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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Orthotelia sparganella (Thunberg, 1788)
[Lepidoptera: Glyphipterigidae]

Reed Smudge

Tinea sparganella Thunberg, 1788
Orthotelia sparganella
(Thunberg, 1788).

Leaf miner / Stem-borer: Narrow gallery in a young leaf. After having mined for some time the larva becomes a borer in the stem or rhizome (Bladmineerders van Europa).

The larvae feed inside the stems (UKMoths).

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 species is included in

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Scirpus       Pitkin & Plant
Iris       Pitkin & Plant
Glyceria maxima Reed Sweet-grass British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Sparganium       Pitkin & Plant
Sparganium       UKMoths
Typha angustifolia Lesser Bulrush   Pitkin & Plant

Hosts elsewhere:

Schoenoplectus lacustris Common Club-rush British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al.

Bladmineerders van Europa, as Scirpus lacustris

Iris pseudacorus Yellow Iris British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Glyceria maxima Reed Sweet-grass British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Sparganium       Bladmineerders van Europa
Typha       Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: May - June (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Time of year - adults: The adults fly in July and August and come sparingly to light (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Locally distributed from southern England northwards to southern Scotland, and occupies wet localities such as ponds and canals (UKMoths) including Anglesey, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Breconshire, Cambridgeshire, Carmarthenshire, Cumberland, Dorset, Dumfrishire, Durham, East Cornwall, East Kent, East Norfolk, East Suffolk, East Sussex, Glamorgan, Huntingdonshire, Isle of Wight, North Essex, North Somerset, North Northumberland, North-east Yorkshire, Shropshire, South Hampshire, South Lancashire, South-east Yorkshire, South-west Yorkshire, Stafford, Surrey, West Cornwall, West Gloucestershire, West Norfolk and West Suffolk (NBN Atlas).

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

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

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Iris pseudacorus, Glyceria maxima, Schoenoplectus lacustris, Typha angustifolia

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 Atlas
NHM UK Checklist
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Last updated 10-May-2018  Brian Pitkin Top of page