies further north (UKMoths).

See also British leafminers distribution map.

Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea). See also Ireland's NBDC interactive map.

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

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Frangula alnus, Rhamnus catharticus

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Ichneumonoidea  
Diadegma crassum (Bridgman, 1889) Ichneumonidae: Campopleginae
Diadegma pusio (Holmgren, 1860) Ichneumonidae: Campopleginae


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 05-Aug-2017  Brian Pitkin Top of page