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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Stenoptilia zophodactylus (Duponchel, 1840)
[Lepidoptera: Pterophoridae]

Dowdy Plume


Pterophorus zophodactylus Duponchel, 1840. Hist. nat. Lep. Fr. 11: 668, t. 314 fig. 4.
Pterophorus canalis
Walker, 1864. Cat. Lep. Het. B. M. 30: 544.
Pterophorus loewii
Zeller, 1847. Isis, Jena. 31 (1): 38.
Mimeseoptilus semicostata
Zeller, 1873
Stenoptilia zophodactylus
(Duponchel, 1840).


Leaf-miner: Initially the larva mines a basal leaf, subsequently feeding in flower buds (which turn yellow), opened flowers and foliage (UKMoths).

Full depth irregular blotch that may occupy an entire leaf. Frass in numerous, dispersed, brown grains. Some larvae remain in the mine until shortly before pupation, others leave the mine in an early stage and feed externally on the flower buds and developing fruits (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Mine of Stenoptilia zophodactylus on Gentiana sp.
Mine of Stenoptilia zophodactylus on Gentiana sp
Image: © Willem Ellis (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 camouflaged larvae vary from green to brownish yellow (UKMoths). The larva is also illustrated in Bladmineerders van Europa. The slender green or red pupa is attached to the foodplant (UKMoths).

Adult: The adult is illustrated in UKMoths (by Chris Manley) and the Encyclopedia of Life. The male and female genitalia, are illustrated by the Lepidoptera Dissection Group.

Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:

Gentianaceae        
Blackstonia       UKMoths
Blackstonia perfoliata Yellow-wort   Pitkin & Plant
Centaurium erythraea Common Centaury British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Centaurium erythraea Common Centaury British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. UKMoths
Gentiana       Pitkin & Plant
Gentiana       UKMoths

Hosts elsewhere:

Gentianaceae        
Blackstonia perfoliata Yellow-wort   Bladmineerders van Europa
Centaurium erythraea Common Centaury British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Gentiana       Bladmineerders van Europa
Gentianella germanica Chiltern Gentian British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: Two or more generations from June to October or later. It is uncertain which stage (s) overwinter (UKMoths).

Time of year - adults: The adult can be found from July to September in two or more overlapping broods. It generally flies from dusk onwards, but it can be disturbed from low herbage in the daytime. It can easily be mistaken for a faded specimen of the common Stenoptilia bipunctidactyla, so moths taken near large amounts of the foodplants should be examined closely (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: Widely distributed in southern Britain (UKMoths) including Bedfordshire (VC30), Caernarvonshire (VC49), Cambridgeshire (VC29), East Gloucestershire (VC33), East Kent (VC15), East Suffolk (VC25), East Sussex (VC14), Glamorganshire (VC41), Herefordshire (VC36), North Essex (VC19), North Somerset (VC6), Pembrokeshire (VC45), South Lancashire (VC59), South Wiltshire (VC8), West Cornwall (VC1), West Gloucestershire (VC34), West Suffolk (VC26) and Worcestershire (VC37) (NBN Gateway).

Usually locally restricted to sparsely vegetated habitats, such as sea-cliffs, sand hills, old sand and gravel workings and chalky or dry pastures, where its foodplants grow in quantity and the moth may be abundant (UKMoths).

NBN Grid Map:

NBN Grid Map

Stenoptilia zophodactylus
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 Albania, Andorra, Austria, Azores, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Corsica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Finland, French mainland, Germany, Gibraltar, Greek mainland, Hungary, Italian mainland, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, North Aegean Is., Poland, Portuguese mainland, Romania, Sardinia, Sicily, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spanish mainland, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Yugoslavia (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Interactive Grid Maps of known host species:

Blackstonia perfoliata, Centaurium erythraea, Gentianella germanica

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere: Currently unknown.



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 22-Jul-2016  Brian Pitkin Top of page