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


Adscita statices (Linnaeus, 1758)
[Lepidoptera: Zygaenidae]

The Forester

Sphinx statices Linnaeus, 1758. Syst. Nat. (ed. 10) 1: 495, no. 38
Procris heuseri Reichl, 1964
Adscita statices
(Linnaeus, 1758).

Leaf-miner: The larva initially mines a leaf of Common sorrel (Rumex acetosa) in July and August, and then feeds externally on lower leaves until May, when it pupates in a cocoon near the ground among vegetation (UKMoths).

Young larvae make a number of rather large, untidy full depth mines. The mines contain little or no frass. The lower-surface opening, by which the larva has entered the mine, is irregularly roundish. Older larvae live free on the plant (Bladmineerders van Europa).

The mine is illustrated in 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).

See Tremewan (1985a) (Bladmineerders van Europa).

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

Pupates in a cocoon near the ground (Belgian Lepidoptera). Described by Patočka and Turčáni (2005a) (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Adult: The adult is illustrated in UKMoths (by David Painter) and the Encyclopedia of Life. The species is included in

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Rumex acetosa Common Sorrel British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Rumex acetosa Common Sorrel British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. UKMoths
Rumex acetosella Sheep's Sorrel British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British Leafminers

Hosts elsewhere:

Rumex     British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Belgian Lepidoptera
Rumex acetosa Common Sorrel British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Rumex acetosella Sheep's Sorrel British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: July until May the following year (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Time of year - adults: May, July - August (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Britain including Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Breconshire, Buckinghamshire, Caernarvonshire, Cardiganshire, Carmarthenshire, Cheshire, Cumberland, Denbighshire, Derbyshire, Dorset, Durham, East Cornwall, East Gloucestershire, East Kent, East Norfolk, East Suffolk, East Sussex, Glamorgan, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Isle of Wight, Kirkudbrightshire, Leicestershire, Main Argyll, Merionethshire, Mid Ebudes, Mid-west Yorkshire, Middlesex, Montgomeryshire, North Hampshire, North Lincolnshire, North Somerset, North Wiltshire, North-east Yorkshire, North-west Yorkshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Radnorshire, Pembrokeshire, Radnorshire, Roxburgh, Shropshire, South Devon, South Essex, South Hampshire, South Lancashire, South Lincolnshire, South Somerset, South Wiltshire, South-east Yorkshire, South-west Yorkshire, Stafford, Surrey, Warwickshire, West Cornwall, WestGloucestershire, West Kent, West Lancashire, West Norfolk, West Suffolk, West Sussex, Westmorland and Worcestershire (NBN Atlas) and the Channel Is. (Fauna Europaea).

Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland (Fauna Europaea and National Biodiversity Data Centre Map).

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Estonia, European Turkey, Finland, Germany, Greek mainland, Hungary, Italian mainland, Kaliningrad Region, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Republic of Moldova, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Romania, Russia - Central, East, North, Northwest and South, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spanish mainland, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Ukraine and Yugoslavia (Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Rumex acetosa, Rumex acetosella

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Ichneumonoidea - Links to species no longer available  
Cotesia geryonis (Marshall, 1885) Braconidae: Microgastrinae

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 10-Jul-2019  Brian Pitkin Top of page