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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Stephensia brunnichella (Linnaeus, 1767)
[Lepidoptera: Elachistidae]

Basil Dwarf


Phalaena brunnichella Linnaeus, 1767. Syst. Nat. (ed. 12) 1: 898.
Stephensia brunnichella
(Linnaeus, 1767).


Leaf-miner: Egg at the underside of the leaf, in the basal part, near the midrib. The mine begins as a long, narrow, full depth gallery running towards the leaf tip; frass here in a narrow central line. After the leaf tip has been reached a large, full depth, brown blotch is made. Much silk is deposited within, strongly contracting the mine and making it opaque. Frass lies in big black lumps here either in the oldest part, or in the centre, of the blotch. The larvae are capable of leaving their mine and restarting elsewhere, in which case the initial corridor is missing. Larvae of the first generation hibernate in the mine. Pupation external, in a white spinning, often between the leaves of the hostplant (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).

See Steuer (1987a); body greenish, head and thoracic plate black (Bladmineerders van Europa).

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

See Patocka (1999a), Patocka and Turcáni (2005a) (Bladmineerders van Europa).

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

Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:

Lamiaceae        
Clinopodium vulgare Wild Basil British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Clinopodium vulgare Wild Basil British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant

Hosts elsewhere:

Lamiaceae        
Clinopodium ascendens Common Calamint British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa, as Calamintha officinalis
Clinopodium calamintha Lesser Calamint British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa, as Calamintha nepeta and Satureja calamintha
Clinopodium vulgare Wild Basil British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: Autumn up to April, and then in July (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: Britain including Bedfordshire, Derbyshire, East Gloucestershire, East Kent, East Suffolk, Glamorgan, Herefordshire, North Essex, North Hampshire, North Somerset, North Wiltshire, South Wiltshire, Stafford, West Gloucestershire, West Norfolk, West Suffolk and Worcestershire (NBN Atlas).

Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, European Turkey, Finland, French mainland, Germany, Hungary, Italian mainland, Kaliningrad Region, Latvia, Lithuania, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Portuguese mainland, Romania, Russia - North, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Ukraine (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Clinopodium ascendens, Clinopodium calamintha, Clinopodium vulgare

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Ichneumonoidea  
Pholetesor circumscriptus (Nees, 1834) Braconidae: Microgastrinae


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