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


Stigmella crataegella (Klimesch, 1936)
[Lepidoptera: Nepticulidae]

Common Thorn Pigmy

Nepticula crataegella Klimesch, 1936. Stett. ent. Ztg. 97: 200, fig'd.
Stigmella crataegella
(Klimesch, 1936).

Leaf-miner: The larvae mine the leaves of hawthorn, creating a gallery which begins narrowly with black linear frass. The mine then widens, and the frass is laid in distinct arcs, finally becoming irregular and central near the end (UKMoths).

Egg at the underside of the leaf, often close to a vein; occasionally on the petiole. The mine is a corridor. In its first part the frass lies in a central line, later is is clearly coiled. The corridor makes some sharp hairpin turns, while the loops remain so close together that usually a secondary blotch is the result. The mine can cross lateral veins (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 green (British leafminers).

Bright green, head almost colourless. Described by Gustafsson and van Nieukerken (1990a) (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 species is included in

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Crataegus       British leafminers
Crataegus       Pitkin & Plant
Crataegus       UKMoths

Hosts elsewhere:

Crataegus       Belgian Lepidoptera
Crataegus laevigata Midland Hawthorn British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Crataegus monogyna Hawthorn British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa, as Crataegus laciniata
Crataegus monogyna Hawthorn British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Crataegus pentagyna     Bladmineerders van Europa
Crataegus rivularis     Bladmineerders van Europa
Crataegus spathulata     Bladmineerders van Europa
X Crataemespilus grandiflora Haw-medlar   Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: End June - early August (British leafminers).

Time of year - adults: Single generation. The adults are on the wing in May and June (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Common throughout the British Isles (UKMoths) including Anglesey, Banffshire, Bedfordshire, Breconshire, Buckinghamshire, Caernarvonshire, Cambridgeshire, Carmarthenshire, Denbighshire, Derbyshire, East Gloucestershire, East Kent, East Norfolk, East Suffolk, Glamorgan, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Kincardineshire, Leicestershire, Mid-west Yorkshire, Middlesex, Monmouthshire, North Devon, North Essex, North Hampshire, North Somerset, North Wiltshire, North-west Yorkshire, Northamptonshire, South Aberdeenshire, South Essex, South Hampshire, South Lancashire, South Wiltshire, South Northumberland, Stafford, Surrey, Warwickshire, West Gloucestershire, West Kent, West Norfolk, West Suffolk and Worcestershire (NBN Atlas).

See also British leafminers distribution map.

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

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Estonia, Finland, French mainland, Germany, ? Greek mainland, Hungary, Italian mainland, Lithuania, Macedonia, Poland, Portuguese mainland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spanish mainland, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands. Also recorded in East Palaearctic and Near East (Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Crataegus laevigata, Crataegus monogyna, x Crataemespilus grandiflora

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Chrysocharis amanus (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Chrysocharis nephereus (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Chrysocharis prodice (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Derostenus punctiscuta Thomson, 1878 Eulophidae: Entedoninae

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 05-Jun-2019  Brian Pitkin Top of page