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 kleemannella (Fabricius, 1781)
[Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae]

Dark Alder Midget

Tinea kleemannella Fabricius, 1781
Phyllonorycter kleemannella
(Fabricius, 1781).

Leaf-miner: The mine is underside, small, seldom reaching midrib. The lower epidermis with several small creases, sometimes several larvae mine the same leaf (British leafminers).

Lower-surface tentiform mine between two side veins, often at quite some distance from the midrib. Lower surface with many folds, all very weak. Often several mines in one leaf. Pupa in a white cocoon in an angle of the mine, attached to the roof. The cocoon is free from frass; all frass is heaped in an angle of the mine, opposite to the cocoon (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).

The larva is illustrated in Bladmineerders van Europa.

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 and Bladmineerders van Europa.

Adult: The adult is illustrated in UKMoths.

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Alnus       British leafminers
Alnus cordata Italian Alder   Pitkin & Plant
Alnus glutinosa Alder British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Alnus glutinosa Alder British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. UKMoths
Alnus incana Grey Alder British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant

Hosts elsewhere:

Alnus glutinosa Alder British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Alnus incana Grey Alder British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

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

Time of year - adults: The adults fly mostly in August, but the species may be bivoltine, with moths also recorded in May (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Widespread in Britain including Anglesey, Bedfordshire, Breconshire, Caernarvonshire, Denbighshire, Dorset, Dunbartonshire, Durham, East Norfolk, East Ross, East Suffolk, East Sutherland, Easterness, Glamorgan, Herefordshire, Hertforshire, Merionethshire, Middlesex, North Aberdeenshire, North Devon, North Essex, North Hampshire, North Somerset, Shropshire, South Aberdeenshire, South Northumberland, South-west Yorkshire, Stafford, South Aberdeenshire, South-west Yorkshire, Stafford, Stirlingshire, West Gloucestershire, West Norfolk, West Suffolk, Westmorland and Worcestershire (NBN Atlas).

See also British leafminers distribution map.

Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland ((UKMoths). See NDBC interactive map.

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

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Alnus glutinosa, Alnus incana

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Achrysocharoides cilla (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Chrysocharis nephereus (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Pediobius alcaeus (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Pnigalio agraules (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Pnigalio longulus (Zetterstedt, 1838) Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Sympiesis gordius (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Bracon variegator Spinola, 1808 Braconidae: Braconinae
Pholetesor bicolor (Nees, 1834) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Pholetesor circumscriptus (Nees, 1834) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Pholetesor nanus (Reinhard, 1880) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Rhysipolis hariolator (Haliday, 1836) Braconidae: Rhysipolinae
Scambus calobatus (Gravenhorst, 1829) Ichneumonidae: Pimplinae
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
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Last updated 20-Apr-2018  Brian Pitkin Top of page