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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Heringocrania unimaculella (Zetterstedt, 1839)
[Lepidoptera: Eriocraniidae]

White-spot Purple


Adela unimaculella Zetterstedt, 1839. Ins. Lapp.: 1008.
Heringocrania unimaculella
(Zetterstedt, 1839)
Eriocrania unimaculella (Zetterstedt, 1839).


Leaf-miner: The mine starts at or near the leaf edge and widens to a blotch with frass in long threads (British leafminers).

Large, white, full depth blotch along the leaf margin. Frass in long threads. Old mines wither and disintegrate, and cannot be found any more later in the summer (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 final instar larva has a dark brown head (British leafminers, as Eriocrania unimaculella), the base of which shows as two dark spots (UKMoths, as Eriocrania unimaculella.

Pronotum with a pair of large black papillae. Head light brown. Abdomen segment 2 laterally with a pair of tubercles (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 (as Eriocrania unimaculella). The male and female genitalia are illustrated by the Lepidoptera Dissection Group (as Eriocrania unimaculella)

Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:

Betulaceae        
Betula       British leafminers (as Eriocrania unimaculella)
Betula       UKMoths (as Eriocrania unimaculella)

Hosts elsewhere:

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

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

Time of year - adults: The adults fly in sunshine during March and April (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: Well distributed and relatively common over much of Britain (UKMoths) including Banffshire, Bedfordshire, Brecon, Cumberland, Dorset, East Cornwall, East Norfolk, East Suffolk, East Sutherland, Glamorgan, Haddington, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Isle of Wight, Leicestershire, Linlithgow, Main Argyll, Middlesex, North Aberdeen, North Somerset, Nottinghamshire, Shropshire, South Aberdeen, South-west Yorkshire, Stafford, Surrey, West Kent, West Norfolk, West SUffolk, Westmorland, Wigtownshire and Worcestershire (NBN Atlas, as Eriocrania unimaculella).

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 (as Eriocrania unimaculella).

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

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Betula pubescens

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Ichneumonoidea  
Colastes incertus (Wesmael, 1838) Braconidae: Exothecinae


External links: Search the internet:

Belgian Lepidoptera
Biodiversity Heritage Library
Bladmineerders van Europa
British leafminers, as Eriocrania unimaculella
Encyclopedia of Life
Fauna Europaea
NBN Atlas, as Eriocrania unimaculella
NHM UK Checklist, as Eriocrania unimaculella
UKMoths

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Last updated 25-Jul-2017  Brian Pitkin Top of page