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 elongella (Linnaeus, 1761)
[Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae]

Pale Red Slender


Phalaena elongella Linnaeus, 1761. Faun. Suecia: no. 1436.
Caloptilia elongella
(Linnaeus, 1761).


Leaf-miner: The larvae feed at first in a mine, and later in a folded or rolled leaf (UKMoths).

The mine begins with a usually rather short gallery, that opens into (and often is overrun by) a silvery epidermal upper-surface blotch with light brown frass. When the mine gets older it contracts and becomes an elongate blister or even a tube. Soon the larva leaves the mine and continues feeding within a downwards rolled leaf margin, that is fastened with silk (Bladmineerders van Europa).

The rolled leaf 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).

Under a silk membrane on underside of leaf (UKMoths). Pupation in a transparent, yellow-shining cocoon at the leaf margin (Bladmineerders van Europa).

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

Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:

Betulaceae        
Alnus cordata Italian Alder British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Alnus glutinosa Alder British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Alnus glutinosa Alder British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Alnus glutinosa Alder British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. UKMoths
Alnus incana Grey Alder British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant

Hosts elsewhere:

Betulaceae        
Alnus glutinosa Alder British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Alnus glutinosa Alder British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Belgian Lepidoptera
Alnus incana Grey Alder British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Alnus minor     Bladmineerders van Europa

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

Time of year - adults: Two generations, June and again during September, after which they hibernate and reappear in spring (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: A relatively common species throughout much of Britain including Lancaster (Littleborough) (UKMoths); Anglesey, Banff, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Breconshire, Caernarvonshire, Cambridgeshire, Cardiganshire, Carmarthenshire, Cheviotland, Denbighshire, Derbyshire, Dorset, Dumfrieshire, Dunbarton, Durham, East Cornwall, East Kent, East Norfolk, East Ross, East Suffolk, East Sutherland, Easterness, Fife, Glamorgan, Haddington, Herefordshire, Hertfordshire, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Isle of Wight, Kincardineshire, Leicestershire, Merionethshire, Middlesex, North Aberdeen, North Ebudes, North Essex, North Hampshire, North Somerset, Northumberland South, Nottinghamshire, Outer Hebrides, Pembrokeshire, Shropshire, South Aberdeen, South Devon, South Somerset, South Wiltshire, South-west Yorkshire, Stafford, Stirlingshire, Surrey, Warwickshire, West Cornwall, West Gloucestershire, West Lancaster, West Norfolk, West Perth, West Ross, West Suffolk, West Sutherland, Westmorland, Wigtownshire, Worcestershire and Zetland (NBN Atlas).

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 Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Estonia, Finland, French mainland, Germany, Greek mainland, Hungary, Italian mainland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Romania, Russia - Central, North and Northwest, Slovakia, Spanish mainland, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Ukraine (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Alnus cordata, Alnus glutinosa, Alnus incana

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Ichneumonoidea  
Macrocentrus linearis (Nees, 1811) Braconidae: Macrocentrinae
Apanteles xanthostigma (Haliday, 1834) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Dolichogenidea dilecta (Haliday, 1834) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Pholetesor laetus (Marshall, 1885) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Rhysipolis hariolator (Haliday, 1836) Braconidae: Rhysipolinae
Campoplex lugubrinus (Holmgren 1860) Ichneumonidae: Campopleginae
Diadegma fenestrale (Holmgren, 1860) Ichneumonidae: Campopleginae
Bathythrix prominens (Strobl 1901) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae
Diaglyptidea conformis (Gmelin, 1790) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae
Encrateola laevigata (Ratzeburg, 1848) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae
Gelis areator (Panzer, 1804) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae
Itoplectis alternans (Gravenhorst, 1829) Ichneumonidae: Pimplinae
Scambus inanis (Schrank, 1802) Ichneumonidae: Pimplinae


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