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 carpinella (Heinemann, 1862)
[Lepidoptera: Nepticulidae]

Hornbeam Pigmy

Nepticula carpinella Heinemann, 1862. Wien. ent. Monats. 6: 251.
Stigmella carpinella
(Heinemann, 1862).

Leaf-miner: Oviposition at the underside of the leaf, in the axil of a vein. The mine is a not very slender corridor. The first part is almost filled with frass; in the later part the frass lies in thick lumps. The trajectory of the mine is not angular, neither is it determined by the leaf venation. The discrimination between this mine and the one of Stigmella floslactella is difficult (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Mine of Stigmella carpinells
Mine of Stigmella carpinella on Carpinus betulus
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).

Yellow; see the description by Gustafsson and van Nieukerken (1990a) (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 not illustrated in UKMoths (check for update). The species is included in

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Carpinus betulus Hornbeam British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Carpinus betulus Hornbeam British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant

Hosts elsewhere:

Carpinus betulus Hornbeam British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Carpinus orientalis     Bladmineerders van Europa
Ostrya carpinifolia     Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: Larvae in Scandinavia in June-beginning of July and from August to late in the autumn (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Britain including West Kent (NBN Atlas). See also British leafminers distribution map.

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Germany, ? Greek mainland, Hungary, ? Italian mainland, Lithuania, ? Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Ukraine (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Carpinus betulus, Ostrya carpinifolia

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Derostenus punctiscuta Thomson, 1878 Eulophidae: Entedoninae
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 Atlas
NHM UK Checklist
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Last updated 26-Apr-2018  Brian Pitkin Top of page