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


Ectoedemia erythrogenella (Joannis, 1908)
[Lepidoptera: Nepticulidae]

Coast Bramble Pigmy

Nepticula erythrogenella Joannis, 1908. Bull. Soc. ent. Fr. 1907: 327.
Ectoedemia erythrogenella
(Joannis, 1908).

Leaf-miner: A gallery filled with frass, leading to blotch. The mined area is purple-stained (British leafminers).

Egg at the upperside of the leaf, next to a major vein. The first part of the mine is a narrow corridor, largely filled with frass, following a vein and then making a hairpin turn. The corridor widens into an elongate blotch with dispersed black frass in the base or along the sides. Generally the leaf around the mine is intensely coloured wine red over a large area, making the mines very conspicuous (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).

Dirty grey (young larvae more yellowish), head dark brown. Ganglia conspicuous. Larva lies venter upwards in the mine. The larva is described by Gustafsson and van Nieukerken (1990a) (Bladmineerders van Europa).

The mine is also illustrated in UKMoths.

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

Adult: The adult is not illustrated in UKMoths (check for update). The species is included in

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Rubus fruticosus Bramble / Blackberry   British leafminers
Rubus fruticosus Bramble / Blackberry   Pitkin & Plant

Hosts elsewhere:

Rubus caesius Dewberry British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Rubus dumetorum A bramble   Bladmineerders van Europa
Rubus fruticosus Bramble / Blackberry   Bladmineerders van Europa
Rubus idaeus Raspberry British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Rubus nemorosus A bramble British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Rubus sanguineus A bramble   Bladmineerders van Europa
Rubus ulmifolius A bramble British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: October - December (British leafminers).

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: A [mainly] coastal species (British leafminers) in south-east England including Dorset, East Suffolk, Huntingdonshire, Isle of Wight and South Hampshire (NBN Atlas).

See also British leafminers distribution map.

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Corsica, Croatia, Cyprus, French mainland, Greek mainland, Italian mainland, Portuguese mainland, Sicily, Slovenia, Spanish mainland and Switzerland. Also recorded in North Africa (Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Rubus caesius, Rubus fruticosus, Rubus idaeus, Rubus nemorosus, Rubus ulmifolius

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Ichneumonoidea - Links to species no longer available  
Gnamptodon pumilio (Nees, 1834) Braconidae: Gnamptodontinae

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 11-Jul-2019  Brian Pitkin Top of page