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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Syncopacma albipalpella (Herrich-Schäffer, 1855)
[Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae]

Slate Sober

Anacampsis albipalpella Herrich-Schäffer, 1855. Schmett. Europ. 5: 195.
Syncopacma albipalpella
(Herrich-Schäffer, 1855).

Leaf-miner/Leaf-spinner: The larva lives among spun leaves, mining them from this position by gnawing irregular, more or less oval holes in the epidermis and eating from there the leaf tissue. Obviously, the mines contain little or no frass (Bladmineerders van Europa).

The leaves are spun together and mined. There is no frass in the mines and the larvae enter through holes they make. The leaves become yellowish in colour (British leafminers).

Mine of Syncopacma albipalpella on Genista anglica
Mine of Syncopacma albipalpella on Genista anglica
Image: © Rob Edmunds (British leafminers)

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).

Body dull crimson, but thorax 2 to abdomen 2 light ochreous-yellow; pinacula minuta, black. Head and prothoracic plate light yellowish-brown, latter with some black markings. Thoracic legs and anal plate black (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:

Genista anglica Petty Whin British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant

Hosts elsewhere:

Genista anglica Petty Whin British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Genista tinctoria Dyer's Greenweed British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: Currently unknown.

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: Britain including East Suffolk, East Sussex, Hertfordshore, North-east Yorkshire and West Norfolk (NBN Atlas).

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Austria, Belgium, French mainland, Germany, ? Hungary, Italian mainland, ? Sicily, Spanish mainland and The Netherlands (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Genista anglica, Genista tinctoria

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 Atlas
NHM UK Checklist
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Find using Google Scholar
Find images using Google

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Last updated 25-Nov-2017  Brian Pitkin Top of page