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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Mompha ochraceella (Curtis, 1839)
[Lepidoptera: Momphidae]

Buff Cosmet

Laverna ochraceella Curtis, 1839. Brit. Ent. 16: 735.
Mompha ochraceella
(Curtis, 1839).

Leaf and bark miner: Mining the stems and later the leaves (UKMoths).

The larva lives as a bark miner in late summer and autumn. It descends into the rootstock for hibernation. After hibernation large, lower surface blotch mines are made in the lower leaves, from a gallery in the bark. They start in the base of the leaf, and are centered over the midrib. The mine contains hardly any frass. The larva can make several mines. Sometimes several larvae in a mine. Pupation in the mine (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).

Yellowish white; head, prothoracic and anal plate light brown (Koster, 2002b; Koster and Sinev, 2003a) (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. The male and female genitalia are illustrated by the Lepidoptera Dissection Group.

Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:

Epilobium hirsutum Great Willowherb British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Epilobium hirsutum Great Willowherb British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. UKMoths

Hosts elsewhere:

Epilobium hirsutum Great Willowherb British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: Early spring, up to April (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Time of year - adults: Flying at night, and attracted to light, the adults can be found on the wing between May and August (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: Occurs widely throughout much of Britain (UKMoths) including Anglesey (VC52), Bedfordshire (VC30), Cambridgeshire (VC29), Cheshire (VC58), Denbighshire (VC50), East Kent (VC15), East Norfolk (VC27), East Suffolk (VC25), Glamorganshire (VC41), Hertfordshire (VC20), Huntingdonshire (VC31), Middlesex (VC21), North Essex (VC19), North Hampshire (VC12), North Somerset (VC6), North Wiltshire (VC7), Shropshire (VC40), South Lancashire (VC59), South Somerset (VC5), South Wiltshire (VC8), Staffordshire (VC39), Warwickshire (VC38), West Gloucestershire (VC34), West Kent (VC16), West Norfolk (VC28), West Suffolk (VC26) and Worcestershire (VC37) (NBN Gateway).

Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Grid Map:

NBN Grid Map

Mompha ochraceella
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, Belgium, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Estonia, French mainland, Germany, Germany, Greek mainland, Hungary, Italian mainland, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Russia - Central, Slovakia, Spanish mainland, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Ukraine (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Interactive Grid Maps of known host species:

Chamerion angustifolium, Epilobium hirsutum

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Diadegma latungulum (Thomson, 1887) Ichneumonidae: Campopleginae
Encrateola laevigata (Ratzeburg, 1848) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae

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 22-Jul-2016  Brian Pitkin Top of page