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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Xenolechia aethiops (Humphreys & Westwood, 1845)
[Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae]

Moorland Groundling


Anacampsis aethiops Humphreys & Westwood, 1845. Brit. Moths 2: 151, t. 107 fig. 13.
Gelechia squamulella
Peyerimhoff, 1871. Mitt. Schweiz. ent. Ges. 3: 412.
Xenolechia aethiops
(Humphreys and Westwood, 1845).


Leaf-miner: Only the very youngest larvae make mines, and it is not well known how these look like: probably small full depth mines. The older larva make a tunnel of silk on a twig, mixed with frass and leaf fragments, and feeds from there on the leaves. (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).

Larva dull reddish with intersegmental zones greenish; head brown, prothoracic and anal plates black; pinacula small, black (Bland et al., 2002a) (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 Paul Brooks. The genitalia are not illustrated by the Lepidoptera Dissection Group (check for update).

Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:

Lamiaceae        
Erica cinerea Bell Heather British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant

Hosts elsewhere:

Lamiaceae        
Erica cinerea Bell Heather British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: June - July (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: Britain including Berkshire, Cheviotland, Denbighshire, East Sussex, Easterness, North-east Yorkshire, Shropshire, South Aberdeen, South Devon, South-east Yorkshire, Stafford and West Kent (NBN Atlas).

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

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Corsica, Danish mainland, French mainland, Germany, Greek mainland, ? Hungary, Italian mainland, Macedonia, Portuguese mainland, Sardinia, Spanish mainland and The Netherlands (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Erica cinerea

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere: Currently unknown.



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 21-Aug-2017  Brian Pitkin Top of page