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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Psychoides verhuella Bruand, 1853
[Lepidoptera: Tineidae]

Hart's-tongue Smut


Psychoides verhuella Bruand, 1853. Mem. Soc. d'emul. Doubs. 3 : 109.


Leaf-miner: Full-depth corridor or blotch, often positioned along the leaf margin. In the first part much, brown-black, fine-grained frass, later parts of the mine almost free from frass. After hibernation the larva lives free in an untidy case of silk, covered with remants of sori (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Mines the frond at first, then feeding in sporangia in the spring (as shown). Later spins a case from empty sporangia (British leafminers).

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).

Larva (early and late instars) has black head, prothoracic plate and anal plate, which distinguish it from the other fern frond species P. filicivora (UKMoths). 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).

Pupal case has sharp crest when unworn (UKMoths). In the larval case, often on the hostplant (Pelham-Clinton, 1985a).

Head and prothoracic plate black, body yellowish (Pelham-Clinton, 1985a) (Bladmineerders van Europa).

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

Comments: Ceterach officinarum is treated as Asplenium ceterach (Rustyback) and Phyllitis scolopendrium is treated as Asplenium scolopendrium (Hart's-tongue) by Stace (2010).

Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:

Aspleniaceae        
Asplenium       British leafminers
Asplenium       Pelham-Clinton, 1985a
Asplenium       Pitkin & Plant
Ceterach       British leafminers
Ceterach       Pelham-Clinton, 1985a
Ceterach officinarum Rustyback British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Phyllitis scolopendrium Hart's-toungue British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Phyllitis scolopendrium Hart's-toungue British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Phyllitis scolopendrium Hart's-toungue British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. UKMoths
Polystichum setiferum Soft Shield-fern British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Colin Plant (pers. comm.)

Hosts elsewhere:

Aspleniaceae        
Asplenium ruta-muraria Wall-rue British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Asplenium trichomanes Maidenhair Spleenwort British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Ceterach officinarum Rustyback British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Phyllitis scolopendrium Hart's-toungue British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Dennstaedtiaceae        
Pteridium aquilinum Bracken Bracken - Pteridium aquilinum Bladmineerders van Europa
Dryopteridaceae        
Dryopteris filix-mas   British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: August-June, most prominent April-May (UKMoths).

Time of year - adults: June-July (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: Most frequent in Wales and W. England, including Shropshire (VC40), Flint, Denbighshire (VC50), Caernarvon (UKMoths), Bedfordshire (VC30), Denbighshire (VC50), East Suffolk (VC25), Glamorganshire (VC41), Herefordshire (VC36), Hertfordshire (VC20), Monmouthshire (VC35), North Somerset (VC6), North Wiltshire (VC7), South Wiltshire (VC8), West Gloucestershire (VC34), West Norfolk (VC28), and Worcestershire (VC37) (NBN Gateway).

NBN Grid Map:

NBN Grid Map

Psychoides verhuella
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, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Interactive Grid Maps of known host species:

Asplenium adiantum-nigrum, Asplenium trichomanes, Ceterach officinarum (= Asplenium ceterach), Dryopteris filix-mas, Phyllitis scolopendrium (= Asplenium scolopendrium), Pteridium aquilinum, Polystichum setiferum

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Ichneumonoidea  
Pholetesor bicolor (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
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Last updated 22-Jul-2016  Brian Pitkin Top of page