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


Cosmopterix schmidiella Frey, 1856
[Lepidoptera: Cosmopterigidae]

Vivid Cosmet

Cosmopterix schmidiella Frey, 1856. Tin. Schweiz.: 257.

Leaf-miner: Large blotch, that may occupy an entire leaflet. During feeding pauses the larva rests in a silken resting place above the midrib, and is well hidden then. Pupation outside the mine (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).

Head brown, mouthparts darker. Body (and thoracic feet) pale orange-yellow, purple dotted length lines dorsally and laterally. Prothoracic plate black, divided (Koster, 2002c) (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:

Vicia sepium Bush Vetch British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant

Hosts elsewhere:

Lathyrus montanus Bitter-vetch   Bladmineerders van Europa
Lathyrus niger Black Pea   Bladmineerders van Europa
Vicia sepium Bush Vetch British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Vicia pisiformis     Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: Currently unknown.

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Britain including Dorset (NBN Atlas).

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Austria, Czech Republic, French mainland, Germany, Romania, Russia - Central, Slovakia, Spanish mainland and Switzerland (Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Lathyrus montanus, Lathyrus niger, Vicia sepium

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere: Currently unknown.

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 16-Oct-2019  Brian Pitkin Top of page