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 kuhlweiniella (Zeller, 1839)
[Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae]

Scarce Oak Midget

Lithocolletis kuhlweiniella Zeller, 1839. Isis. Leipzig.: 217.
Tinea hortella
Fabricius, 1794
Elachista saportella
Duponchel, 1840. Hist. Nat. Lep. 11: 539, t. 308 fig. 10.
Phyllonorycter kuhlweiniella
(Zeller, 1839).

Small lower-surface tentiform mine, c. 15 mm long. Most mines lie close to the leaf margin or in a leaf lobe, and are almost covered then by the leaf margin that is folded over them. Lower epidermis with many, very fine, folds. Pupa in the mine in a large, flimsy cocoon in a corner of the mine, attached only to the roof of the mine; most frass heaped in the opposite corner (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Mine of Phyllonorycter kuhlweiniella on Quercus robur

Mine of Phyllonorycter kuhlweiniella on Quercus robur
Image: © Willem Ellis (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).

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

The cremaster with two pairs of short, broad spines. Those of the outer pair are curved outwards, those of the inner pair are somewhat smaller and bent inwards. The pupa differs from the one of Phyllonorycter heegeriella by the frontal appendage (the triangular nose at the front/upper side) that has a warty surface. Described by Gregor and Patocka (2001a), Patocka and Turcani (2005a) (Bladmineerders van Europa).

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

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Quercus British leafminers
Quercus       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: July and September-October (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Britain including Bedfordshire, Denbighshire, East Norfolk, East Suffolk, Hertfordshire, West Norfolk and West Suffolk (NBN Atlas). See also British leafminers distribution map.

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Albania, Belarus, Belgium, Czech Republic, French mainland, Germany, Hungary, Italian mainland, Macedonia, Poland, Portuguese mainland, Romania, Russia - Central and South, Slovakia, Spanish mainland, The Netherlands and Ukraine. Also recorded in Near East (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 20-Apr-2018  Brian Pitkin Top of page