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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Chrysoesthia sexguttella (Thunberg, 1794)
[Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae]

Six-spot Neb


Tinea sexguttella Thunberg, 1794. D.D. Dissertatio ent. systens ent. Insecta suecica 7: 88, fig. 6
Lita naeviferella
Duponchel, 1843. Hist. nat. Suppl. 4: 455, t. 85 fig. 4.
Chrysoesthia sexguttella
(Thunberg, 1794).


Leaf-miner: Whitish blotches in the leaves (UKMoths).

The mine begins as a short zigzagging corridor, that very soon becomes overrun by a large, perfectly transparent blotch. Frass in a big black central lump. In fresh mines something like primary feeding lines are recognisable, normally seen only in Diptera mines. Pupation external, exit a rather untidy hole (Bladmineerders van Europa).

A large, whitish blotch sometimes occupying most or all of the leaf. The frass is mostly ejected from the mine. (British leafminers).

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 has a pale head and blackish brown prothoracic plate (British leafminers). The larva is illustrated in UKMoths and Bladmineerders van Europa.

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

On the ground in detritus (British leafminers).

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:

Chenopodiaceae        
Atriplex       British leafminers
Atriplex       Pitkin & Plant
Atriplex       UKMoths
Chenopodium       British leafminers
Chenopodium       Pitkin & Plant
Chenopodium       UKMoths

Hosts elsewhere:

Amaranthaceae        
Amaranthus blitum Guernsey Pigweed   Bladmineerders van Europa
Amaranthus caudatus Love-lies-bleeding British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Chenopodiaceae        
Atriplex       Belgian Lepidoptera
Atriplex calotheca     Bladmineerders van Europa
Atriplex hastata Spear-leaved Orache British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Atriplex hortensis Garden Orache British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Atriplex littoralis Grass-leaved Orache British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Atriplex prostrata Spear-leaved Orache British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Atriplex nitens     Bladmineerders van Europa
Atriplex patula Common Orache British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Atriplex sibirica     Bladmineerders van Europa
Bassia scoparia Summer Cypress   Bladmineerders van Europa
Chenopodium       Belgian Lepidoptera
Chenopodium album Fat-hen British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Chenopodium bonus-henricus Good-King-Henry British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Chenopodium giganteum Tree Spinach   Bladmineerders van Europa
Chenopodium glaucum Oak-leaved Goosefoot British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Chenopodium hybridum Maple-leaved Goosefoot British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Chenopodium murale Nettle-leaved Goosefoot British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Chenopodium opulifolium Grey Goosefoot   Bladmineerders van Europa
Chenopodium polyspermum Many-seeded Goosefoot British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Chenopodium quinoa Quinoa British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Chenopodium urbicum Upright Goosefoot   Bladmineerders van Europa
Chenopodium vulvaria Stinking Goosefoot   Bladmineerders van Europa
Spinacia       Bladmineerders van Europa

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

Time of year - adults: A bivoltine species, with adults on the wing in May and June, then again in August (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: Widely distributed throughout the British Isles common in some places. (UKMoths) including Anglesey, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Caernarvonshire, Cambridgeshire, Cheviotland, Cumberland, Denbighshire, Dorset, Dunbarton, Durham, East Cornwall, East Ross, East Suffolk, Flintshire, Haddington, Herefordshire, Herfordshire, Isle of Wight, Kincardineshire, Kirkudbrightshire, Linlithgow, Merionethshire, Middlesex, North Aberdeen, North Hampshire, North Somerset, Shropshire, South Aberdeen, South-east Yorkshire, South-west Yorkshire, Stafford, Warwickshire, West Cornwall, West Kent, West Norfolk, West Suffolk and Wigtownshire (NBN Atlas).

See also British leafminers distribution map.

Its favoured habitat is waste ground and similar areas where the foodplants are found, tending to inhabit more sheltered locations (UKMoths).

Also recorded from the Republic of Ireland. See also Ireland's NBDC interactive map.

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

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Amaranthus blitum, Amaranthus caudatus, Atriplex calotheca, Atriplex hastata, Atriplex hortensis, Atriplex littoralis, Atriplex patula, Atriplex prostrata, Atriplex sibirica, Bassia scoparia, Chenopodium album, Chenopodium bonus-henricus, Chenopodium giganteum, Chenopodium glaucum, Chenopodium hybridum, Chenopodium murale, Chenopodium opulifolium, Chenopodium polyspermum, Chenopodium quinoa, Chenopodium urbicum, Chenopodium vulvaria

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Ichneumonoidea  
Agathis fuscipennis (Zetterstedt, 1838) Braconidae: Agathidinae
Agrypon flexorium (Thunberg 1822) Ichneumonidae: Anomaloninae


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 03-Jul-2017  Brian Pitkin Top of page