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


Roeslerstammia erxlebella (Fabricius, 1787)
[Lepidoptera: Roeslerstammiidae]

Copper Ermel

Alucita erxlebella Fabricius, 1787. Mant. Ins.: 256.
Roeslerstammia erxlebella
(Fabricius, 1787).

Leaf-miner: The larvae feed on the leaves of lime and birch, mining the leaves when young (UKMoths).

Oviposition at the leaf upperside. Mine a short, irregular, full depth corridor, always at the leaf margin, generally in the tip of the leaf. Frassly broadly scattered. The older larva lives free on the leaf (Bladmineerders van Europa).

The mine is also illustrated in 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).

Adult: The adult is illustrated in UKMoths (by Duncan Williams) and the Encyclopedia of Life. The species is included in

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Betula       British leafminers
Betula       UKMoths
Betula       Agassiz (1996a)
Betula       Robbins (1991a)
Tilia       British leafminers
Tilia       Pitkin & Plant
Tilia       UKMoths
Tilia cordata Small-leaved Lime British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers

Hosts elsewhere:

Acer pseudoplatanus Sycamore British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Betula       Belgian Lepidoptera
Tilia       Belgian Lepidoptera
Tilia cordata Small-leaved Lime British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Belgian Lepidoptera
Tilia cordata Small-leaved Lime British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Tilia x vulgaris Lime   Bladmineerders van Europa

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

Time of year - adults: Two generations, at least in the south of the range, with adults on the wing in May and June and again in August and September (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Mainly distributed in the southern half of England (UKMoths) and Wales including Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Derbyshire, Dorset, East Cornwall, East Kent, East Norfolk, East Suffolk, East Sussex, Herefordshire, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Isle of Wight, Leicestershire, North Essex, North Hampshire, North Lincolnshire, North Somerset, Northamptonshire, Shropshire, South Devon, South Hampshire, South Somerset, South Wiltshire, South-west Yorkshire, Stafford, Surrey, Warwickshire, West Cornwall, West Gloucestershire, West Lancashire, West Norfolk, West Suffolk, West Sussex and Westmorland (NBN Atlas). There are also scattered localities in Wales and in Scotland where the species occurs (UKMoths).

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Estonia, Finland, French mainland, Germany, Hungary, Italian mainland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Romania, Russia - Central and North, Sardinia, Slovakia, Sweden and Switzerland (Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Acer pseudoplatanus, Tilia cordata, Tilia x vulgaris

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Ichneumonoidea - Links to species no longer available  
Ascogaster abdominator (Dahlbom, 1833) Braconidae: Cheloninae
Illidops butalidis (Marshall, 1888)) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Gelis areator (Panzer, 1804) 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
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Last updated 11-Jul-2019  Brian Pitkin Top of page