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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Ochsenheimeria taurella (Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775)
[Lepidoptera: Ypsolophidae]

Feathered Stem-moth

Tinea taurella Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775. Wien. Verz.: 142.
Ypsolophus mediopectinellus
Haworth, 1828. Lep. Brit.: 545.
Ochsenheimeria taurella
(Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775).

Leaf/Stem miner: The larvae mine the stems of various coarse grasses (UKMoths; Plant in Pitkin & Plant, 2005).

The larva mines just a few days in the leaf, then continues as a stem borer on the lower part of the stem. They regularly move to a new stem. The central leaves of the infested plants wither and die (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).

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 genitalia, but not the female genitalia (check for update), are illustrated by the Lepidoptera Dissection Group.

Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:

Dactylis glomerata Cock's-foot British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. UKMoths
Poa spp.     UKMoths

Hosts elsewhere:

Alopecurus pratensis Meadow Foxtail British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Avena sativa Oat   Bladmineerders van Europa
Bromus       Bladmineerders van Europa
Dactylis glomerata Cock's-foot British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Hordeum vulgare Six-rowed Barley   Bladmineerders van Europa
Poa trivialis Rough Meadow-grass British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Secale cereale Rye   Bladmineerders van Europa
Triticum       Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: Currently unknown.

Time of year - adults: The adults appear between July and September, and fly in the early afternoon sunshine (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: Well-distributed throughout England and Wales, but rather unobtrusive and probably overlooked (UKMoths) including Bedfordshire (VC30), Breconshire (VC42), Caernarvonshire (VC49), Cheshire (VC58), Derbyshire (VC57), East Norfolk (VC27), East Suffolk (VC25), Glamorganshire (VC41), Leicestershire (VC55), Merionethshire (VC48), Monmouthshire (VC35), North Somerset (VC6), Shropshire (VC40), South-east Yorkshire (VC61), Staffordshire (VC39), Warwickshire (VC38), West Gloucestershire (VC34), West Norfolk (VC28), West Suffolk (VC26) and Worcestershire (VC37) (NBN Gateway).

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

NBN Grid Map:

NBN Grid Map

Ochsenheimeria taurella
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 Albania, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Crete, Croatia, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Estonia, Finland, French mainland, Germany, Greek mainland, Hungary, Italian mainland, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Russia - Central, East, North, Northwest and South, Sicily, Slovakia, Spanish mainland, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Ukraine (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Interactive Grid Maps of known host species:

Dactylis glomerata

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Diblastomorpha cylindrator (Fabricius, 1787) Ichneumonidae: Banchinae

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