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

N.B. Links to the latest version of 'Leafminers and plant galls of Europe' are being edited

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Phyllonorycter messaniella (Zeller, 1846)
[Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae]

Garden Midget


Lithocolletis messaniella Zeller, 1846 . Linn. ent. 1: 221, t. 1 fig. 23.
Phyllonorycter messaniella
(Zeller, 1846).


Leaf-miner: The mine is oval on Q. ilex (note - there may be several mines in the leaf), and similar to P. quercifoliella on deciduous oaks. It is between adjacent veins on beech and hornbeam (British leafminers).

Small, oval, lower-surface tentiform mine, 9-14 mm long, mostly between two lateral veins. The lower epidermis with a single sharp fold (sometimes forked near its end). Pupa in very flimsy cocoon, that contains a bit of frass laterally and at the rear end (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 a pale yellow colour (British leafminers). 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 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:

Betulaceae        
Betula       Pitkin & Plant
Carpinus       British leafminers
Carpinus betulus Hornbeam British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Ostrya carpinifolia     British lleafminers
Fagaceae        
Castanea       British leafminers
Castanea sativa Sweet Chestnut British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Castanea sativa Sweet Chestnut British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. UKMoths
Fagus       British leafminers
Fagus       UKMoths
Fagus sylvatica Beech British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Nothofagus       Pitkin & Plant
Quercus       British leafminers
Quercus       UKMoths
Quercus cerris Turkey Oak British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Quercus x crenata Lucombe Oak British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Quercus ilex Evergreen Oak British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Quercus robur Pedunculate Oak British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Quercus suber Cork Oak British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Rosaceae        
Malus       Pitkin & Plant
Prunus       Pitkin & Plant

Hosts elsewhere:

Betulaceae        
Carpinus betulus Hornbeam British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Fagaceae        
Castanea sativa Sweet Chestnut British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Fagus sylvatica Beech British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Quercus ilex Evergreen Oak British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Quercus petraea Sessile Oak British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Quercus robur Pedunculate Oak British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Quercus suber Cork Oak British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Quercus x turneri     Bladmineerders van Europa
Rosaceae        
Prunus       Bladmineerders van Europa
Tiliaceae        
Tilia       Bladmineerders van Europa

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

Time of year - adults: The adult moths occur in a number of generations, any time between April and November (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: Fairly common throughout much of the British Isles, though more so in the south (UKMoths) including Bedfordshire, Breconshire, Caernarvonshire, Cambridgeshire, Carmarthenshire, Cheshire, Derbyshire, East Cornwall, East Norfolk, East Suffolk, East Sussex, Flintshire, Glamorgan, Herefordshire, Hertfordshire, Merionethshire, Middlesex, Monmouthshire, North Essex, North Somerset, North Wiltshire, Pembrokeshire, Radnorshire, Shropshire, South Aberdeen, South Essex, South Hampshire, South Lancaster, South Wiltshire, South-west Yorkshire, Stafford, Surrey, Warwickshire, West Cornwall, West Gloucestershire, West Kent, West Lancaster, West Norfolk, West Suffolk, Westmorland and Worcestershire (NBN Atlas), the Channel Is. (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).

See also British leafminers distribution map.

Also recorded from the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea). See NDBC interactive map.

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Austria, Azores, Balearic Is., Belgium, Bulgaria, Canary Is., Corsica, Croatia, Danish mainland, French mainland, Germany, Greek mainland, Hungary, Italian mainland, Macedonia, Madeira, Republic of Moldova, Portuguese mainland, Russia - South, Sardinia, Sicily, Spanish mainland, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Ukraine. Also recorded in Near East, North Africa and Australian region (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Carpinus betulus, Castanea sativa, Fagus sylvatica, Ostrya carpinifolia, Quercus cerris, Quercus x crenata, Quercus ilex, Quercus petraea, Quercus robur, Quercus suber, Quercus x turneri

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Chalcidoidea  
Achrysocharoides splendens (Delucchi, 1954) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Asecodes delucchii (Boucek, 1971) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Chrysocharis laomedon (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Chrysocharis nephereus (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Cirrospilus elegantissimus Westwood, 1841 Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Cirrospilus lyncus Walker, 1841 Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Cirrospilus vittatus Walker, 1838 Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Cirrospilus viticola (Rondani, 1877) Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Sympiesis dolichogaster Ashmead, 1888 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


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 13-Aug-2017  Brian Pitkin Top of page