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


Spilonota laricana (Heinemann, 1863)
[Lepidoptera: Tortricidae]

Larch-bud Moth

Grapholitha lariiana Heinemann, 1863
Spilonota laricana
(Heinemann, 1863).

Leaf-miner: In Belgium the larva feeds at first between some needles of Larix spun together. It has been observed also on Picea sitchensis. After hibernation it feeds in the expanding buds. Pupation in the larval feeding place (Belgian Lepidoptera).

In late summer the larva spins a few needles together, and mines them out. The larva hibernates between some mined needles that haven been spun together. After hibernation the larva bores into a developing bud, eventually pupating there (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.

Spilonota laricana larva,  dorsal
Spilonota laricana larva, dorsal
Image: © Willem Ellis (Bladmineerders van Europa)

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

See Patocka and Turcáni (2005a) (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Adult: The adult is illustrated in UKMoths. The species is not included in

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Picea       Pitkin & Plant

Hosts elsewhere:

Larix       Belgian Lepidoptera
Larix decidua European Larch British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Larix kaempferi Japanese Larch British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: Currently unknown.

Time of year - adults: June and August (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Britain including Banffshire, Bedfordshire, Dumfrishire, Durham, East Cornwall, East Norfolk, East Suffolk, Glamorgan, Hertfordhsire, Huntingdonshire, Middlesex, North Northumberland, Shropshire, Stafford, West Gloucestershire, West Norfolk, West Suffolk and Worcestershire (NBN Atlas).

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

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Estonia, Finland, French mainland, Germany, Hungary, Italian mainland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Romania, Russia - Central, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland and The Netherlands. Also recorded in East Palaearctic (Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Larix decidua, Larix kaempferi, Picea sitchensis

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Mesopolobus subfumatus (Ratzeburg, 1852) Pteromalidae: Pteromalinae
Ichneumonoidea - Links to species no longer available  
Therophilus cingulipes (Nees, 1812) Braconidae: Agathidinae
Charmon extensor (Linnaeus, 1758) Braconidae: Charmontinae
Meteorus ictericus (Nees, 1811) Braconidae: Meteorinae
Dolichogenidea decora (Haliday, 1834) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Gelis areator (Panzer, 1804) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae
Mastrus sordipes (Gravenhorst, 1829) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae
Dirophanes maculicornis (Stephens, 1835) Ichneumonidae: Ichneumoninae
Chorinaeus talpa (Haliday, 1838) Ichneumonidae: Metopinae
Triclistus podagricus (Gravenhorst, 1829) Ichneumonidae: Metopinae
Dolichomitus agnoscendus (Roman, 1939) 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