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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Bucculatrix cristatella (Zeller, 1839)
[Lepidoptera: Bucculatricidae]

Crested Bent-wing


Lyonetia cristatella Zeller, 1839. Isis: 214
Bucculatrix jugicola
Wocke, 1876. Kleinach Deutsch. 2 (2): 721
Bucculatrix cristatella
(Zeller, 1839).


Leaf-miner: The larva feeds in a leaf-mine to begin with, then later feeds externally on the leaves, shrivelling and blanching or browning them (UKMoths).

Initially an extremely fine corridor along the leaf margin; these mines mainly in the lower leaves. Frass in a narrow central line. The larva can leave its mine and restart elsewhere. Older larvae live free, and feed by slicing open the margin of a leaf segment near its tip and eating away as much tissue as it can reach (to about one third of its body length). The result is a number of full depth blotch mines. When the larva has become too large even for this strategy, its starts to feed freely on the leaf (Bladmineerders van Europa).

The mines and larvae are illustrated in British leafminers.

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).

Twice during its growth, it spins a white cocoonet in which it moults its skin. The cocoonet is constructed on the upper surface of a leaf, where it is easily detected. If held up to the light, the larva, or its cast skin retaining the larval shape, can be seen (UKMoths).

The mining larva is amber yellow (intestine greenish as usual), head and prothoracic shield brown; the chaetotaxy is described by Klimesch (1942a) (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Pupa: The pupae of moths have visible head appendages, wings and legs which lie in sheaths (see examples).

The larva pupates in a distinctive whitish ribbed cocoon (UKMoths).

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

Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:

Asteraceae        
Achillea millefolium Yarrow British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Achillea millefolium Yarrow British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Achillea millefolium Yarrow British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. UKMoths

Hosts elsewhere:

Asteraceae        
Achillea millefolium Yarrow British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Anthemis tinctoria Yellow Chamomile British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Chrysanthemum       Bladmineerders van Europa
Leucanthemopsis alpina     Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: April and May and again in July (UKMoths; British leafminers).

Time of year - adults: May and June, then July to August (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: Fairly widespread in England including Lancaster (Greater Manchester, Flixton), Chester (UKMoths), Suffolk (Thetford) (British leafminers); Bedfordshire (VC30), Cambridgeshire (VC29), Cheshire (VC58), East Suffolk (VC25), North Hampshire (VC12), Shropshire (VC40), South Essex (VC18), South Wiltshire (VC8), Staffordshire (VC39), Warwickshire (VC38), West Norfolk (VC28), West Suffolk (VC26) and Worcestershire (VC37) (NBN Gateway).

See also British leafminers distribution map.

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

NBN Grid Map:

NBN Grid Map

Bucculatrix cristatella
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: Widespread in continental Europe including Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Estonia, French mainland, Germany, Hungary, Italian mainland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Romania, Russia - Central, East, North and Northwest, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Ukraine (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Interactive Grid Maps of known host species:

Achillea millefolium, Anthemis tinctoria

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Ichneumonoidea  
Deuterixys carbonaria (Wesmael, 1837) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Deuterixys rimulosa (Niezabitowski, 1910) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Glyptapanteles fraternus (Reinhard, 1881) Braconidae: Microgastrinae


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
UKMoths

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Last updated 19-Jul-2016  Brian Pitkin Top of page