larvae mine the leaves of birch, creating a distinctive mine which
begins as a dark circular blotch, and is then extended into a larger
pale blotch with a darker central circle. Sometimes several mines
are found in one leaf (UKMoths).
usually at the underside of the leaf. The mine is a roundish, often
almost circular, primary, upper-surface blotch without a trace of
an initial corridor; often several mines in leaf. The mine has a
conspicuous dark centre, where the larva often retreats. Young mines
consist of only the dark centre, without the light periphery. Also
the frass is accumulated here; unlike in Leucoptera
malifoliella the frass is not draped in arcs around the
centre (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 British
leafminers and Bladmineerders van Europa.
Pupa: The pupae of moths have visible head appendages, wings and legs which lie in sheaths (see examples).
The adult is illustrated in UKMoths.
and female genitalia are illustrated by the Lepidoptera Dissection Group.
Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:
of year - larvae: August - October (British
of year - adults: There is a single generation, with adults
at large from late May to July (UKMoths).
in Great Britain & Ireland: Distributed commonly throughout
mainland Britain (UKMoths)
including Anglesey (VC52), Bedfordshire (VC30), Caernarvonshire (VC49), Cambridgeshire (VC29),
Cheshire (VC58), Denbighshire (VC50), Derbyshire (VC57), East Cornwall (VC2), East Kent (VC15), East Norfolk (VC27), East Suffolk (VC25), East Sutherland (VC107), Glamorganshire (VC41), Herefordshire (VC36),
Huntingdonshire (VC31), Kincardineshire (VC91), Middlesex (VC21), North Aberdeenshire (VC93), North Devon (VC4),
North Ebudes (VC104), North Essex (VC19), North Hampshire (VC12), North Somerset (VC6), North Wiltshire (VC7), Shropshire (VC40), South Aberdeenshire (VC92), South Devon (VC3), South Hampshire (VC11),
South Lancashire (VC59), South Wiltshire (VC8), South-west Yorkshire (VC63), Staffordshire (VC39),
Surrey (VC17), Warwickshire (VC38), West Gloucestershire (VC34), West Kent (VC16), West Lancashire (VC60),
West Norfolk (VC28), West Suffolk (VC26), Westmorland (VC69) and Worcestershire (VC37) (NBN
See also British
leafminers distribution map.
Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland. See also Ireland's NBDC interactive map.
NBN Grid Map:
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elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Austria,
Belarus, Belgium, Corsica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Danish mainland,
Estonia, Finland, French mainland, Hungary, Italian mainland, Latvia,
Lithuania, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Romania, Russia - Central,
East, North and Northwest, Sicily, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland
and The Netherlands. Also recorded in the East Palaearctic (Karsholt
and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).
NBN Interactive Grid Maps of known host species:
British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere: