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


Orchestes quercus (Linnaeus, 1758)
[Coleoptera : Curculionidae]

Curculio quercus Linnaeus, 1758
Curculio saltatorulmi
De Geer, 1775
Curculio viminalis Fabricius, 1775.
Curculio setosus Müller, 1776.
Curculio ulmi Goeze, 1777.
Curculio multidentatus Gmelin, 1790.
Curculio alni
Herbst, 1795
Curculio monedula
Herbst, 1795
Curculio depressus
Marsham, 1802.
Orchestes quercus
(Linnaeus, 1758).

Leaf-miner: Oviposition in the underside of the midrib or, more rarely, a thick lateral vein. Here a conspicuous scar remains. Form this point a corridor starts, first within the midrib, later running freely in the leaf into the direction of the leaf tip, gradually widening. In the end a large blotch is formed. Frass in thread fragments, pasted to the upper epidermis. The mature larva, within the mine, extrudes a liquid that hardens and forms a globular cocoon in which the pupation takes place. Old mines mostly completely wither away, but their former presence remains recognisable in the cleft leaf tip, in combination with the old oviposition scar (Bladmineerders van Europa).

A gallery running from the mid-rib and developing into a full depth blotch at or towards the tip of the leaf (British leafminers).

Larva: The larvae of beetles have a head capsule and chewing mouthparts with opposable mandibles and lack abdominal legs (see examples).

The larva is illustrated in British leafminers and Bladmineerders van Europa.

Orchestes quercus larva,  dorsal
Orchestes quercus larva, dorsal
Image: © Willem Ellis (Bladmineerders van Europa)

Pupa: The pupae of beetles have visible head appendages, wings and legs which lie in sheaths (see examples).

Pupation inside the mine, in a spherical cocoon (British leafminers).

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Quercus       British leafminers
Quercus       Pitkin & Plant

Hosts elsewhere:

Quercus cerris Turkey Oak British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Quercus frainetto     Bladmineerders van Europa
Quercus lanuginosa     Bladmineerders van Europa
Quercus petraea Sessile Oak British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Quercus pubescens     Bladmineerders van Europa
Quercus robur Pedunculate Oak British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Quercus rubra Red Oak British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: Univoltine: early Summer (British leafminers).

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Widespread in Britain including Ayrshire, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Caernarvonshire, Cambridgeshire, Cardiganshire, Carmarthenshire, Cheshire, Cumberland, Denbighshire, Derbyshire, Dumfriesshire, East Gloucestershire, East Kent, East Norfolk, East Ross, East Suffolk, East Sussex, East Sutherland, Easterness, Flintshire, Glamorgan, Herefordshire, Isle of Man, Kirkudbrightshire, Leicestershire, Main Argyll, Merionethshire, Mid-west Yorkshire, Monmouthshire, Montgomeryshire, North Ebudes, North Essex, North Somerset, North Wiltshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Pembrokeshire, Radnorshire, Shropshire, South Aberdeenshire, South Hampshire, South Lancashire, South-east Yorkshire, South-west Yorkshire, Stafford, Surrey, West Kent, West Norfolk, West Ross, West Suffolk, West Sussex, West Sutherland and Westmorland (NBN Atlas).

Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland (Fauna Europaea) and in Ireland (InvertebrateIreland Online).

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Corsica, French mainland, Germany, Italian mainland, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia - Central and South, Sardinia, Sicily, Slovakia, Ukraine and Yugoslavia. Also recorded in the Near East (Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Quercus cerris, Quercus frainetto, Quercus petraea, Quercus robur, Quercus rubra

British Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Cirrospilus diallus Walker, 1838 Eulophidae: Eulophinae

External links: Search the internet:

Biodiversity Heritage Library
Bladmineerders van Europa
British leafminers
Encyclopedia of Life, as Curculio quercus
Fauna Europaea
NBN Atlas
NHM UK Checklist

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