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 speciosa (Frey, 1857)
[Lepidoptera: Nepticulidae]

Barred Sycamore Pigmy

Nepticula speciosa Frey, 1857. Ent. Weekly Intell. 4: 27.
Nepticula pseudoplatanella
Weber, 1937.
Stigmella speciosa
(Frey, 1857).

Leaf-miner: A long gallery, frass dispersed or linear (British leafminers).

Egg invariably at the lower surface. The mine is a full depth corridor, quite variable in length and width. Also the frass pattern is very variable: sometimes a narrow continuous line, sometimes a broad zone. Always there remains a clear zone between the frass and the side of the mine; also the frass is never coiled (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 yellow (British leafminers). Pale yellow; 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 illustrated in UKMoths by Ian Barton. The genitalia are not illustrated by the Lepidoptera Dissection Group (check of update).

Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:

Acer pseudoplatanus Sycamore British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Acer pseudoplatanus Sycamore British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Acer pseudoplatanus Sycamore British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. UKMoths

Hosts elsewhere:

Acer monspessulanum     Bladmineerders van Europa
Acer obtusatum     Bladmineerders van Europa
Acer opalus Italian Maple   Bladmineerders van Europa
Acer pseudoplatanus Sycamore British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Acer saccharinum Silver Maple British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Acer sempervirens     Bladmineerders van Europa
Acer tataricum subsp. semenovii     Bladmineerders van Europa

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

Time of year - adults: On the wing in May and August (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: A species which is spreading north and west since its discovery in Hampshire in 1914. It has now extended its range to York, though it is still scarce in the north (UKMoths) including Bedfordshire (VC30), Buckinghamshire (VC24), Cambridgeshire (VC29), Derbyshire (VC57), East Gloucestershire (VC33), East Norfolk (VC27), East Suffolk (VC25), Glamorganshire (VC41), Hertfordshire (VC20), Huntingdonshire (VC31), Isle of Wight (VC10), Middlesex (VC21), Monmouthshire (VC35), North Devon (VC4), North Essex (VC19), North Hampshire (VC12), North Somerset (VC6), South Essex (VC18), South Hampshire (VC11), South Lancashire (VC59), South Wiltshire (VC8), Staffordshire (VC39), Surrey (VC17), Warwickshire (VC38), West Kent (VC16), West Norfolk (VC28), West Suffolk (VC26) and Worcestershire (VC37) (NBN Gateway).

See also British leafminers distribution map.

NBN Grid Map:

NBN Grid Map

Stigmella speciosa
NBN Grid Map : NBN Terms and Conditions

Maps are only displayed if the NBN server is active. N.B. Only publicly available records, if any, are shown by default

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, French mainland, Germany, Greek mainland, Hungary, Italian mainland, Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spanish mainland, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Ukraine and Yugoslavia (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Interactive Grid Maps of known host species:

Acer monspessulanum, Acer opalus, Acer pseudoplatanus, Acer saccharinum, Acer sempervirens

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Chrysocharis amanus (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Chrysocharis prodice (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Gnamptodon pumilio (Nees, 1834) Braconidae: Gnamptodontinae

External links: Search the internet:
Belgian Lepidoptera
Biodiversity Heritage Library
Bladmineerders van Europa
British leafminers
Encyclopedia of Life
Fauna Europaea
NBN Gateway
NHM UK Checklist
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Last updated 15-Sep-2016  Brian Pitkin Top of page