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


PYROLA. [Pyrolaceae]

Three species and two subspecies of Pyrola are recorded in Britain.

Only one British miner is recorded on Pyrola.

Common Wintergreen - Pyrola minor. Image: © Linda Pitkin
Common Wintergreen
Pyrola minor

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

1 > Leaf-miner and case-bearer: The fully developed larval case, 6 mm long, on cowberry, in April and May of its second year of life, is easily identified by its structure of about forty discs of leaf arranged like a pile of coins, its walking stick shape and the ventral keel of white silk. Each larva makes a large number of small full depth mines, which can be recognised by the relatively large hole where a disc of leaf has been excised for the case. Greyish black tubular composite leaf case of about 5-6 mm. The case is composed of numerous rings, each cut out of the lower epidermis of the hostplant. The rear end is stromgly curved, like the handle of a walking stick. Mouth angle 45°.

On Vaccinium, but not yet on Pyrola, in Britain and Vaccinium and Pyrola elsewhere. Occurs on the more sheltered parts of moors and Scots pine woodland in the Highlands of Scotland, the Pennine Hills and the Clwyd Hills. Widespread in continental Europe.

Coleophora vitisella Gregson, 1856 [Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae].

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