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


Caloptilia robustella Jäckh, 1972
[Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae]

New Oak Slender

Caloptilia robustella Jäckh, 1972. Atti Acad. Sci. Torino 106 (4): 552, fig'd.

Leaf miner: Initially in short gallery becoming a blotch in the leaf. Later in up to three cones at the edge of the leaf (UKMoths).

The mines and cones are the same as for Caloptilia alchimiella and the moth needs to be bred out to confirm identity (British leafminers).

Mine indistinguishable from those of Caloptilia alchimiella (Bladmineerders van Europa).

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).

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

The pupa forms in a cocoon under a turned over leaf edge (British leafminers).

Adult: The adult is illustrated in UKMoths. The species is included in

Caloptilia robustella

Adult of Caloptilia robustella
Image: © Trevor & Dilys Pendleton (Eakring Birds)

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Castanea sativa Sweet Chestnut British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. UKMoths
Fagus       UKMoths
Quercus       British leafminers
Quercus       Pitkin & Plant
Quercus       UKMoths

Hosts elsewhere:

Fagus       Belgian Lepidoptera
Fagus sylvatica Beech British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Quercus       Belgian Lepidoptera
Quercus robur     Belgian Lepidoptera
Quercus robur     Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: May - July, September - October (British leafminers).

Time of year - adults: A number of generations, any time between April and November (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Britain including Hampshire (Fleet) (British leafminers), Bedford (Studham) (UKMoths); Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Caernarvonshire, Cambridgeshire, Carmarthenshire, Denbighshire, Derbyshire, Dorset, East Cornwall, East Kent, East Norfolk, East Suffolk, East Sussex, Glamorgan, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Isle of Wight, Leicestershire, Middlesex, Monmouthshire, North Devon, North Essex, North Hampshire, North Somerset, Oxfordshire, Shropshire, South Aberdeenshire, South Devon, South Hampshire, South Lancashire, South Wiltshire, South-west Yorkshire, Stafford, Surrey, Warwickshire, West Gloucestershire, West Norfolk, West Suffolk and Worcestershire (NBN Atlas). See also British leafminers distribution map.

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

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Austria, Balearic Is., Belgium, Canary Is., Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Estonia, Finland, French mainland, Germany, Hungary, Italian mainland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Romania, Russia - Central, Sardinia, Sicily, Slovakia, Spanish mainland, Sweden, Switzerland and The Netherlands (Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Castanea sativa

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Ichneumonoidea - Links to species no longer available  
Rhysipolis decorator (Haliday, 1836) Braconidae: Rhysipolinae
Rhysipolis meditator (Haliday, 1836) Braconidae: Rhysipolinae
Diadegma stigmatellae Horstmann, 1980 Ichneumonidae: Campopleginae
Diaglyptidea conformis (Gmelin, 1790) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae
Scambus inanis (Schrank, 1802) Ichneumonidae: Pimplinae

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 11-Jul-2019  Brian Pitkin Top of page