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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Ectoedemia minimella (Zetterstedt, 1839) [Lepidoptera: Nepticulidae]

Broken-barred Pigmy


Trifurcula minimella Zetterstedt, 1839
Nepticula viridicola
Weber, 1937. Mitt. Schweiz. ent. Ges. 17: 211
Nepticula woolhopiella Stainton, 1887
Ectoedemia minimella
(Zetterstedt, 1839).


Leaf-miner: The mine begins as a contorted gallery, when the young larva can be seen to have dark plates on each segment. These plates are later lost and the gallery becomes a blotch with scattered frass (UKMoths).

Mine begins at a globular, black, lower-surface egg shell. From there starts a short tortuous corridor, that widens into a blotch, often between to lateral veins. Frass dispersed. Pupation outside the mine (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Mine of Ectoedemia minimella on Betula pubescens
Mine of Ectoedemia minimella on Betula pubescens
Image: © Willem Ellis (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).

Yellow with light brown head, lies belly-up in the mine. Young larvae with a series of 12 black ventral plates (van Nieukerken, 1985a). See Gustafsson and van Nieukerken (1990a) for a description (Bladmineerders van Europa).

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

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

Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:

Betulaceae        
Betula       British leafminers
Betula       Pitkin & Plant
Betula       UKMoths
Corylus avellana Hazel British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Corylus avellana Hazel British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Corylus avellana Hazel British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. UKMoths

Hosts elsewhere:

Betulaceae        
Alnus viridis Green Alder   Bladmineerders van Europa
Betula nana Dwarf Birch British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Betula pendula Silver Birch British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Betula pubescens Downy Birch British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Betula pubescens subsp. tortuosa Arctic Downy Birch   Bladmineerders van Europa, as pubescens subsp. carpatica

Time of year - larvae: July - September (British leafminers; UKMoths).

Time of year - adults: There is one generation, with adults in May and June (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: A relatively local species occurring in the south and west of England and parts of Scotland (UKMoths) including Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Cheshire, Derbyshire, East Norfolk, East Ross, East Suffolk, East Sutherland, Easterness, Glamorgan, North Aberdeen, North Ebudes, North Essex, North Hampshire, Shropshire, South Aberdeen, South Hampshire, South Lancaster, South Wiltshire, Stafford, West Norfolk and West Suffolk (NBN Atlas).

See also British leafminers distribution map.

It also occurs in the Republic of Ireland (as south-west Ireland) (UKMoths). See also Ireland's NBDC interactive map.

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Austria, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Estonia, Finland, French mainland, Germany, Italian mainland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Russia - North, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland and The Netherlands. Also recorded in the East Palaearctic (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Alnus viridis, Betula nana, Betula pendula, Betula pubescens, Betula pubescens subsp. tortuosa, Corylus avellana

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere: Currently unknown.



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 02-May-2017  Brian Pitkin Top of page