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


CIRCAEA. Enchanter's-nightshade. [Onagraceae]

Three species of Circaea are recorded in Britain. These include Enchanter's-nightshade (C. lutetiana).

Two British miners are recorded on Circaea.

A key to the European miners recorded on Circaea is provided in Bladmineerders van Europa.

Enchanter's-nightshade - Circaea lutetiana. Image: © Linda Pitkin
Circaea lutetiana

Key for the identification of the known mines of British
insects (Diptera and non-Diptera) recorded on Circaea

1a > Leaf-miner: A narrow contorted gallery leading to a whitish blotch with scattered frass centrally. The early gallery can merge with the blotch and there are often several to a leaf (British leafminers).

The larva begins by making a full depth corridor, erratic in width and course; frass black, in an irregular central line. Later the larva makes a blotch, with frass in irregular clouds. This blotch can be a continuation of the corridor, but may just as well be on a different leaf. Often several mines in a leaf; in such cases the entire leaf me be mined out. Mines white at first, turning brown later. The larva lies venter-upwards in the mine.

Larvae light yellow, with darker thoracic legs (British leafminers). The larva is also illustrated in Bladmineerders van Europa.

Pupation external Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Circaea and Epilobium in Britain and Chamerion, Circaea and Epilobium elsewhere. Widespread in England and continental Europe.

Mompha langiella (Hübner, 1796) [Lepidoptera: Momphidae].

1b > Leaf-miner: Early mines are spiral galleries; later forms pale blotches, sometimes having moved to a different leaf. Egg at the upperside of the leaf, not near the midrib. The larva starts by making a long, narrow, full depth corridor that is strongly spiraled or even lies in intestine-like loops. Frass as fine grains, distributed, later in a central line. After a while a new mine is made, either a continuation of the corridor or, more often, in a new leaf. This new mine begins as a narrow corridor but soon widens into a large blotch; here the fass lies in a broad band.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).

Larvae hitish; head light brown; prothoracic and anal shield yellowish brown (Koster, 2002b; Koster and Sinev, 2003a) (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Pupation in a cocoon, on a leaf or in leaf-litter (British leafminers). See also See Patočka and Turčáni (2005a) (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Circaea and Epilobium in Britain and Circaea elsewhere. Widespread in Britain. Also recorded in Northern Ireland and continental Europe.

Mompha terminella (Humphreys & Westwood, 1845) [Lepidoptera: Momphidae].

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