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


Bohemannia pulverosella (Stainton, 1849)
[Lepidoptera: Nepticulidae]

Dusty Apple Pigmy

Trifurcula pulverosella Stainton, 1849. Cat. Brit. Lep. Pterophoridae: 30
Bohemannia pulverosella
(Stainton, 1849).

Leaf-miner: The larvae create a distinctive blotch mine in the leaves of apple (Malus). The larva cuts an exit hole on the underside of the leaf, which distuingishes the mine from that of Ectoedemia atricollis (UKMoths).

Egg either at upperside or underside of the leaf, close to the leaf margin. The mine begins as a narrow corridor which is strongly contorted, unless it lies close to the leaf margin. The corridor abruptly widens into an elongate blotch, that often runs over the initial corridor. The frass is brown; it almost fills the initial corridor; in the blotch it is concentrated in its first section. Pupation external; exit slit invariably in the lower epidermis. In Ectoedemia atricollis, of which the mine bears some resemblance to the one of pulverosella the exit slit is in the upper epidermis; moreover, atricollis is much later in the year (Bladmineerders van Europa).

The gallery leads to large brownish blotch (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).

Larva yellow, head pale brown (British leafminers). Yellow (Emmet, 1983a); Gustafsson and van Nieukerken (1990a) give a description of the larva (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 species is included in

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Malus       Pitkin & Plant
Malus       British leafminers
Malus       UKMoths

Hosts elsewhere:

Malus pumila Apple British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al.

Bladmineerders van Europa, as Malus domestica

Malus sylvestris Crab Apple British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Malus x purpurea     Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: June and July (UKMoths; British leafminers).

Time of year - adults: May (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Fairly well distributed in the British Isles, including Anglesey, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Cheshire, Denbighshire, Derbyshire, Dorset, Dumfriesshire, Dunbartonshire, Durham, East Cornwall, East Kent, East Norfolk, East Suffolk, Glamorgan, Haddington, Hertfordshire, Isle of Wight, Kincardineshire, Kirkudbrightshire, Linlithgow, North Aberdeenshire, North Devon, North Hampshire, North Northumberland, North Somerset, North-west Yorkshire, Shropshire, South Aberdeenshire, South Wiltshire, Stafford, Sitrling, West Cornwall, West Gloucestershire, West Norfolk, West Suffolk, Wigtownshire and Worcestershire (NBN Atlas) and Ireland (Fauna Europaea).

See also British leafminers distribution map.

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

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

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Malus pumila, Malus x purpurea, Malus sylvestris

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Chrysocharis prodice (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Ichneumonoidea - Links to species no longer available  
Gnamptodon decoris (Förster, 1862) Braconidae: Gnamptodontinae

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