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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Orthotelia sparganella (Thunberg, 1788)
[Lepidoptera: Glyphipterigidae]

Reed Smudge

Tinea sparganella Thunberg, 1788
Orthotelia sparganella
(Thunberg, 1788).

Leaf miner / Stem-borer: Narrow gallery in a young leaf. After having mined for some time the larva becomes a borer in the stem or rhizome (Bladmineerders van Europa).

The larvae feed inside the stems (UKMoths).

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).

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. The male and female genitalia are illustrated by the Lepidoptera Dissection Group.

Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:

Scirpus       Pitkin & Plant
Iris       Pitkin & Plant
Glyceria maxima Reed Sweet-grass British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Sparganium       Pitkin & Plant
Sparganium       UKMoths
Typha angustifolia Lesser Bulrush   Pitkin & Plant

Hosts elsewhere:

Schoenoplectus lacustris Common Club-rush British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al.

Bladmineerders van Europa, as Scirpus lacustris

Iris pseudacorus Yellow Iris British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Glyceria maxima Reed Sweet-grass British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Sparganium       Bladmineerders van Europa
Typha       Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: May - June (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Time of year - adults: The adults fly in July and August and come sparingly to light (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: Locally distributed from southern England northwards to southern Scotland, and occupies wet localities such as ponds and canals (UKMoths) including Bedfordshire (VC30), Berkshire (VC22), Cambridgeshire (VC29), Cheshire (VC58), Derbyshire (VC57), East Cornwall (VC2), East Kent (VC15), East Norfolk (VC27), East Suffolk (VC25), East Sussex (VC14), Glamorganshire (VC41), Huntingdonshire (VC31), North Essex (VC19), North Somerset (VC6), Shropshire (VC40), South Devon (VC3), South Hampshire (VC11), South Lancashire (VC59), South Wiltshire (VC8), Staffordshire (VC39), Surrey (VC17), West Cornwall (VC1), West Gloucestershire (VC34), West Norfolk (VC28), West Suffolk (VC26) and Worcestershire (VC37) (NBN Gateway).

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

Orthotelia sparganella
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, Belgium, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Estonia, Finland, French mainland, Germany, Greek mainland, Hungary, Italian mainland, Kaliningrad Region, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Portuguese mainland, Romania, Russia - Central and Northwest, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland and The Netherlands (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Interactive Grid Maps of known host species:

Iris pseudacorus, Glyceria maxima, Schoenoplectus lacustris, Typha angustifolia

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
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Last updated 22-Jul-2016  Brian Pitkin Top of page