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


Elophila nymphaeata (Linnaeus, 1758)
[Lepidoptera: Crambidae]

Brown China-mark

Phalaena nymphaeata Linnaeus, 1758. Syst. Nat. 10: 529.
Elophila nymphaeata
(Linnaeus, 1758).

Leaf-miner: Full depth or lower-surface blotch, usually near the attachement of the petiole. Older larvae do not mine any longer but live in a flat case, made out of leaf fragments, and cause window feeding at the leaf underside (Bladmineerders van Europa).

It mines the leaf for the first three days and then forms a flat case from which the larva feeds (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).

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 (by Nigel Richards) and the Encyclopedia of Life. The species is included in

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Hydrocharis morsus-ranae Frog-bit British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Hydrocharis morsus-ranae Frog-bit British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Potamogeton       British leafminers
Sparganium       British leafminers
Sparganium       Pitkin & Plant

Hosts elsewhere:

Hydrocharis       Belgian Lepidoptera
Hydrocharis morsus-ranae Frog-bit British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Nuphar lutea Yellow Water-lily British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Nymphaea alba White Water-lily British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Potamogeton       Belgian Lepidoptera
Potamogeton       Bladmineerders van Europa
Sparganium       Belgian Lepidoptera

Time of year - larvae: August - June (British leafminers); July-August (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Britain including the Channel Is. (Fauna Europaea), Anglesey, Ayrshire, Banffshire, Bedfordshire, Breconshire, Caernarvonshire, Cambridgeshire, Cardiganshire, Carmarthenshire, Cheshire, Cumberland, Denbighshire, Derbyshire, Dorset, Dumfriesshire, Dunbartonshire, Durham, East Kent, East Norfolk, East Ross, East Suffolk, East Sussex, East Sutherland, Easterness, Edinburgh, Elgin, Fife, Flintshire, Glamorgan, Herefordshire, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Kincardineshire, Kirkudbrightshire, Linlithgow, Main Argyll, Merionethshire, Mid Ebudes, Mid-west Yorkshire, Middlesex, Monmouthshire, Montgomeryshire, North Aberdeenshire, North Devon, North Ebudes, North Essex, North Hampshire, North Lincolnshire, North Northumberland, North Somerset, North Wiltshire, North-east Yorkshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Outer Hebrides, Pembrokeshire, Radnorshire, Selkirk, Shropshire, South Aberdeenshire, South Devon, South Hampshire, South Lancashire, South Lincolnshire, South Somerset, South Northumberland, South-east Yorkshire, South-west Yorkshire, Stafford, Surrey, Warwickshire, West Cornwall, West Gloucestershire, West Lancashire, West Norfolk, West Perthshire, West Suffolk, West Sutherland, Westerness, Westmorland, Wigtownshire and Worcestershire (NBN Atlas).

Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland (Fauna Europaea and National Biodiversity Data Centre Map).

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Albania, Austria, Balearic Is., Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Corsica, Crete, Croatia, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greek mainland, Hungary, Italian mainland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Romania, Russia - Central, East and South, Sardinia, Sicily, Slovakia, Spanish mainland, Sweden, Switzerland and The Netherlands (Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Hydrocharis morsus-ranae, Nuphar lutea, Nymphaea alba

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

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Last updated 27-Jun-2019  Brian Pitkin Top of page