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 oxyacanthae (Frey, 1856)
[Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae]

Common Thorn Midget

Lithocolletis oxyacanthae Frey, 1856
Phyllonorycter oxyacanthae
(Frey, 1856).

Leaf-miner: The mine is often in the lobe of the leaf. There are many creases in lower epidermis, which is strongly contracted, causing lobe or leaf-edge to fold over (British leafminers).

Rather small, lower-surface, tentiform mine with a yellow-green epidermis that has a number of folds. Pupation within the mine. The pupa of the summer generation in a quite flimsy cocoon; in the autumn generation there is more, golden, silk. All frass in a clump in the distal angle of the mine (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).

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 pupa 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:

Crataegus       British leafminers
Crataegus       Pitkin & Plant
Crataegus       UKMoths
Cydonia oblonga Quince British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Pyrus       Pitkin & Plant

Hosts elsewhere:

X Crataemespilus arnieresi     Bladmineerders van Europa
Crataegus chrysocarpa     Bladmineerders van Europa
Crataegus laevigata Midland Hawthorn British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa, as Crataegus oxycantha
Crataegus monogyna Hawthorn British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Crataegus pentagyna     Bladmineerders van Europa
Crataegus rivularis     Bladmineerders van Europa
Cydonia oblonga Quince British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Mespilus germanica Medlar British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Pyracantha coccinea Firethorn   Bladmineerders van Europa
Pyrus communis Pear   Bladmineerders van Europa
Sorbus aucuparia Rowan 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 - October (British leafminers).

Time of year - adults: Two generations, producing adults in May and in August (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: A common species throughout most of the British Isles (UKMoths) including Anglesey, Ayrshire, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Breconshire, Buckinghamshire, Caernarvonshire, Cambridgeshire, Carmarthenshire, Cheshire, Cumberland, Derbyshire, Dorset, Dumfriesshire, Dunbartonshire, Durham, East Cornwall, East Gloucestershire, East Kent, East Norfolk, East Suffolk, Easterness, Flintshire, Glamorgan, Herefordshire, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Isle of Wight, Kincardineshire, Leicestershire, Linlithgow, Main Argyll, Middlesex, Monmouthshire, Montgomeryshire, North Aberdeenshire, North Ebudes, North Essex, North Hampshire, North Lincolnshire, North Somerset, North Wiltshire, Northamptonshire, North Northumberland, Nottinghamshire, Pembrokeshire, Shropshire, South Aberdeenshire, South Hampshire, South Lancashire, South Northumberland, South Somerset, South Wiltshire, South-east Yorkshire, South-west Yorkshire, Stafford, Surrey, West Cornwall, West Gloucestershire, West Kent, West Lancashire, West Norfolk, West Ross, West Suffolk, Westmorland and Worcestershire (NBN Atlas).

See also British leafminers distribution map.

Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland (Karsholt and van Nieukerken.

See also Fauna Europaea). See also Ireland's NBDC interactive map.

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Corsica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Estonia, French mainland, Germany, Hungary, Italian mainland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Republic of Moldova, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Portuguese mainland, Romania, Russia - Central and South, Sardinia, Sicily, 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:

Crataegus laevigata, Crataegus monogyna, Cydonia oblonga, Mespilus germanica, Pyracantha coccinea, Pyrus communis, Sorbus aucuparia, Sorbus torminalis

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Achrysocharoides atys (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Chrysocharis laomedon (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Chrysocharis nephereus (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Chrysocharis phryne (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Pediobius alcaeus (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
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
Apanteles corvinus Reinhard, 1880 Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Pholetesor arisba (Nixon, 1973) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Pholetesor circumscriptus (Nees, 1834) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Diadegma melanium (Thomson, 1887) Ichneumonidae: Campopleginae
Diadegma nanus (Gravenhorst, 1829) Ichneumonidae: Campopleginae

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