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 zieglerella (Hübner, 1810)
[Lepidoptera: Cosmopterigidae]

Hedge Cosmet

Tinea zieglerella Hübner, 1810. Samml. Europ. Schmett.Tin.: 306, pl. 44
Gracillaria eximia Haworth, 1828. Lep. Brit.: 532
Cosmopterix zieglerella (Hübner, 1810).

Leaf-miner: The larva makes a gallery by a vein or along the midrib and feeding branches can be seen emanating from this (British leafminers).

Broad full depth corridor overlying the main veins, with broad lobe-like, transparent, extensions into the blade. The corridor itself is quite opaque, white, later brown. The corridors, but not the extensions, are covered with silk at their inside. Almost all frass is ejected from the mine; grains may be seen trapped in silk below the mine. The larva rests lengthwise upon a vein and is very inconspicuous 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).

The larva is illustrated in British leafminers and Bladmineerders van Europa.

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

Pupation in detritus on the ground. The larva hibernates in its cocoon before it pupates (British leafminers).

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

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Humulus lupulus Hop British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Humulus lupulus Hop British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant

Hosts elsewhere:

Humulus lupulus Hop British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Belgian Lepidoptera
Humulus lupulus Hop British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

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

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Britain including East Norfolk, East Suffolk, Huntingdonshire, Isle of Wight, Stafford, Surrey, West Kent, West Norfolk and West Suffolk (NBN Atlas).

See also British leafminers distribution map.

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Estonia, French mainland, Germany, Hungary, Italian mainland, Latvia, Republic of Moldova, Poland, Portuguese mainland, Romania, Slovakia, Spanish mainland, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Ukraine and Yugoslavia (Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Humulus lupulus

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Ichneumonoidea - Links to species no longer available  
Rhysipolis hariolator (Haliday, 1836) Braconidae: Rhysipolinae
Porizon humuli (Horstmann, 1987) Ichneumonidae: Campopleginae

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