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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Phyllonorycter harrisella (Linnaeus, 1761)
[Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae]

White Oak Midget

Phalaena harrisella Linnaeus, 1761
Tinea cramerella
Fabricius, 1777. Ent. Syst. 3: 327.
Phyllonorycter harrisella
(Linnaeus, 1761).

Leaf-miner: The mine is less than 14 mm long, single crease in lower epidermis. The frass random in summer, but in U- or V-shaped lining to cocoon in autumn (British leafminers).

Rather small, lower-surface tentiform mine, less than 14 mm long, with one strong fold in the lower epidermis. Pupa in a tough white cocoon that is attached to both the floor and roof of the mine. Before ecdysis the pupa half emerges from the underside of the mine (Bladmineerders van Europa).

The leaf-mine is also illustrated in UKMoths and illustrated in the Encyclopedia of Life.

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).

The cremaster is illustrated in British leafminers, Bladmineerders van Europa and the Encyclopedia of Life.

Adult: The adult is illustrated in UKMoths. The species is included in

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

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

Hosts elsewhere:

Quercus       Bladmineerders van Europa
Quercus cerris Turkey Oak British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Quercus cerris subsp. austriaca     Bladmineerders van Europa
Quercus dalechampii     Bladmineerders van Europa
Quercus faginea     Bladmineerders van Europa
Quercus frainetto     Bladmineerders van Europa
Quercus macranthera     Bladmineerders van Europa
Quercus petraea Sessile Oak British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Quercus pontica     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: June - July, September - October (British leafminers).

Time of year - adults: On the wing in May and June, and again in the autumn (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Fairly common over much of Britain, but less so in Ireland (UKMoths) including Anglesey, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Caernarvonshire, Cambridgeshire, Cardiganshire, Carmarthenshire, Cheshire, Denbighshire, Derbyshire, Dorset, Dumfriesshire, Durham, East Cornwall, East Kent, East Norfolk, East Ross, East Suffolk, East Sussex, East Sutherland, Flintshire, Glamorgan, Haddington, Herefordshire, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Isle of Wight, Merionethshire, Mid-west Yorkshire, Middlesex, North Ebudes, North Hampshire, North Lincolnshire, North Somerset, North Wiltshire, Northamptonshire, North Northumberland, Shropshire, South Aberdeenshire, South Hampshire, South Lancashire, South Northumberland, South Somerset, South Wiltshire, Stafford, Stirlingshire, Surrey, West Cornwall, West Gloucestershire, West Kent, West Lancashire, West Norfolk, West Ross, West Suffolk, Westmorland, Wigtownshire and Worcestershire (NBN Atlas).

See also British leafminers distribution map.

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Estonia, Finland, French mainland, Germany, Hungary, Italian mainland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Republic of Moldova, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Romania, Russia - Central, East, Northwest and South, Slovakia, Spanish mainland, Sweden, Switzerland and Ukraine. Also recorded in the Near East (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Quercus cerris, Quercus frainetto, Quercus petraea, Quercus pubescens, Quercus robur

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Ageniaspis fuscicollis (Dalman, 1820) Encyrtidae: Encyrtinae
Achrysocharoides butus (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Achrysocharoides latreillii (Curtis, 1826) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Achrysocharoides niveipes (Thomson, 1878) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Chrysocharis laomedon (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Chrysocharis nephereus (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Euderus viridis Thomson, 1878 Eulophidae: Entiinae
Cirrospilus diallus Walker, 1838 Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Cirrospilus lyncus Walker, 1841 Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Cirrospilus vittatus Walker, 1838 Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Sympiesis gordius (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Coloneura stylata Förster, 1862 Braconidae: Alysiinae
Colastes braconius Haliday, 1833 Braconidae: Exothecinae
Pholetesor bicolor (Nees, 1834) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Pholetesor circumscriptus (Nees, 1834) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Rhysipolis decorator (Haliday, 1836) Braconidae: Rhysipolinae
Lysibia nana (Gravenhorst, 1829) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae
Scambus inanis (Schrank, 1802) Ichneumonidae: Pimplinae

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
Find using Google
Find using Google Scholar
Find images using Google

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Last updated 20-Apr-2018  Brian Pitkin Top of page