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 myrtillella (Stainton, 1857)
[Lepidoptera: Nepticulidae]

Bilberry Pigmy


Nepticula myrtillella Stainton, 1857. Ent. Weekly Intell. 2: 44.
Stigmella myrtillella
(Stainton, 1857).


Leaf-miner: A contorted gallery leading to small blotch (British leafminers). Ovipostion at the leaf underside, usually near the midrib. Mine a contorted gallery, often a secondary blotch. Leaf around the mine often turns purple. Frass in a thick central line. Pupation external (Bladmineerders van Europa). The mine is also illustrated in UKMoths.

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 amber yellow, head brown (British leafminers). Yellow, head light brown (Johansson et al., 1990a); Gustafsson and van Nieukerken (1990a) give a detailed description (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:

Ericaceae        
Vaccinium        
Vaccinium myrtillus Bilberry British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Vaccinium myrtillus Bilberry British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Vaccinium uliginosum Bog Bilberry British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant

Hosts elsewhere:

Ericaceae        
Vaccinium myrtillus Bilberry British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Vaccinium uliginosum Bog Bilberry British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: July, September - October (British leafminers; UKMoths).

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: A relatively local species, but hard to find and probably overlooked in many places due to its upland bias. It has been found in England, Wales and Scotland, but is scarce in the south-east (UKMoths) including Banffshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Caernarvonshire, Cheshire, Cumberland, Denbighshire, Derbyshire, East Perthshire, Kincardineshire, Merionethshire, North Devon, Shropshire, South Aberdeen, Stafford, West Ross and Worcestershire (NBN Atlas) and Ireland (UKMoths).

See also British leafminers distribution map.

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

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Vaccinium myrtillus, Vaccinium uliginosum

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Chalcidoidea  
Chrysocharis nephereus (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Derostenus gemmeus Westwood, 1840 Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Ichneumonoidea  
Adelius subfasciatus Haliday, 1833 Braconidae: Cheloninae
Gnamptodon decoris (Förster, 1862) Braconidae: Gnamptodontinae
Mirax rufilabris Haliday, 1833 Braconidae: Miracinae


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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Find images using Google


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Last updated 10-May-2017  Brian Pitkin Top of page