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

Join us on Facebook

Phyllocnistis unipunctella (Stephens, 1834)
[Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae]

Poplar Bent-wing


Argyromiges unipunctella Stephens, 1834. Ill. Brit. Ent. Haust. 4: 260.
Opostega suffusella
Zeller, 1847. Linn. Ent. 3: 266.
Phyllocnistis unipunctella
(Stephens, 1834).


Leaf-miner: A 'snail-trail'-like mine on the upper surface, long and sinuous, without any visible frass. The mine can sometimes cover most of the leaf (British leafminers).

Very long, broad, epidermal corridor that winds in dense loops over the upperside of the leaf without crossing itself. Frass in a continuous, extremely vague central line. The mine ends at the leaf margin, where the corridor is slightly widened, and in which some silk is deposited. When this dries the the leaf margin somewhat folds over this pupal chamber, since it is here that pupation takes place.The mine has a strong resemblance to the trail of dried mucus left by a small snail, which has given the mine its Dutch name of snail-trail mine (Bladmineerders van Europa).

The mine is also illustrated in the Encyclopedia of Life.

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 Bladmineerders van Europa.

Phyllocnistis unipunctella larva,  dorsal
Phyllocnistis unipunctella larva, dorsal
Image: © Willem Ellis (Bladmineerders van Europa)

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

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

Adult: The adult is illustrated in UKMoths and the Encyclopedia of Life. The female genitalia, but not the male gemitalia (check for update) are illustrated by the Lepidoptera Dissection Group.

Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:

Salicaceae        
Populus       UKMoths
Populus nigra Black-poplar British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Populus nigra Black-poplar British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Populus nigra 'italica' Lombardy-poplar   British leafminers
Populus nigra 'italica' Lombardy-poplar   Pitkin & Plant
Populus trichocarpa Western Balsam-poplar British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers

Hosts elsewhere:

Salicaceae        
Populus balsmifera Eastern Balsam-poplar   Bladmineerders van Europa
Populus x canadensis Hybrid Black-poplar British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Populus candicans     Bladmineerders van Europa
Populus deltoides Necklace Poplar   Bladmineerders van Europa
Populus euphratica     Bladmineerders van Europa
Populus gileadensis     Bladmineerders van Europa
Populus nigra Black-poplar British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Populus nigra cv. 'Italica'     Bladmineerders van Europa
Populus simonii     Bladmineerders van Europa
Populus suaveolens     Bladmineerders van Europa
Populus trichocarpa Western Balsam-poplar British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

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

Time of year - adults: The adults fly in July and from September onwards, overwintering sometimes in haystacks (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: Fairly common in most of England, becoming scarcer further north (UKMoths) including Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Cheshire, Denbighshire, Derbyshire, East Norfolk, East Suffolk, Glamorgan, Hertfordshire, Isle of Wight, Mid-west Yorkshire, Middlesex, North Essex, North Hampshire, North Somerset, Shropshire, South Lancaster, South Wiltshire, Stafford, Warwickshire, West Gloucestershire, West Lancaster, West Norfolk, West Suffolk, Westmorland and Worcestershire (NBN Atlas).

See also British leafminers distribution map.

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Corsica, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Estonia, Finland, French mainland, Germany, Greek mainland, Hungary, Italian mainland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Portuguese mainland, Romania, Russia Central, East, Northwest and South, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Ukraine. Also recorded in Near East (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Populus x canadensis, Populus candicans, Populus gileadensis, Populus nigra, Populus trichocarpa

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Chalcidoidea  
Chrysocharis elongata (Thomson, 1878) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Chrysocharis nephereus (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Closterocerus trifasciatus Westwood, 1833 Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Cirrospilus elegantissimus Westwood, 1841 Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Sympiesis grahami Erdös, 1966 Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Baryscapus nigroviolaceus (Nees, 1834) Eulophidae: Tetrastichinae


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
Find using Google
Find using Google Scholar
Find images using Google


XHTML Validator
Last updated 06-May-2017  Brian Pitkin Top of page