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 stettinensis (Nicelli, 1852)
[Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae]

Small Alder Midget

Lithocolletis stettinensis Nicelli, 1852
Phyllonorycter stettinensis
(Nicelli, 1852).

Leaf-miner: The mine is upper side, oval, over midrib or side-vein - the upper epidermis flimsy with one strong crease (British leafminers).

Unlike other species that form an upperside mine, the surface is not papery, but quite glossy and heavily creased. The mine begins green and then turns orange or brown when more mature (UKMoths).

Upper-surface, fairly small, almost flat tentiform mine with a characteristic yellow green colour. The mine has a single, moderately strong, fold. Generally the mine is positioned over a lateral vein. Frass in a clump in a corner of the mine (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 British leafminers and Bladmineerders van Europa.

Pupa: The pupae of moths have visible head appendages, wings and legs which lie in sheaths (see examples).

The pupa is formed in a white cocoon (British leafminers).

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

Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:

Alnus       British leafminers
Alnus glutinosa Alder British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Alnus incana Grey Alder British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant

Hosts elsewhere:

Alnus cordata Italian Alder British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Alnus glutinosa Alder British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Alnus incana Grey Alder British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

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

Time of year - adults: Two generations, with a flight period in May and August (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: A common and widespread moth in England and Wales, with only a very few Scottish records (UKMoths) including Anglesey, Bedfordshire, Breconshire, Buckinghamshire, Caernarvonshire, Cambridgeshire, Carmarthenshire, Cheshire, Denbighshire, Derbyshire, Dorset, Durham, East Norfolk, East Suffolk, Flintshire, Glamorgan, Herefordshire, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Isle of Wight, Middlesex, Merionethshire, Middlesex, Mid-west Yorkshire, North Ebudes, North Essex, North Hampshire, North Somerset, North-east Yorkshire, Northamptonshire, South Northumberland, Shropshire, South-west Yorkshire, Stafford, Surrey, West Lancashire, West Norfolk, West Suffolk, Westmorland and Worcestershire (NBN Atlas).

See also British leafminers distribution.

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

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Alnus cordata, Alnus glutinosa, Alnus incana

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Ageniaspis fuscicollis (Dalman, 1820) Encyrtidae: Encyrtinae
Chrysocharis laomedon (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Chrysocharis nephereus (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Chrysocharis phryne (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Pediobius alcaeus (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Cirrospilus elegantissimus Westwood, 1841 Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Cirrospilus vittatus Walker, 1838 Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Sympiesis gordius (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Sympiesis grahami Erdös, 1966 Eulophidae: Eulophinae

Pteromalus semotus (Walker, 1834)

Pteromalidae: Pteromalinae
Coloneura stylata Förster, 1862 Braconidae: Alysiinae
Pholetesor laetus (Marshall, 1885) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Encrateola laevigata (Ratzeburg, 1848) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae
Scambus calobatus (Gravenhorst, 1829) 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 18-Nov-2017  Brian Pitkin Top of page