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


Exoteleia dodecella (Linnaeus, 1758)
[Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae]

Pine Groundling

Phalaena dodecella Linnaeus, 1758. Syst. Nat. (ed. 10): 539.
Exoteleia dodecella
(Linnaeus, 1758).

Leaf-miner: The larva feeds inside the apical part of the needle in the autumn and ejects most of the frass from holes at either end of the mine. After hibernation it then feeds on spun needles and shoots (British leafminers).

The larva enters the needle at about three quarter of its length, at the flat side; the opening is closed with silk (picture above). From here the larva mines upwards (rarely also a small distance downwards).The larva lives in a spacious larval chamber in the lowest part of the mine, lined with stripes of dense spinning. The frass is accumulated in the apical part of the mine. Sometimes one, more rarely two, openings are made to eject part of the frass; these openings too are closed with silk, and are difficult to find. No egg shell is visible at the start of the mine. The larva hibernates in the mine; in the following spring it feeds on the shoots and in spun needles (Hering, 1957a). Pupation external, in a bud (Freeman, 1960a). (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).

Adult: The adult is illustrated in UKMoths and the Encyclopedia of Life. The species is included in

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Larix decidua European Larch British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al.

British leafminers, as Larix europaeus

Pinus sylvestris Scots Pine British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Pinus sylvestris Scots Pine British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Pinus sylvestris Scots Pine British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. UKMoths

Hosts elsewhere:

Larix decidua European Larch British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa, as Larix europaeus
Pinus mugo Dwarf Mountain-pine   Bladmineerders van Europa
Pinus sylvestris Scots Pine British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Belgian Lepidoptera
Pinus sylvestris Scots Pine British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: September - May (British leafminers).

Time of year - adults: The flight period is from June to July, and the moth can be attracted to light, but can also be disturbed from the foodplant by beating (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Widely distributed throughout much of the British Isles, occurring in conifer plantations (UKMoths), including Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Breconshire, Caernarvonshire, Cambridgeshire, North Northumberland, Cheshire, Cumberland, Dorset, East Cornwall, East Norfolk, East Suffolk, Easterness, Forfar, Glamorgan, Haddington, Herefordshire, Hertfordshire, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Isle of Wight, Kincardineshire, Linlithgow, Merionethshire, North Aberdeenshire, North Devon, North Hampshire, North Somerset, Nottinghamshire, Radnorshire, Shropshire, South Aberdeenshire, South Lancashire, South Wiltshire, Stafford, Surrey, Warwickshire, West Cornwall, West Gloucestershire, West Kent, West Lancashire, West Norfolk, West Suffolk, Westmorland and Worcestershire (NBN Atlas).

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

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Andorra, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Corsica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Estonia, Finland, French mainland, Germany, Greek mainland, Hungary, Italian mainland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Romania, Russia - East, North, Northwest and South, Sardinia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spanish mainland, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Ukraine (Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Larix decidua, Pinus mugo, Pinus sylvestris

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Copidosoma filicorne (Dalman, 1820) Encyrtidae: Encyrtinae
Elachertus fenestratus Nees, 1834 Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Hyssopus nigritulus (Zetterstedt, 1838) Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Baryscapus turionum (Hartig, 1838) Eulophidae: Tetrastichinae
Eupelmus annulatus Nees, 1834 Eupelmidae: Eupelminae
Eupelmus spongipartus Förster, 1860 Eupelmidae: Eupelminae
Eupelmus vesicularis (Retzius, 1783) Eupelmidae: Eupelminae
Eurytoma morio Boheman, 1836 Eurytomidae: Eurytominae
Eurytoma verticillata (Fabricius, 1798) Eurytomidae: Eurytominae
Perilampus tristis Mayr, 1905 Perilampidae: Perilampinae
Capellia orneus (Walker, 1839) Pteromalidae: Pteromalinae
Pteromalus chrysos Walker, 1836 Pteromalidae: Pteromalinae
Sceptrothelys deione (Walker, 1839) Pteromalidae: Pteromalinae
Ichneumonoidea - Links to species no longer available  
Bracon hebetor Say, 1836 Braconidae: Braconinae
Macrocentrus linearis (Nees, 1811) Braconidae: Macrocentrinae
Macrocentrus resinellae (Linnaeus, 1758) Braconidae: Macrocentrinae
Dolichogenidea lemariei (Nixon, 1961) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Campoplex difformis (Gmelin, 1790) Ichneumonidae: Campopleginae
Campoplex tumidulus Gravenhorst, 1829 Ichneumonidae: Campopleginae
Diadegma fenestrale (Holmgren, 1860) Ichneumonidae: Campopleginae
Diadegma semiclausum (Hellén, 1949) Ichneumonidae: Campopleginae
Leptocampoplex cremastoides (Holmgren, 1860) Ichneumonidae: Campopleginae
Cremastus infirmus Gravenhorst, 1829 Ichneumonidae: Cremastinae
Pristomerus vulnerator (Panzer, 1799) Ichneumonidae: Cremastinae
Temelucha interruptor (Gravenhorst, 1829) Ichneumonidae: Cremastinae
Blapsidotes vicinus (Gravenhorst, 1829) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae
Gelis areator (Panzer, 1804) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae
Gelis agilis (Fabricius, 1775) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae
Gelis bicolor (Villers, 1789) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae
Gelis exareolatus (Forster 1850) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae
Mastrus rufulus (Thomson, 1884) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae
Zoophthorus dodecellae (Obrtel & Sedivy, 1960) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae
Dicaelotus parvulus (Gravenhorst, 1829) Ichneumonidae: Ichneumoninae
Tycherus dodecellae Ranin, 1983 Ichneumonidae: Ichneumoninae
Itoplectis alternans (Gravenhorst, 1829) Ichneumonidae: Pimplinae
Itoplectis maculator (Fabricius, 1775) Ichneumonidae: Pimplinae
Itoplectis viduata (Gravenhorst, 1829) Ichneumonidae: Pimplinae
Scambus buolianae (Hartig, 1838) Ichneumonidae: Pimplinae
Scambus sagax (Hartig, 1838) Ichneumonidae: Pimplinae

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

Find using Google
Find using Google Scholar
Find images using Google

XHTML Validator
Last updated 18-Oct-2019  Brian Pitkin Top of page