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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Heliozela hammoniella Sorhagen, 1885
[Lepidoptera: Heliozelidae]

Birch Lift

Heliozela hammoniella Sorhagen, 1885. Ent. Nachr. 11: 338, fig. 1
Tinagma betulae
Stainton, 1890.

Leaf-miner: The mine in the petiole and midrib leads to an oval blotch, then a cut-out in leaf-blade (British leafminers).

The larva begins its life as a borer in the pith of a twig. Only when it is almost full grown it enters a petiole, then the midrib, of a leaf. The leaf becomes starved that way, and turns somehwat pale. From the midrib a short full depth corridor runs into the blade, generally in the basal part of the leaf. The corridor usually is quite short but when it happens to be longer a central frass line is visible. Finally an oval excision of about 3 x 5 mm is cut out, in which the larva drops to the ground (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).

Described by Patočka and Turčáni (2005a) (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 by Jon Baker. The male and female genitalia are illustrated by the Lepidoptera Dissection Group.

Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:

Betula       British leafminers
Betula       Pitkin & Plant
Betula       UKMoths

Hosts elsewhere:

Betula pubescens Downy Birch British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: July - August (British leafminers).

Time of year - adults: The moths fly in May and June (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: Distributed in England and Wales north to Cumbria, this tiny leaf-mining species is locally common (UKMoths) including Banffshire (VC94), Bedfordshire (VC30), Buckinghamshire (VC24), Cambridgeshire (VC29), Cheshire (VC58), Derbyshire (VC57), East Cornwall (VC2), East Norfolk (VC27), East Suffolk (VC25), Glamorganshire (VC41), Herefordshire (VC36), Isle of Wight (VC10), Kincardineshire (VC91), Mid-west Yorkshire (VC64), North Aberdeenshire (VC93), North Devon (VC4), North Ebudes (VC104), North Essex (VC19), North Wiltshire (VC7), Northamptonshire (VC32), Shropshire (VC40), South Aberdeenshire (VC92), South Devon (VC3), South Wiltshire (VC8), South-west Yorkshire (VC63), Staffordshire (VC39), Surrey (VC17), West Gloucestershire (VC34), West Norfolk (VC28) and West Suffolk (VC26) (NBN Gateway).

See also British leafminers distribution map.

Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea). See also Ireland's NBDC interactive map.

NBN Grid Map:

NBN Grid Map

Heliozela hammoniella
NBN Grid Map : NBN Terms and Conditions

Maps are only displayed if the NBN server is active. N.B. Only publicly available records, if any, are shown by default

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Austria, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Finland, French mainland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Romania, Russia - Central and North, Sweden and The Netherlands (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Interactive Grid Maps of known host species:

Betula pubescens

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 Gateway
NHM UK Checklist
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Last updated 14-May-2016  Brian Pitkin Top of page