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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Phyllonorycter maestingella (Müller, 1764)
[Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae]

Beech Midget


Phalaena maestingella Müller, 1764. F. Ins. Frid.: 58
Phyllonorycter maestingella
(Müller, 1764).


Leaf-miner: A long mine between veins, several creases in lower epidermis. It is strongly contracted, forming a tubular shape (British leafminers).

Oviposition at the underside of the leaf, always near a side vein. The mine begins as an elongate blotch of 5-7 mm alongside the vein. This develops into an elongate lower-surface tentiform mine between two side veins, sometimes from midrib to leaf margin. Contraction of the lower epidemis may give the mine a tubular aspect. The lower epidermis has a number of fine folds that are set so close together as to appear one single strong fold. Al frass is heaped in a corner of the mine. The pupa lies in a loose, white, membranaceous cocoon in the opposite corner (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 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 British leafminers and Bladmineerders van Europa.

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

Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:

Fagaceae        
Fagus       British leafminers
Fagus sylvatica Beech British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Fagus sylvatica Beech British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. UKMoths

Hosts elsewhere:

Fagaceae        
Fagus crenata Crenate Beech   Bladmineerders van Europa
Fagus sylvatica Beech British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Fagus sylvatica subsp. orientalis     Bladmineerders van Europa

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

Time of year - adults: Two broods, flying in May and June, and again in August (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: It is common throughout Britain (UKMoths) including Anglesey, Banffshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Caernarvonshire, Caithness, Cambridgeshire, Cheshire, Denbighshire, Derbyshire, East Cornwall, East Norfolk, East Suffolk, Easterness, Edinburgh, Elgin, Flintshire, Glamorgan, Herefordshire, Kincardineshire, Merionethshire, Middlesex, Monmouthshire, North Aberdeen, North Ebudes, North Essex, North Hampshire, North Somerset, North Wiltshire, Radnorshire, Shropshire, South Aberdeen, South Devon, South Hampshire, South Lancaster, South Wiltshire, South-east Yorkshire, South-west Yorkshire, Stafford, Surrey, Warwickshire, West Gloucestershire, West Kent, West Lancaster, West Norfolk, West Suffolk, Westmorland and Worcestershire (NBN Atlas) and the Channel Is.

See also British leafminers distribution map.

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

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Finland, French mainland, Germany, Greek mainland, Hungary, Italian mainland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Romania, Russia - Central and South, Slovakia, Spanish mainland, Sweden, Switzerland and The Netherlands. Also recorded in the Near East (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Host species unknown

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Chalcidoidea  
Achrysocharoides buekkensis (Erdös, 1958) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Achrysocharoides cilla (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Achrysocharoides latreillii (Curtis, 1826) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Chrysocharis elongata (Thomson, 1878) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Chrysocharis laomedon (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Chrysocharis nephereus (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Chrysocharis phryne (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Closterocerus longiventris (Askew, 1979) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Closterocerus trifasciatus Westwood, 1833 Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Cirrospilus vittatus Walker, 1838 Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Sympiesis gordius (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Ichneumonoidea  
Coloneura stylata Förster, 1862 Braconidae: Alysiinae
Colastes braconius Haliday, 1833 Braconidae: Exothecinae
Pholetesor circumscriptus (Nees, 1834) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Diadegma holopygum (Thomson, 1887) Ichneumonidae: Campopleginae
Encrateola laevigata (Ratzeburg, 1848) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae
Scambus inanis (Schrank, 1802) 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
UKMoths
Find using Google
Find using Google Scholar
Find images using Google


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Last updated 07-May-2017  Brian Pitkin Top of page