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 nicellii (Stainton, 1851)
[Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae]

Red Hazel Midget

Lithocolletis nicellii Stainton, 1851. Zoologist. App.: 172.
Phyllonorycter nicellii
(Stainton, 1851).

Leaf-miner: The mine is 15-20 mm long with several creases in lower epidermis. It is lower side, strongly arched; a central green patch with brown flecks around edges (British leafminers).

Lower-surface tentiform mine, usually between two side veins. Pupa in white cocoon in a corner of the mine, attached to both the roof and the floor of the mine; frass heaped in opposite corner (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).

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 species is included in

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Corylus       British leafminers
Corylus       UKMoths
Corylus avellana Hazel British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant

Hosts elsewhere:

Corylus avellana Hazel British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Belgian Lepidoptera
Corylus avellana Hazel British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Corylus colurna Turkish Hazel   Bladmineerders van Europa

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

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

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Found throughout Britain (UKMoths) including Anglesey, Bedfordshire, Breconshire, Buckinghamshire, Caernarvonshire, Cambridgeshire, Cheshire, Cumberland, Denbighshire, Derbyshire, Dorset, East Cornwall, East Gloucestershire, East Kent, East Norfolk, East Suffolk, East Sutherland, Flintshire, Glamorgan, Haddington, Herefordshire, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Isle of Wight, Kincardineshire, Leicestershire, Main Argyll, Merionethshire, Mid Ebudes, Mid-west Yorkshire, Middlesex, Montgomeryshire, North Aberdeenshire, North Ebudes, North Hampshire, North Lincolshire, North Northumberland, North Somerset, North Wiltshire, Shropshire, South Aberdeenshire, South Devon, South Hampshire, South Northumberland, South Somerset, South Wiltshire, South-west Yorkshire, Stafford, Stirlingshire, Surrey, West Conrwall, West Gloucestershire, West Kent, West Lancashire, West Norfolk, West Suffolk, Westerness, Westmorland and Worcestershire (NBN Atlas).

See also British leafminers distribution map.

Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland (Fauna Europaea and National Biodiversity Data Centre Map).

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

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Corylus avellana, Corylus colurna

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Achrysocharoides latreillii (Curtis, 1826) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Achrysocharoides splendens (Delucchi, 1954) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Chrysocharis nephereus (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Pediobius alcaeus (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Sympiesis gordius (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Ichneumonoidea - Links to species no longer available  
Coloneura stylata Förster, 1862 Braconidae: Alysiinae
Colastes braconius Haliday, 1833 Braconidae: Exothecinae
Pholetesor bicolor (Nees, 1834) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Pholetesor circumscriptus (Nees, 1834) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Pholetesor nanus (Reinhard, 1880) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Rhysipolis hariolator (Haliday, 1836) Braconidae: Rhysipolinae
Diadegma elishae (Bridgman, 1884) Ichneumonidae: Campopleginae
Scambus calobatus (Gravenhorst, 1829) Ichneumonidae: Pimplinae
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
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Last updated 11-Jul-2019  Brian Pitkin Top of page