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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Caloptilia alchimiella (Scopoli, 1763)
[Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae]

Yellow-triangle Slender


Phalaena alchimiella Scopoli, 1763. Ent. Carn.: no. 661.
Caloptilia alchimiella
(Scopoli, 1763).


Leaf-miner: The larva at first mines the leaves in a gallery leading to a blotch. Subsequently the larva forms a succession of cones (usually three) by folding the tips of the leaves, and feeding withinthem (UKMoths).

At first a narrow lower-surface epidermal gallery, regularly intersecting itself. In the next stage the mine becomes full depth. It remains a small mine, either rectangular, or, more frequently, a triangle in a vein axil, with frass along the sides. After a while the mine is vacated and the larva continues in a leaf roll. Pupation in a white cocoon. Neither in the mine nor in the larva a difference is known with C. robustella. Moreover a temporal overlap exists between the single larval generation of C. alchmiella, and the second larval generation of robustella. Only the pupae and adults enable a reliable identification (Bladmineerders van Europa).

The leaf-mine is 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).

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

See Patocka and Turcáni (2005a), Patocka and Zach (1995a) for differences from robustella in the pupa (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Pupae of Caloptilia alchimiella
Pupae of Caloptilia alchimiella
Image: © Charlie Streets (British leafminers)

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

Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:

Fagaceae        
Quercus       British leafminers
Quercus       UKMoths
Quercus cerris Turkey Oak British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Quercus petraea Sessile Oak British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Quercus robur Pedunculate Oak British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant

Hosts elsewhere:

Fagaceae        
Castanea sativa Sweet Chestnut British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Fagus sylvatica Beech British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Fagus sylvatica subsp. orientali     Bladmineerders van Europa
Quercus       Belgian Lepidoptera
Quercus cerris Turkey Oak British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Quercus cerris subsp. austriaca     Bladmineerders van Europa
Quercus macranthera     Bladmineerders van Europa
Quercus petraea Sessile Oak British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Quercus polycarpa     Bladmineerders van Europa
Quercus pubescens Downy Oak   Bladmineerders van Europa
Quercus robur Pedunculate Oak British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: July -August (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Time of year - adults: May to July (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: Britain including Chester (Congleton), London (Putney Heath) (UKMoths); Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Caernarvonshire, Cambridgeshire, Cheshire, Denbighshire; Derbyshire, East Cornwall, East Kent, East Norfolk, East Suffolk, Flintshire, Glamorgan, Herefordshire, Hertfordshire, Merionethshire, Middlesex, North Aberdeen, North Devon, North Ebudes, North Essex, North Hampshire, North Somerset, North Wiltshire, North-east Yorkshire, Shropshire, South Aberdeen, South Devon, South Lancaster, South Wiltshire, South-west Yorkshire, Stafford, Surrey, Warwickshire, West Cornwall, West Gloucestershire, West Kent, West Norfolk, West Suffolk, West Sussex, Westmorland and Worcestershire (NBN Atlas), the Channel Is. (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).

See also British leafminers distribution map.

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

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Albania, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Estonia, Finland, French mainland, Germany, Greek mainland, Hungary, Italian mainland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Portuguese mainland, Romania, Russia - Central, Northwest and South, Slovakia, Spanish mainland, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine and Yugoslavia (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Castanea sativa, Fagus sylvatica, Quercus cerris, Quercus petraea, Quercus pubescens, Quercus robur

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Chalcidoidea  
Achrysocharoides cilla (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Sympiesis acalle (Walker, 1848) Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Ichneumonoidea  
Microgaster globata (Linnaeus, 1758) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Pholetesor circumscriptus (Nees, 1834) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Rhysipolis decorator (Haliday, 1836) Braconidae: Rhysipolinae
Rhysipolis hariolator (Haliday, 1836) Braconidae: Rhysipolinae
Rhysipolis meditator (Haliday, 1836) Braconidae: Rhysipolinae
Rhysipolis variabilis (Szépligeti, 1896) Braconidae: Rhysipolinae
Diadegma pusio (Holmgren, 1860) Ichneumonidae: Campopleginae
Diadegma stigmatellae Horstmann, 1980 Ichneumonidae: Campopleginae
Diaglyptidea conformis (Gmelin, 1790) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae
Encrateola laevigata (Ratzeburg, 1848) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae
Gelis areator (Panzer, 1804) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae
Scambus brevicornis (Gravenhorst, 1829) Ichneumonidae: Pimplinae
Scambus calobatus (Gravenhorst, 1829) Ichneumonidae: Pimplinae
Scambus inanis (Schrank, 1802) Ichneumonidae: Pimplinae
Hercus fontinalis (Holmgren, 1857) Ichneumonidae: Tryphoniinae


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