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 lautella (Zeller, 1846)
[Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae]

Fiery Oak Midget

Lithocolletis lautella Zeller, 1846. Linn. Ent. 1: 194, t. 1 fig. 14.
Lithocolletis irmella
N. Palm, 1947. Opusc ent. 12: 41, fig'd.
Phyllonorycter lautella
(Zeller, 1846).

Leaf-miner: The mine is greater than 20 mm long, lower epidermis with one strong crease often dividing in Y-shape at end near leaf-margin. There can be several mines on a leaf. Tends to favour young seedlings and saplings (British leafminers).

Remarkable large, lower-surface tentiform mine, usually between two side veins, 20-25 mm long. Lower epidermis with one sharp fold. Frass heaped in a corner of the mine, covered by some spinning. Often several mines in a, strongly contracted, leaf. Pupa brownish black in a whitish cocoon (Bladmineerders van Europa).

The mine is also illustrated in 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).

Described by Emmet at al. 1985a (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. 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 dalechamii     Bladmineerders van Europa
Quercus petraea Sessile Oak British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Quercus robur Pedunculate Oak British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

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

Time of year - adults: May and August are the flight periods for the two generations (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Locally common throughout Britain, but more so in the south (UKMoths) including Bedfordshire, Caernarvonshire, Carmarthenshire, Denbighshire, Dorset, Durham, East Cornwall, East Kent, East Norfolk, East Suffolk, East Sussex, Easterness, Glamorgan, Herefordshire, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Isle of Wight, North Devon, North Essex, North Hampshire, North Somerset, Radnorshire, Shropshire, South Hampshire, South-west Yorkshire, Stafford, West Cornwall, West Gloucester, West Kent, West Lancashire, West Norfolk, West Suffolk and Worcestershire (NBN Atlas).

See also British leafminers distribution map.

Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland (Ireland's NBDC interactive map).

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Estonia, European Turkey, Finland, French mainland, Germany, Greek mainland, Hungary, Italian mainland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Portuguese mainland, Romania, Russia - Central, East, Northwest and South, Slovakia, Spanish mainland, Sweden, Switzerland, 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 robur

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Chrysocharis phryne (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Cirrospilus diallus Walker, 1838 Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Cirrospilus lyncus Walker, 1841 Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Cirrospilus vittatus Walker, 1838 Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Coloneura stylata Förster, 1862 Braconidae: Alysiinae
Colastes braconius Haliday, 1833 Braconidae: Exothecinae
Pholetesor circumscriptus (Nees, 1834) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
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