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 floslactella (Haworth, 1828)
[Lepidoptera: Nepticulidae]

Coarse Hazel Pigmy

Tinea floslactella Haworth, 1828. Lep. Brit.: 585.
Stigmella floslactella
(Haworth, 1828).

Leaf-miner: The early gallery is filled with frass, later leaving clear margins (British leafminers).

Like Stigmella microtheriella the larva feeds on hazel or hornbeam, and its mines are often found alongside that species in the same leaf. However the mines of S. floslactella are generally wider, less angular and contain more scattered frass than those of S. microtheriella (UKMoths).

Oviposition at the underside of the leaf, in a vein axil. Mine a slender, gradually widening corridor; the last section is clearly wider than the larva. In the first section the vaguely delimited frass line almost fills the corridor. Later the frass lies in irregular arcs and clouds, filling about one third of the width of the corridor. The trajectory of the mine is not angular, independent of the leaf venation. Pupation external, exit slit in the upper 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 a dull yellow, head pale brown (British leafminers).

Pale greenish to pale yellowish; see also Gustafsson and van Nieukerken (1990a) for a description. Contary to microtheriella the metanotum has a broad zone of fine spinules (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 by Rob Edmunds. The species is included in

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Betula       Emmet, 1974a
Carpinus       British leafminers
Carpinus       UKMoths
Carpinus betulus Hornbeam British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Corylus       British leafminers
Corylus       UKMoths
Corylus avellana Hazel 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
Corylus avellana Hazel British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Corylus maxima Filbert   Bladmineerders van Europa
Ostrya carpinifolia     Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: June - July, September - October (British leafminers; UKMoths).

Time of year - adults: There are two generations, with adults on the wing in May and August (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: A widespread and fairly common species across most of the British Isles (UKMoths) including Banffshire, Bedfordshire, Breconshire, Buckinghamshire, Caernarvonshire, Cambridgeshire, Cheshire, Denbighshire, Derbyshire, East Kent, East Norfolk, East Ross, East Suffolk, East Sutherland, Glamorgan, Herefordshire, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Kincardineshire, Mid-west Yorkshire, Middlesex, Monmouthshire, North Aberdeenshire, North Devon, North Ebudes, North Essex, North Hampshire, North Somerset, Radnorshire, Shropshire, South Aberdeenshire, South Essex, South Hampshire, South Lancashire, South Wiltshire, Stafford, Surrey, Warwickshire, West Gloucestershire, West Kent, West Lancashire, West Norfolk, West Suffolk, Westerness, Westmorland and Worcestershire (NBN Atlas).

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.

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Estonia, Finland, French mainland, Germany, Hungary, Italian mainland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Romania, Russia - Central and East, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spanish mainland, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Ukraine (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Carpinus betulus, Corylus avellana, Corylus maxima, Ostrya carpinifolia

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Chrysocharis acoris (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Chrysocharis budensis Erdös, 1954 Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Chrysocharis nephereus (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Chrysocharis prodice (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Derostenus gemmeus Westwood, 1840 Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Derostenus punctiscuta Thomson, 1878 Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Cirrospilus vittatus Walker, 1838 Eulophidae: Eulophinae
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