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


Phyllonorycter blancardella (Fabricius, 1781)
[Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae]

Brown Apple Midget

Tinea blancardella Fabricius, 1781. Ent. Syst. 3: 327.
Lithocolletis concomitella
Bankes, 1899. Ent. mon. Mag. 35: 246.
Phyllonorycter blancardella
(Fabricius, 1781).

Leaf-miner: A mine with several creases in lower epidermis. On thinner leaves, such as crab-apple, the upper surface may be arched to form a tube (British leafminers).

Lower surface tentiform mine with a yellow-green epidermis that has a few folds. Pupation within the mine. The pupa is amber or chestnut brown, and lies in a white cocoon. Generally the frass is accumulated in a corner of the mine, but sometimes a small quantity is incorporated in the wall of the cocoon (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).

The pupa is illustrated in Bladmineerders van Europa.

Adult: The adult is illustrated in UKMoths. The species is included in

Comments: Records in literature from other plant genera, such as Amelanchier, Cotoneaster, Crataegus or Mespilus germanica are either dubious or concern exceptional observations (Triberti, 2007a) (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Cydonia oblonga Quince British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Malus       British leafminers
Malus       UKMoths
Malus pumila Apple British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant, as Malus domestica
Malus sylvestris Crab Apple British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Sorbus torminalis Wild Service-tree British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant

Hosts elsewhere:

Malus       Belgian Lepidoptera
Malus angustifolia     Bladmineerders van Europa
Malus x astracanica     Bladmineerders van Europa
Malus baccata Siberian Crab   Bladmineerders van Europa
Malus coronaria     Bladmineerders van Europa
Malus pumila Apple British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Belgian Lepidoptera, as Malus domestica
Malus pumila Apple British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al.

Bladmineerders van Europa, as Malus domestica

Malus floribunda Japanese Crab British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Malus fusca     Bladmineerders van Europa
Malus ringo     Bladmineerders van Europa
Malus x robusta     Bladmineerders van Europa
Malus sylvestris Crab Apple British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Belgian Lepidoptera
Malus sylvestris Crab Apple British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

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

Time of year - adults: Adults emerge in May, and again in August (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: The species is quite commonly distributed in England and Wales, scarcer in southern Scotland and Ireland (UKMoths) including Anglesey, Bedfordshire, Breconshire, Buckinghamshire, Caernarvonshire, Cambridgeshire, Carmarthenshire, Cheshire, Denbighshire, East Cornwall, East Kent, East Norfolk, East Suffolk, Flintshire, Glamorgan, Haddington, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Isle of Wight, Kincardineshire, Kirkudbrightshire, Leicestershire, Middlesex, North Somerset, North-west Yorkshire, Northamptonshire, South Northumberland, Stafford, Stirlingshire, West Cornwall, West Gloucestershire, West Lancashire, West Norfolk, West Suffolk, West Sussex and Worcestershire (NBN Atlas).

See also British leafminers distribution map.

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Corsica, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Estonia, Finland, French mainland, Germany, Greek mainland, Hungary, Italian mainland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Republic of Moldova, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Portuguese mainland, Romania, Russia - Central, Northwest and South, Slovakia, Spanish mainland, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Ukraine. Also recorded in Near East and Nearctic region (Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Cydonia oblonga, Malus baccata, Malus floribunda, Malus pumila, Malus x robusta, Malus sylvestris, Sorbus torminalis

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Ageniaspis fuscicollis (Dalman, 1820) Encyrtidae: Encyrtinae
Achrysocharoides atys (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Achrysocharoides cilla (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Achrysocharoides niveipes (Thomson, 1878) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Chrysocharis laomedon (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Chrysocharis nephereus (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Chrysocharis nitetis (Walker, 1939) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Chrysocharis pubens Delucchi, 1954 Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Chrysocharis pubicornis (Zetterstedt, 1838) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Closterocerus trifasciatus Westwood, 1833 Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Pediobius alcaeus (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Pediobius pyrgo (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Cirrospilus diallus Walker, 1838 Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Cirrospilus elegantissimus Westwood, 1841 Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Cirrospilus lyncus Walker, 1841 Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Cirrospilus vittatus Walker, 1838 Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Cirrospilus viticola (Rondani, 1877) Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Hemiptarsenus fulvicollis Westwood, 1833 Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Pnigalio agraules (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Pnigalio longulus (Zetterstedt, 1838) Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Sympiesis dolichogaster Ashmead, 1888 Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Sympiesis gregori Boucek, 1959 Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Sympiesis viridula (Thomson, 1878) Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Eupelmus vesicularis (Retzius, 1783) Eupelmidae: Eupelminae
Baryscapus nigroviolaceus (Nees, 1834) Eulophidae: Tetrastichinae
Minotetrastichus platanellus (Mercet, 1922) Eulophidae: Tetrastichinae

Pteromalus semotus (Walker, 1834)

Pteromalidae: Pteromalinae
Ichneumonoidea - Links to species no longer available  
Coloneura stylata Förster, 1862 Braconidae: Alysiinae
Apanteles xanthostigma (Haliday, 1834) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Pholetesor arisba (Nixon, 1973) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Pholetesor bicolor (Nees, 1834) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Pholetesor circumscriptus (Nees, 1834) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Pholetesor elpis (Nixon, 1973) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Pholetesor laetus (Marshall, 1885) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Pholetesor phaetusa (Nixon, 1973) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Diadegma nanus (Gravenhorst, 1829) Ichneumonidae: Campopleginae
Encrateola laevigata (Ratzeburg, 1848) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae
Gelis areator (Panzer, 1804) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae
Itoplectis maculator (Fabricius, 1775) Ichneumonidae: Pimplinae
Scambus inanis (Schrank, 1802) Ichneumonidae: Pimplinae
Scambus vesicarius (Ratzeburg, 1844) Ichneumonidae: Pimplinae

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 11-Jul-2019  Brian Pitkin Top of page