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


Calamotropha paludella (Hübner, 1824)
[Lepidoptera: Crambidae]

Bulrush Veneer

Tinea paludella Hübner, 1824. Samml. Europ. Schmett.: 452-3, pl. 88
Calamotropha paludella
(Hübner, 1824).

Leaf-miner: The slender larva mines the leaves, stems and upper rootstock (UKMoths). Oviposiiton at the leaf margin. From here the larva bores into the leaf tissue, and makes a descending mine that contains much brown frass. The larva hibernates in the lowest part of the mine or in a cavity gnawn in the rootstock. After the winter it mines again in the, by now, dead leaf or in the stem. Pupation internal (Bladmineerders van Europa).

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 UKMoths. Body yellowish brown; all segments bear two greyish brown shields, one behind the other, in fact strongly enlarged and fused pinacula. Head and prothoracic plate shinign light brown, anal plate right brown (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 and the Encyclopedia of Life. The species is included in

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Typha       Pitkin & Plant
Typha       UKMoths

Hosts elsewhere:

Typha angustifolia Lesser Bulrush British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Typha latifolia Bulrush British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Belgian Lepidoptera
Typha latifolia Bulrush British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: September to May (UKMoths).

Time of year - adults: The adults fly in July and August and are attracted to light (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Scarce and locally distributed in marshes, fens and other wet habitats in south and south-east England, including Dorset and Gloucester, with some records as far north as Chester and Lancashire (UKMoths); Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Cambridgeshire, Derbyshire, Dorset, East Kent, East Norfolk, East Suffolk, East Sussex, Flintshire, Glamorgan, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Isle of Wight, Leicestershire, Monmouthshire, North Essex, North Hampshire, North Somerset, Northamptonshire, Shropshire, South Devon, South Essex, South Hampshire, South Lancashire, South-east Yorkshire, South-west Yorkshire, Stafford, Surrey, West Gloucestershire, West Kent, West Lancashire, West Norfolk, West Suffolk and Westmorland (NBN Atlas).

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Estonia, European Turkey, Finland, French mainland, Germany, Greek mainland, Hungary, Italian mainland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Portuguese mainland, Romania, Russia - Central, East and South, Sardinia, Slovakia, Spanish mainland, Sweden, The Netherlands and Ukraine (Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Typha angustifolia, Typha latifolia

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

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Last updated 13-Jul-2019  Brian Pitkin Top of page