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

N.B. Links to the latest version of 'Leafminers and plant galls of Europe' are being edited

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Stigmella assimilella (Zeller, 1848)
[Lepidoptera: Nepticulidae]

Aspen Pigmy


Nepticula assimilella Zeller, 1848. Linn. Ent. 3: 327.
Stigmella assimilella
(Zeller, 1848).


Leaf-miner: The initial gallery has clear margins, with broken linear frass. The later mine is a blotch formed by many turns (British leafminers). Oviposition at the leaf upper surface. Mine a densely winding corridor, later sections strongly widened, almost forming a secondary blotch. Frass in a more or less continuous central band that, even in the narrow initial part, never completely fills the corridor (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 golden yellow larva is illustrated in Bladmineerders van Europa.

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

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:

Salicaceae        
Populus alba White Poplar British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Populus alba White Poplar British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Populus x canescens Grey Poplar British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Populus tremula Aspen British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Populus tremula Aspen British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant

Hosts elsewhere:

Salicaceae        
Populus alba White Poplar British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Populus x canescens Grey Poplar British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Populus tremula Aspen British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

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

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: Britain including Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, East Kent, East Norfolk, East Suffolk, East Sutherland, Herefordshire, Middlesex, North Essex, South Aberdeen, South Hampshire, South Wiltshire, West Suffolk and Worcestershire (NBN Atlas).

See also British leafminers distribution map.

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

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Populus alba, Populus x canescens, Populus tremula

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Chalcidoidea  
Chrysocharis pilicoxa (Thomson, 1878) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Chrysocharis prodice (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Cirrospilus vittatus Walker, 1838 Eulophidae: Eulophinae


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 16-Aug-2017  Brian Pitkin Top of page