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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Ectoedemia quinquella (Bedell, 1848)
[Lepidoptera: Nepticulidae]

Five-spot Pigmy

Microsetia quinquella Bedell, 1848. Naturaliste 29: 251.
Ectoedemia quinquella
(Bedell, 1848).

Leaf-miner: A small, contorted gallery, in 'green island' often many in one leaf. (British leafminers).

Contrary to the other Ectoedemia's on oak, the egg is deposited on the leaf underside, near a vein. The larva makes a strongly contorted corridor, that is not appreciably widenend at its end; often a number of mines in a leaf. Puption outside the mine (Bladmineerders van Europa).

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).

Larva yellow, with green gut-line and dark brown head. Early instars have black ventral plates, which are not present in the final instar British leafminers. Yellow with a dark head; ventral plates conspicuous, black (Gustafsson and van Nieukerken, 1990a). They can easily be confused with the larvae of E. rufifrontella (van Nieukerken ao, 2010a) (Bladmineerders van Europa).

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

Adult: The adult is illustrated in UKMoths by Rob Edmunds. The species is included in

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Quercus       British leafminers
Quercus robur Pedunculate Oak British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant

Hosts elsewhere:

Quercus petraea Sessile Oak British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Quercus pubescens Downy Oak   Bladmineerders van Europa
Quercus robur Pedunculate Oak British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: October - November (British leafminers).

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Widespread in southern England including Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Dorset, East Cornwall, East Norfolk, East Suffolk, Huntingdonshire, Isle of Wight, North Essex, North Hampshire, North Somerset, North Wiltshire, Shropshire, South Essex, South Hampshire, South Wiltshire, West Norfolk, West Suffolk and Worcestershire (NBN Atlas).

See also British leafminers distribution map.

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Belgium, Croatia, French mainland, Greek mainland, Italian mainland, ? Macedonia, Romania and The Netherlands (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Quercus petraea, Quercus pubescens, Quercus robur

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 Atlas
NHM UK Checklist

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Last updated 17-Apr-2018  Brian Pitkin Top of page