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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Scrobipalpa instabilella (Douglas, 1846)
[Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae]

Saltern Groundling


Anacampsis instabilella Douglas, 1846. Zoologist 12: 70, fig. 10.
Scrobipalpa stabilis
Povolný, 1977. Acta. ent. bohem. 74: 192, fig'd
Scrobipalpa instabilella
(Douglas, 1846).


Leaf-miner: The mine on Sea purslane can look inflated and the frass is emptied by a round hole in the leaf. The food plant leaves can be spun together (British leafminers).

Larvae in blotch-like mines. Most frass is ejected through a small opening in the mine. Fresh mines are very difficult to find. The larvae can leave their mine and restart elsewhere. Pupation external (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).

Larva yellowish grey with three reddish brown length lines. Head and prothoracic shield light brown. Anal shield pale to dark brown; thoracic feet blackish (Jansen, 1999a; Bland ea, 2002a) (Bladmineerders van Europa).

The larva is illustrated in UKMoths.

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

Pupation in a mud-covered cocoon on the ground (British leafminers).

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

Comments: The references to Chenopodium by Hering (1957a) and Elsner et al. (1999a) are probably due to confusion with Scrobipalpa atriplicella (Bland et al., 2002a). Other hostplant associations mentioned in the literature, like Aster tripolium, Atriplex littoralis, Lycium barbarum, Plantago coronopus, Plantago maritima, Salicornia europaea, Salsola and Suaeda probably originated from erroneous identifications (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:

Asteraceae        

? Aster

tripolium Sea Aster British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Chenopodiaceae        

? Atriplex

littoralis Grass-leaved Orache British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Atriplex portulacoides Sea-purslane British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Atriplex portulacoides Sea-purslane British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Atriplex portulacoides Sea-purslane British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. UKMoths

? Salicornia

europaea Common Glasswort British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Plantaginaceae        

? Plantago

coronopus Buck's-horn Plantain British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers

Hosts elsewhere:

Chenopodiaceae        
Atriplex halimus Shrubby Orache   Bladmineerders van Europa
Atriplex portulacoides Sea-purslane British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: March - May (British leafminers).

Time of year - adults: May to July (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: Found around the coasts of England (British leafminers), including Anglesey (VC52), Caernarvonshire (VC49), Denbighshire (VC50), East Cornwall (VC2), East Kent (VC15), East Suffolk (VC25), East Sussex (VC14), Glamorganshire (VC41), North Essex (VC19), South Devon (VC3), South Essex (VC18), South Hampshire (VC11), West Cornwall (VC1), West Kent (VC16), West Norfolk (VC28), and Westmorland (NBN Gateway) and the Channel Is. (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).

On salt marshes, mudflat and the banks of estuarine rivers (British leafminers).

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

Scrobipalpa instabilella
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, Canary Is., Cyprus, Danish mainland, French mainland, Germany, Hungary, Italian mainland, Portuguese mainland, Sardinia, Sicily, Spanish mainland and The Netherlands (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Interactive Grid Maps of known host species:

? Aster tripolium, Atriplex halimus, ? Atriplex littoralis, Atriplex portulacoides, ? Plantago coronopus, ? Salicornia europaea

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Chalcidoidea  
Copidosoma filicorne (Dalman, 1820) Encyrtidae: Encyrtinae
Ichneumonoidea  
Dolichogenidea sicaria (Marshall, 1885) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Apanteles metacarpalis (Thomson, 1895) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Pholetesor viminetorum (Wesmael, 1837) 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 30-Jul-2016  Brian Pitkin Top of page