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 scopariella (Fabricius, 1781)
[Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae]

Broom Midget


Lithocolletis scopariella Fabricius, 1781
Phyllonorycter scopariella
(Fabricius, 1781).


Twig-miner: Forms an inflated mine in the green bark of a twig, 15 - 25 mm long. The mine turns brown/grey and is found near to the end of a twig, often on a small plant (British leafminers).

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 cremaster is illustrated in British leafminers.

Adult: The adult is illustrated in UKMoths. The male genitalia, but not the female genitalia (check for update), are illustrated by the Lepidoptera Dissection Group.

Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:

Fabaceae        
Cytisus       British leafminers
Cytisus       Pitkin & Plant
Cytisus scoparius Broom British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. UKMoths

Hosts elsewhere: Currently unknown.

Time of year - larvae: September - May (British leafminers).

Time of year - adults: The adult moths occur from late May to July and are most easily found by tapping bushes of the foodplant (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: Although distributed fairly widely across much of Britain (UKMoths) including Denbighshire, East Kent, East Ross, East Suffolk, Elgin, Glamorgan, Kincardineshire, North Aberdeen, South Aberdeen, South Hampshire, Stafford, West Gloucestershire, West Norfolk, West Suffolk and Worcestershire (NBN Atlas).

See also British leafminers distribution map.

This is a species not easily encountered. Other members of the genus can be located by their leafmines, but the twig mines are very hard to find (UKMoths).

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 Belgium, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, French mainland, Germany, Italian mainland, Poland, Portuguese mainland, Russia - Central, Slovakia, The Netherlands and Ukraine (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Cytisus scoparius

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Ichneumonoidea  
Macrocentrus bicolor Curtis, 1833 Braconidae: Macrocentrinae


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