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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Stigmella microtheriella (Stainton, 1854)
[Lepidoptera: Nepticulidae]

Nut-tree Pigmy


Nepticula microtheriella Stainton, 1854. Ins. Brit. Tin. Pteroph. 1: 302.
Stigmella microtheriella
(Stainton, 1854).


Leaf-miner: A narrow gallery, tending to follow veins of leaf. The early part with linear frass (British leafminers).

Oviposition at the underside of the leaf, mostly close to a vein. The mine is a long, very slender corridor; even towards the end hardly wider than necessary to accomodate the growing larva. Frass in a narrow central line. The shape of the mine differs somewhat between the hostplants. In Carpinus the mine closely follows a heavy vein over a long distance; also the mine tends to be somewhat shorter and broader, and the frass often lies in a more diffuse line. The mines in Corylus are not so strictly defined by the venation and the frass line is narrower (Emmet, 1983a; Johansson et al., 1990a). Sometimes it is difficult to separate the mines from those of S. floslactella ; an additional difference then is that even in the very first part of the corridor the frass of microtheriella lies in a narrow line, while the frass of floslactella seems to fill the entire corridor there. The pale golden larva lies venter-upwards in the mine (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Sometimes there can be several larvae mining the same leaf (UKMoths). The mine is illustrated in the Encyclopedia of Life.

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 yellow, head pale brown (British leafminers). The 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 illustrated in UKMoths. The genitalia are not illustrated by the Lepidoptera Dissection Group (check for update).

Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:

Betulaceae        
Carpinus betulus Hornbeam British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Carpinus betulus Hornbeam British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Carpinus betulus Hornbeam British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. UKMoths
Corylus avellana Hazel British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Corylus avellana Hazel British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Corylus avellana Hazel British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. UKMoths
Ostrya carpinifolia Hop Hornbeam   British leafminers
Fagaceae        
Nothofagus       John Langmaid

Hosts elsewhere:

Betulaceae        
Carpinus betulus Hornbeam British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Carpinus orientalis     Bladmineerders van Europa
Corylus avellana Hazel British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Corylus colurna Turkish Hazel   Bladmineerders van Europa
Corylus maxima Filbert   Bladmineerders van Europa
Ostrya carpinifolia     Bladmineerders van Europa
Ostrya virginiana     Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: End of June - July, September - November (British leafminers).

Time of year - adults: May and again during August (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: Widespread and common throughout most of the British Isles (UKMoths) including Anglesey, Banffshire, Bedfordshire, Breconshire, Buckinghamshire, Caernarvonshire, Cambridgeshire, Carmarthenshire, Cheshire, Derbyshire, East Kent, East Norfolk, East Suffolk, East Sutherland, Flintshire, Glamorgan, Herefordshire, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Kincardineshire, Middlesex, Monmouthshire, North Aberdeen, North Devon, North Essex, North Hampshire, North Somerset, Northamptonshire, Radnorshire, Shropshire, South Aberdeen, South Essex, South Hampshire, South Lancaster, South Wiltshire, South-west Yorkshire, Stafford, Surrey, Warwickshire, West Gloucestershire, West Kent, West Lancaster, West Norfolk, West Suffolk, Westmorland and Worcestershire (NBN Atlas).

See also British leafminers distribution map.

Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea). See also Ireland's NBDC interactive map.

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Austria, Belgium, Corsica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Estonia, Finland, French mainland, Germany, Greek mainland, Hungary, Italian mainland, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Romania, Russia - Central and East, Sardinia, 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:

Carpinus betulus, Corylus avellana, Corylus colurna, Corylus maxima, Ostrya carpinifolia

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Chalcidoidea  
Chrysocharis amasis (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Chrysocharis acoris (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Derostenus gemmeus Westwood, 1840 Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Derostenus punctiscuta Thomson, 1878 Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Cirrospilus vittatus Walker, 1838 Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Ichneumonoidea  
Coloneura stylata Förster, 1862 Braconidae: Alysiinae
Adelius subfasciatus Haliday, 1833 Braconidae: Cheloninae
Colastes braconius Haliday, 1833 Braconidae: Exothecinae
Mirax rufilabris Haliday, 1833 Braconidae: Miracinae
Oncophanes minutus (Wesmael, 1838) Braconidae: Rhyssalinae


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 10-May-2017  Brian Pitkin Top of page