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

Join us on Facebook

Phyllonorycter roboris (Zeller, 1839)
[Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae]

Gold-bent Midget

Lithocolletis roboris Zeller, 1839. Isis.: 217.
Phyllonorycter roboris
(Zeller, 1839).

Leaf-miner: The mine is greater than 16 mm long, no creases in lower epidermis and a central green patch on upper side (British leafminers).

A large, lower-surface tentiform mine, c. 20 mm long, often not far from the leaf base. The lower epidermis seems smooth to the naked eye, but with a lens many fine length folds are visible. Frass as a black mass in a corner of the mine. Before ecdysis the pupa works itself hafway out of the mine; unlike the other western European oak Phyllonorycter, that have the exuvium pale olive or reddish brown, in roboris it is dark, blackish (Emmet, 1975b) (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 pupa is illustrated in Bladmineerders van Europa. The cremaster is illustrated in British leafminers.

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

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Quercus       British leafminers
Quercus       UKMoths
Quercus       Pitkin & Plant
Quercus petraea Sessile Oak British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant

Hosts elsewhere:

Quercus cerris Turkey Oak British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Quercus dalechampii     Bladmineerders van Europa
Quercus faginea     Bladmineerders van Europa
Quercus frainetto     Bladmineerders van Europa
Quercus macrocarpa     Bladmineerders van Europa
Quercus pedunculiflora     Bladmineerders van Europa
Quercus petraea Sessile Oak British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Quercus polycarpa     Bladmineerders van Europa
Quercus pubescens Downy Oak   Bladmineerders van Europa


Pedunculate Oak British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Quercus x turneri     Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: July - August (British leafminers).

Time of year - adults: The adults fly in June in a single generation (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Found in mature oak woodland, and is distributed though uncommonly, throughout England, Wales and Ireland (UKMoths) including Breconshire, North Northumberland, Denbighshire, Derbyshire, Dorset, Durham, East Cornwall, East Norfolk, Flintshire, Glamorgan, Herefordshire, Hertfordshire, Nottinghamshire, Pembrokeshire, Shropshire, South Devon, South Northumberland, South-west Yorkshire, Stafford, West Gloucester and Worcestershire (NBN Atlas).

See also British leafminers distribution map.

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

Quercus cerris, Quercus frainetto, Quercus petraea, Quercus pubescens, Quercus robur, Quercus x turneri

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Achrysocharoides latreillii (Curtis, 1826) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Chrysocharis nephereus (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Chrysocharis phryne (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Cirrospilus lyncus Walker, 1841 Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Sympiesis gordius (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Baryscapus szöcsi (Erdös, 1958) Eulophidae: Tetrastichinae
Glyptapanteles fraternus (Reinhard, 1881) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Coloneura stylata Förster, 1862 Braconidae: Alysiinae
Colastes braconius Haliday, 1833 Braconidae: Exothecinae
Rhysipolis meditator (Haliday, 1836) Braconidae: Rhysipolinae
Rhysipolis variabilis (Szépligeti, 1896) Braconidae: Rhysipolinae
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
Find using Google
Find using Google Scholar
Find images using Google

XHTML Validator
Last updated 21-Apr-2018  Brian Pitkin Top of page