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


Ectoedemia agrimoniae (Frey, 1858)
[Lepidoptera: Nepticulidae]

Agrimony Pigmy

Nepticula agrimoniae Frey, 1858. Entomol. Weekly Intell. 4:43.
Ectoedemia agrimoniae
(Frey, 1858).

Leaf-miner: The initial gallery is twisted and can follow the leaf edge. It contains broken linear frass. it then widens to form a blotch or gallery, with scattered frass (British leafminers).

Oviposition on the leaf underside. There starts an initially strongly contorted narrow corridor with a linear interrupted frass line. This is continued in broad corridor or elongated blotch with dispersed frass. Often a number of mines in a leaf. Pupation inside the mine, in a a violet to blackish cocoon (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).

Greenish yellow, ganglia conspicuous, brown; head brown; ventral plates absent (Bladmineerders van Europa).

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

Pupation in the mine (British leafminers).

Adult: The adult is not illustrated in UKMoths (check for update). The species is included in

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Agrimonia eupatoria Agrimony British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Agrimonia eupatoria Agrimony British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant

Hosts elsewhere:

Agrimonia       Belgian Lepidoptera
Agrimonia eupatoria Agrimony British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Aremonia agrimonioides Bastard Agrimony   Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: August - November (British leafminers).

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: South-east England including East Kent, Isle of Wight and Middlesex
(NBN Atlas).

See also British leafminers distribution map.

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, French mainland, Germany, Greek mainland, Hungary, Italian mainland, Latvia, Republic of Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland and Ukraine (Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Agrimonia eupatoria, Aremonia agrimonioides

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Ichneumonoidea - Links to species no longer available  
Bracon osculator Nees, 1811 Braconidae: Braconinae
Gnamptodon decoris (Förster, 1862) Braconidae: Gnamptodontinae
Mirax rufilabris Haliday, 1833 Braconidae: Miracinae

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