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 desperatella (Frey, 1856)
[Lepidoptera: Nepticulidae]

Scarce Apple Pigmy


Nepticula desperatella Frey, 1856. Tin. Pteroph. Schweiz.: 374.
Stigmella desperatella
(Frey, 1856).


Leaf-miner: Egg either at upperside or underside of the leaf. The mine begins as a narrow cooridor, often following a vein or the leaf margin. Later sections of the corridor are mch wider and contorted, mostly forming a secondary blotch. Frass in a narrow central line, sometimes a bit broader towards then end of the mine. Often several mines a a leaf (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Initially the long slender gallery, with a thin central frass line, may follow the leaf edge. It then widens suddenly and twists to form a blotch-like mine. The frass is still in a thin central line with clear margins to the gallery. The mine may be confused with S.malella but with this species the larva is yellow whereas with desperatella it is green. There may be several mines in a leaf. Vacated mines cannot be identiufied with certainty (British leafminers).

Mine of Stigmella desperatella on Malus sylvestris
Mine of Stigmella desperatella on Malus sylvestris
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).The larva is green; this distinguishes the species from malella, that also lives on apple, but has a green larva.

Also magadelenae may be found on apple, and this species has green larvae. The only reliable difference is that the larva of magadelenae has a field of fine spinules on abdomen 9, that is lacking in desperatella (Emmet, 1983a; 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 genitalia are not illustrated by the Lepidoptera Dissection Group (check for update).

Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:

Rosaceae        
Malus       Pitkin & Plant
Pyrus communis Pear   Pitkin & Plant

Hosts elsewhere:

Rosaceae        
Malus baccata Siberian Crab   Bladmineerders van Europa
Malus pumila Apple British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al.

Bladmineerders van Europa, as Malus domestica

Malus sylvestris Crab Apple British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Pyrus communis Pear   Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: Currently unknown.

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: Britain (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea). See also British leafminers distribution map.

NBN Grid Map:

NBN Grid Map

Stigmella desperatella
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, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, French mainland, Germany, Hungary, Italian mainland, Lithuania, Republic of Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland and Ukraine (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Interactive Grid Maps of known host species:

Malus baccata, Malus pumila, Malus sylvestris, Pyrus communis

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Ichneumonoidea  
Adelius subfasciatus Haliday, 1833 Braconidae: Cheloninae


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