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


Dichomeris marginella (Fabricius, 1781)
[Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae]

Juniper Webber

Dichomeris marginella (Fabricius, 1781)

Leaf-miner: The young larvae mine one or two needles. Later they live free in a communal web in which also much frass and remants of needles are stuck (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 Bladmineerders van Europa.

Larvae of Dichomeris marginella
Larvae of Dichomeris marginella on Juniperus
Image: Connecticut Agricultural Experiment
Station Archive (Bladmineerders van Europa)

Pupa: The pupae of moths have visible head appendages, wings and legs which lie in sheaths (see examples). See Patočka & Turčáni (2005a).

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

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland: Currently unknown.

Hosts elsewhere:

Juniperus       Belgian Lepidoptera
Juniperus       Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: Mining larvae in mid-summer; free living larvae till early summer of the following year (Freeman, 1967a) (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Time of year - adults: Flies at night in July and August, coming to light (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: It occurs in suitable habitat in much of England, and in southern Ireland (UKMoths). Widespread including Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Caernarvonshire, Cambridgeshire, Denbighshire, Dorset, East Kent, East Norfolk, East Suffolk, East Sussex, Glamorgan, Herefordshire, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Isle of Wight, Leicesetershire, Middlesex, North Hampshire, North Somerset, Nottinghamshire, Shropshire, South Hampshire, South Lancashire, South-west Yorkshire, Stafford, Surrey, West Gloucestershire, West Lancashire, West Norfolk, West Suffolk, Westmorland (NBN Atlas).

Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland and Channel Islands (Fauna Europaea).

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Corsica, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Dodecanese Is., Estonia, Finland, French mainland, Germany, Greek mainland, Hungary, Italian mainland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Russia - Central, East, and Northwest, Slovakia, Spanish mainland, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Ukraine (Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species: Host species unknown.

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

External links: Search the internet:

Belgian Lepidoptera
Biodiversity Heritage Library
British leafminers
Bladmineerders van Europa
Encyclopedia of Life
Fauna Europaea
NBN Atlas
NHM UK Checklist

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Last updated 16-Oct-2019  Brian Pitkin Top of page