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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Phylloporia bistrigella (Haworth, 1828)
[Lepidoptera: Incurvariidae]

Striped Bright

Tinea bistrigella Haworth, 1828. Lep. Brit.: 573.
Phylloporia bistrigella
(Haworth, 1828).

Leaf-miner: The larva mines young leaves and the narrow initial mine ends in a blotch. The larva cuts out a section of the leaf and over winters in this on the ground (British leafminers).

Long, very narrow corridor that may wind several times through the leaf, freely crossing the midrib. The corridor often cuts off parts of the leaf, that die as a result. The corridor does not increase in width, until it abruptly widens into an irregular elongate blotch. In the end of the blotch an oval excision is made, c. 4 mm long, in which the larva drops to the ground for pupation. Mines in the very youngest leaves (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).

The larva is illustrated in British leafminers and Bladmineerders van Europa.

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

Adult: The adult is illustrated in UKMoths by Jon Baker. The species is included in

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Betula       British leafminers
Betula       Pitkin & Plant
Betula       UKMoths

Hosts elsewhere:

Betula humilis     Bladmineerders van Europa
Betula nana Dwarf Birch British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Betula pendula Silver Birch British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Betula pubescens Downy Birch British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

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

Time of year - adults: The adults fly in May and June, and can sometimes be found in daylight around birches on heaths. It is also attracted to light (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Distributed throughout the British Isles (UKMoths) including (UKMoths) including Banffshire, Bedfordshire, Berwickshire, Caernarvonshire, Cambridgeshire, Cheshire, Denbighshire, Dorset, Dumfriesshire, Dunbartonshire, Durham, East Cornwall, East Kent, East Norfolk, East Ross, East Suffolk, East Sutherland, Easterness, Elgin, Flintshire, Glamorgan, Haddington, Isle of Wight, Kincardineshire, Kirkudbrightshire, Linlithgow, Main Argyll, Merionethshire, Mid-west Yorkshire, Montgomeryshire, North Aberdeenshire, North Devon, North Ebudes, North Essex, North Hampshire, North Northumberland, North Somerset, Pembrokeshire, Shropshire, South Aberdeenshire, South Devon, South Somerset, South Northumberland, South Wiltshire, Stafford, Stirlingshire, Surrey, West Cornwall, West Gloucestershire, West Norfolk, West Perthshire, West Ross, 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 in Fauna Europaea). See also Ireland's NBDC interactive map.

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Estonia, Finland, French mainland, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, ? Luxembourg, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Russia - Central, North and Northwest, Sweden, Switzerland and The Netherlands (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Betula nana, Betula pendula, Betula pubescens

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Cotesia affinis (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 Atlas
NHM UK Checklist
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Last updated 22-Apr-2018  Brian Pitkin Top of page