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


RHODODENDRON. Rhododendrons. [Ericaceae]

Seven species of Rhododendron are recorded in Britain. All are introduced.

Only one British miner is recorded on Rhododendron.

A key to the European miners recorded on Rhododendron is provided in Bladmineerders van Europa.

Rhododendron - Rhododendron ponticum. Image: © Linda Pitkin
Rhododendron ponticum

Key for the identification of the known mines of British
insects (Diptera and non-Diptera) recorded on Rhododendron

1 > Leaf-miner: The larvae initially form mines in leaves, later forming a cone by rolling the leaf downwards from the tip. Orange brown to rust-coloured lower-surface blotch, mostly near the midrib. Towards the end of the mining activity silk is deposited in the mine; this causes the mine to contract, folding the leaf over the mine. Frass packed in a corner of the mine. After some time the larva vacates the mine and lives free then in a leaf tip that has been rolled downwards and fixed with silk. Two of such cones are made and eaten out from the inside. Pupation in a membranous, shining cocoon at the underside of a leaf.

On Rhododendron in Britain and elsewhere. This moth is an adventive species, probably introduced with azalea and rhodedendron plants, that is now spreading throughout Britain. Widespread in continental Europe.

Caloptilia azaleella (Brants, 1913) [Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae].

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