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 nigrescentella (Logan, 1851)
[Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae]

Vetch Midget


Lithocolletis nigrescentella Logan, 1851. Trans ent. Soc. Lond. (2) 1: 182, t. 15 fig. 9.
Phyllonorycter nigrescentella
(Logan, 1851).


Leaf-miner: The mine is underside, occupying the whole leaflet, which turns down at edges (British leafminers).

Lower surface tentiform mine that occupies an entire leaflet; lower epidermis strongly folded. Fully developed mines are strongly inflated and the leaflet is so completely folded over the mine that the latter becomes practically invisible. In this stage the larva has consumed also all tissue in the roof of the mine, making the mine very conspicuous (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).

Cremaster with two pairs of spines. The inner pair has shifted so far sidewards that the inner and outer pairs seem to form one whole. The inner spines are fairly slender, the outer ones are stout, and the two combined look like one long spine with a broad base (Gregor and Patocka, 2001a; Patocka and Turcani, 2005a) (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Adult: The adult is not illustrated in UKMoths (check for update). The genitalia are not illustrated by the Lepidopetra Dissection Group (check for update).

Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:

Fabaceae        
Lathyrus       Pitkin & Plant
Medicago       Pitkin & Plant
Trifolium       Pitkin & Plant
Vicia sepium Bush Vetch British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Vicia sepium Bush Vetch British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant

Hosts elsewhere:

Fabaceae        
Lathyrus vernus Spring pea   Bladmineerders van Europa
Lotus       Bladmineerders van Europa
Medicago       Bladmineerders van Europa
Trifolium alpestre     Bladmineerders van Europa
Trifolium medium Zigzag Clover British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Trifolium pratense Red Clover British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Trifolium repens White Clover British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Trifolium rubens     Bladmineerders van Europa
Vicia dumetorum     Bladmineerders van Europa
Vicia sativa Common Vetch British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Vicia sepium Bush Vetch British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

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

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: Britain including East Sussex, North Somerset and South Wiltshire (NBN Atlas). It occurs on woodland rides and the bottom of hedges (British leafminers).

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 Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Estonia, Finland, French mainland, Germany, Hungary, Italian mainland, Lithuania, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Romania, Russia Central, East, Northwest and South, Slovakia, Spanish mainland, Sweden, Switzerland and Ukraine (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Lathyrus vernus, Trifolium medium, Trifolium pratense, Trifolium repens, Vicia sativa, Vicia sepium

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Chalcidoidea  
Chrysocharis budensis Erdös, 1954 Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Chrysocharis phryne (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Pnigalio agraules (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Sympiesis acalle (Walker, 1848) Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Sympiesis notata (Zetterstedt, 1838) Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Ichneumonoidea  
Coloneura stylata Förster, 1862 Braconidae: Alysiinae
Colastes braconius Haliday, 1833 Braconidae: Exothecinae
Pholetesor circumscriptus (Nees, 1834) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Rhysipolis meditator (Haliday, 1836) Braconidae: Rhysipolinae
Rhysipolis meditator (Haliday, 1836) Braconidae: Rhysipolinae
Acrolyta nens (Hartig, 1838) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae
Encrateola laevigata (Ratzeburg, 1848) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae


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 09-May-2017  Brian Pitkin Top of page