mine usually starts in the lower part of the leaf and then broadens
out towards the tip. The mine appears whitish on plants growing
in the shade (and are very obvious as pale patches on usually the
larger leaved examples of the plant), but more grey or brown in
brighter habitats. The mine is lined with silk strands (British
mine begins as a short irregular corridor, usually following the
midrib, widening into an irregular blotch. Some silk is deposited
in the mine, causing it to contract a bit. Most frass is ejected
through an opening near the begin of the mine; some is trapped in
spinning under the leaf. The larva often moves to a new mine. Pupation
within the mine in a folded leaf margin or in a leaf fold (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 Bladmineerders van Europa.
Pupa: The pupae of moths have visible head appendages, wings and legs which lie in sheaths (see examples).
Within a white silk cocoon, beneath a turned down leaf edge (British
leafminers). The pupa is illustrated in Bladmineerders van Europa.
The adult is illustrated in UKMoths.
The female genitalia, but not the male genitalia (check for update), are illustrated by the Lepidoptera Dissection
Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:
of year - larvae: Late May -June, October-January (British
of year - adults: Currently unknown.
in Great Britain & Ireland: After the first discovery of
a moth in Dorset in 2001, Rich Austin and Peter Costen discovered
colonies in Guernsey, Channel Is. in 2002. It is now found in southern coastal
regions of the UK (British
See also British
leafminers distribution map.
Following Rich Austin's and Peter Costen's discovery of this moth in Guernsey as a miner of Pellitory-of-the-wall (Parietaria judaica), it has now been discovered in two locations in Cornwall by David Pearman and Phil Sterling :www.cornwallmothgroup.org.uk/newsltrs.htm and also in Dorset by Mark Parsons (Parsons, M (2004), Cosmopterix pulchrimella (Lep.Cosmopterigidae), a new resident at West Bay, Bridport, Dorset (VC9), Ent Gaz, 55, 72)
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Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Albania, Azores, Canary
Is., Corsica, Crete, Croatia, French mainland, Greek mainland, Italian
mainland, Madeira, Malta, Portuguese mainland, Sardinia, Sicily,
Spanish mainland and Switzerland (Karsholt and van Nieukerken
in Fauna Europaea).
NBN Interactive Grid Maps of known host species:
British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere: