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 mespilella (Hübner, 1805)
[Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae]

Scarce Brown Midget


Tinea mespilella Hübner, 1805. Europ. Schmett.: fig. 272.
Lithocolletis pyrivorella
Bankes, 1899. Ent. mon. Mag. 35: 252.
Phyllonorycter mespilella
(Hübner, 1805).


Mine of Phyllonorycter mespilella on Sorbus
Mine of Phyllonorycter mespilella on Sorbus
Image: © Martin Gray (British leafminers)

Leaf-miner: Lower-surface, yellow-green tentiform mine, 20-32 mm long, with a number of fine folds in the lower epidermis. In most cases the mine is elongate, situated between two lateral veins. The reddish to chestnut brown pupa lies in a flimsy cocoon in which no frass is incorporated: the frass is stored not in a clump but in a row of loose grains behind the cocoon. Just before edcysis the pupa works itself out of the mine through the lower wall; mostly the empty exuvium sticks halfway out of the mine (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).

Cremaster, similar to that of Ph. anceps, with two pairs of short, stout spines, the outer one curved outwards, the inner one inward; the outer spines about as long as wide at their base (Gregor and Patocka, 2001a; Triberti, 2007a) (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Adult: The adult is illustrated in UKMoths. The male and female genitalia are illustrated by the Lepidoptera Dissection Group.

Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:

Rosaceae        
Pyrus communis Pear British leafminers
Sorbus aria Common Whitebeam British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Sorbus aucuparia Rowan British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Sorbus aucuparia Rowan British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Sorbus devoniensis Devon Whitebeam   Pitkin & Plant
Sorbus leyana Ley's Whitebeam   Pitkin & Plant
Sorbus subcuneata Somerset Whitebeam   Pitkin & Plant
Sorbus torminalis Wild Service-tree British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Sorbus torminalis Wild Service-tree British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant

Hosts elsewhere:

Rosaceae        
Amelanchier ovalis Snowy Mespilus   Bladmineerders van Europa
Cotoneaster integerrimus Wild Cotoneaster   Bladmineerders van Europa
Crataegus       Bladmineerders van Europa
Cydonia oblonga Quince British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Malus pumila Apple British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al.

Bladmineerders van Europa, as Malus domestica

Mespilus germanica Medlar British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Prunus cerasus Dwarf Cherry British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Pyrus communis Pear Bladmineerders van Europa
Sorbus aria Common Whitebeam British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Sorbus aucuparia Rowan British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Sorbus intermedia Swedish Whitebeam British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Sorbus torminalis Wild Service-tree British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

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

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: Britain including Cambridgeshire (VC29), East Kent (VC15), East Suffolk (VC25), Herefordshire (VC36), Huntingdonshire (VC31), South Wiltshire (VC8), Surrey (VC17), West Gloucestershire (VC34), West Lancashire (VC60), West Norfolk (VC28), West Suffolk (VC26), Westmorland (VC69) and Worcestershire (VC37) (NBN Gateway).

See also British leafminers distribution map.

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

Phyllonorycter mespilella
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, French mainland, Germany, Hungary, Italian mainland, Madeira, Poland, Romania, Russia - South, Sardinia, Sicily, Slovakia, Spanish mainland, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Ukraine. Also recorded in Near East and Nearctic region (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Interactive Grid Maps of known host species:

Amelanchier ovalis, Cotoneaster integerrimus, Cydonia oblonga, Malus pumila, Mespilus germanica, Prunus cerasus, Pyrus communis, Sorbus aria, Sorbus aucuparia, Sorbus devoniensis, Sorbus intermedia, Sorbus leyana, Sorbus subcuneata, Sorbus torminalis

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Chalcidoidea  
Sympiesis acalle (Walker, 1848) Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Sympiesis gordius (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Ichneumonoidea  
Bracon variegator Spinola, 1808 Braconidae: Braconinae
Apanteles xanthostigma (Haliday, 1834) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Pholetesor bicolor (Nees, 1834) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Pholetesor circumscriptus (Nees, 1834) Braconidae: Microgastrinae


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
UKMoths
Find using Google
Find using Google Scholar
Find images using Google


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Last updated 19-Sep-2016  Brian Pitkin Top of page