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

Join us on Facebook

Argyresthia cupressella Walsingham, 1890
[Lepidoptera: Yponomeutidae]

Argyresthia cupressella Walsingham, 1890

Leaf-miner: During autumn the larva mines a mere 9-12 leaves - the damage is quite inconspicuous. Hibernation occurs within the mine, and during mild days feeding may continue. After hibernation the larva lives as a borer, and empties 4-6 shoots, over a length of 0.5 - 2.5 mm, just below the tip of the shoot. The damaged shoots wilt and die off (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Argyresthia cupressella
Mine of Argyrethia cupressella
Image: © Ben Smart

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 illustrated in Bladmineerders van Europa.

Pupa: Pupa in a white fusiform coccoon that often is spun among the twigs, rather than on the ground (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Adult: The adult is illustrated in UKMoths. The female and male genitalia are illustrated by the Lepidoptera Dissection Group.

Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:

Cupressaceae       British leafminers
Cupressocyparis leylandii   British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. pers. comm. Ben Smart

Hosts elsewhere:

Cupressaceae       Bladmineerders van Europa
Chamaecyparis       Bladmineerders van Europa
Cupressocyparis       Bladmineerders van Europa
Juniperus       Bladmineerders van Europa
Thuja       Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: Summer to Spring (British leafminers).

Time of year - adults: June and July (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: Recorded in England (NBN Gateway).

NBN Grid Map:

NBN Grid Map

Argyresthia cupressella
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: Native in the western coastal region of the United States, and emerged in Britain in 1997, where it now is spreading rapidly (Agassiz & Tuck, 1999a; Heckford, 2004a). The hostplants are also on the European mainland very popular as ornamental conifers, and the discovery of this Argyresthia here will be a mere matter of time (Bladmineerders van Europa).

NBN Interactive Grid Maps of known host species:

Host species unknown

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 Gateway
NHM UK Checklist

Find using Google
Find using Google Scholar
Find images using Google

XHTML Validator
Last updated 08-Jun-2016  Brian Pitkin Top of page