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


NOTHOFAGUS. Rauli, Roble, Antarctic and Dombey's Beech. [Fagaceae]

Four species of Nothofagus are recorded in Britain. All are introduced. The hybrid N. obliqua x alpina is apparently native.

Two British miners are recorded on Nothofagus.

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

1a > Leaf-miner: The mine is oval on Q. ilex (note - there may be several mines in the leaf), and similar to P. quercifoliella on deciduous oaks. It is between adjacent veins on beech and hornbeam. Small, oval, lower-surface tentiform mine, 9-14 mm long, mostly between two lateral veins. The lower epidermis with a single sharp fold (sometimes forked near its end). Pupa in very flimsy cocoon, that contains a bit of frass laterally and at the rear end.

On Betula, Carpinus, Castanea, Fagus, Nothofagus, Quercus, Malus, Ostrya and Prunus in Britain and Carpinus, Castanea, Fagus, Quercus, Prunus and Tilia elsewhere. Widespread in Britain, Ireland and continental Europe.

Phyllonorycter messaniella (Zeller, 1846) [Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae].

1b > Leaf-miner: A narrow gallery, tending to follow veins of leaf. The early part with linear frass. 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. Sometimes there can be several larvae mining the same leaf.

On Carpinus betulus, Corylus avellana, Nothofagus and Ostrya carpinifolia in Britain and Carpinus spp. and Ostrya spp. elsewhere. Widespread in Britain, Ireland and continental Europe.

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

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