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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Stigmella betulicola (Stainton, 1856)
[Lepidoptera: Nepticulidae]

Common Birch Pigmy


Nepticula betulicola Stainton, 1856. Entomol. Ann.: 42.
Stigmella betulicola
(Stainton, 1856).


Leaf-miner: The mine is short, with frass irregular, linear. The larva is yellow, gut-line green, and dark ventral spots. There are often several mines in a leaf. The mines are found frequently on seedlings and small plants (British leafminers).

Egg at the underside of the leaf, close to a vein. The mine is a little widening, rather short, tortuous corridor. The first part does not encircle the egg, neither is it lower-surface.The frass line is one third to one half of the width of the corridor. The sides of the corridor are smooth, not scalloped out. Mostly several mines in a leaf, not infrequently crossing each other. Pupation external, exit slit in the lower epidermis (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 bright yellow with a yellowish brown head and a brown spot on the prothorax. The ganglia of the ventral nervous system are conspicuous. SCS Brown (1947a) and Gustafsson and van Nieukerken (1990a) give a description of the larva (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. The male genitalia, but not the female genitalia (check for update), are illustrated by the Lepidoptera Dissection Group.

Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:

Betulaceae        
Betula       British leafminers
Betula nana Dwarf Birch British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Betula pendula Silver Birch British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Betula pubescens     Pitkin & Plant

Hosts elsewhere:

Betulaceae        
Betula alleghaniensis     Bladmineerders van Europa
Betula humilis     Bladmineerders van Europa
Betula maximowicziana     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, September - early November (British leafminers).

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: Britain including Bedfordshire (VC30), Buckinghamshire (VC24), Caernarvonshire (VC49), Cambridgeshire (VC29), Cheshire (VC58), Denbighshire (VC50), East Kent (VC15), East Ross (VC106), East Suffolk (VC25), East Sussex (VC14), East Sutherland (VC107), Forfar, Glamorganshire (VC41), Middlesex (VC21), North Aberdeenshire (VC93), North Essex (VC19), North Hampshire (VC12), Shropshire (VC40), South Aberdeenshire (VC92), South Wiltshire (VC8), Staffordshire (VC39), West Suffolk (VC26), Westmorland (VC69) and Worcestershire (VC37) (NBN Gateway).

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

Stigmella betulicola
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, Croatia, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Estonia, Finland, French mainland, Germany, Hungary, Italian mainland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Romania, Russia - Central, East and Northwest, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Ukraine and Yugoslavia. Also recorded in East Palaearctic (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Interactive Grid Maps of known host species:

Betula maximowicziana, Betula nana, Betula pendula, Betula pubescens

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Chalcidoidea  
Achrysocharoides niveipes (Thomson, 1878) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Chrysocharis amasis (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Chrysocharis acoris (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Chrysocharis budensis Erdös, 1954 Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Derostenus punctiscuta Thomson, 1878 Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Cirrospilus vittatus Walker, 1838 Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Ichneumonoidea  
Adelius subfasciatus Haliday, 1833 Braconidae: Cheloninae
Gnamptodon decoris (Förster, 1862) Braconidae: Gnamptodontinae
Gnamptodon pumilio (Nees, 1834) Braconidae: Gnamptodontinae
Mirax rufilabris Haliday, 1833 Braconidae: Miracinae


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 15-Sep-2016  Brian Pitkin Top of page