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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Phyllocnistis saligna (Zeller, 1839)
[Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae]

Willow Bent-wing


Opostega saligna Zeller, 1839. Isis. 32: 214.
Phyllocnistis saligna
(Zeller, 1839).


 

Leaf-miner: A tortuous lower epidermal mine with a central brownish frass-line. The larva then mines into the petiole and subsequently into a second leaf, normally opposite, where it creates another similar epidermal mine (British leafminers).

Very long, purely epidermal, corridor, either upper- or lower-surface. The mines are restricted to the terminal leaves of young shoots. The mine passes from one leaf to the other by way of the shoot epidermis. Frass in a broad fuzzy central line. The corridor ends upon a leaf margin, where pupation takes place under a folded part of the margin, not in an evident cocoon (Bladmineerders van Europa).

The mine is also illustrated in 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).

The larva is illustrated in British leafminers.

Pupa: The pupae of moths have visible head appendages, wings and legs which lie in sheaths (see examples).

Under a membrane on the margin of leaf (British leafminers). The pupa is illustrated in Bladmineerders van Europa.

Adult: The adult is illustrated in UKMoths by Rob Edmunds. The male and female genitalia are illustrated by the Lepidoptera Dissection Group.

Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:

Salicaceae        
Salix       Pitkin & Plant
Salix alba White Willow British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Salix euxina or x fragilis Crack-willow or Hybrid Crack-willow British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Salix euxina or x fragilis Crack-willow or Hybrid Crack-willow British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Salix euxina or x fragilis Crack-willow or Hybrid Crack-willow British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. UKMoths
Salix purpurea Purple Willow British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Salix purpurea Purple Willow British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Salix purpurea Purple Willow British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. UKMoths
Salix triandra Almond Willow British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers

Hosts elsewhere:

Salicaceae        
Salix alba White Willow British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Salix babylonica Weeping Crack-willow   Bladmineerders van Europa
Salix daphnoides European Violet-willow   Bladmineerders van Europa
Salix euxina or x fragilis Crack-willow or Hybrid Crack-willow British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Salix lanata Woolly Willow British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Salix matsudana     Bladmineerders van Europa
Salix purpurea Purple Willow British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Salix x sepulcralis Weeping Willow   Bladmineerders van Europa
Salix triandra Almond Willow British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Salix viminalis Osier British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: June, August -September (British leafminers).

Time of year - adults: Two generations, in July and from September through to April. The overwintering adults are sometimes found in thatch or haystacks (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: This rather local species is distributed in the south and south-east of England, and is generally uncommon (UKMoths) including Cambridgeshire, East Cornwall, East Norfolk, East Suffolk, North Essex, North Hampshire, Shropshire, Stafford, West Gloucestershire, West Suffolk and Worcestershire (NBN Atlas).

See also British leafminers distribution map. Recently recorded from Dorset from mines on Salix by Jenny Seawright (Facebook Group). The first record since 1891 for this county.

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Austria, Belgium, Corsica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Estonia, French mainland, Germany, Hungary, Italian mainland, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Poland, Portuguese mainland, Romania, Russia - Central, East, Northwest and South, Sardinia, Sicily, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Ukraine (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Salix alba, Salix babylonica, Salix daphnoides, Salix fragilis, Salix lanata, Salix matsudana, Salix purpurea, Salix x sepulcralis, Salix triandra, Salix viminalis

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Chalcidoidea  
Chrysocharis laomedon (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Cirrospilus diallus Walker, 1838 Eulophidae: Eulophinae


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
UKMoths
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Last updated 06-May-2017  Brian Pitkin Top of page