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


Epinotia fraternana (Haworth, 1811)
[Lepidoptera: Tortricidae]

Silver-barred Bell

Tortrix fraternana Haworth, 1811. Lep. Brit.: 449.
Epinotia fraternana
(Haworth, 1811).

Leaf-miner: Egg generally at the upperside of the tip of a needle. The larva spins a number of needles together in a more or less conical spinning, then mines out one needle after the other. The larva enters and leaves a needle through the same opening, mostly in the distal half of the needle. Most frass is ejected, part of it is trapped in the spinning. During feeding the larva pauses to rest in the mine. Most mines in the older needles. Pupation external (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).

Body light green; head, pronotum and anal plate light brown; anal comb present, brown, with 4-7 prongs; thoracic legs green; pinacula brown (Bradley et al., 1979a; Patocka, 1960a) (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 illustrated in UKMoths. The species is included in

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Abies       Pitkin & Plant

Hosts elsewhere:

Abies alba European Silver-fir British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Abies grandis Giant Fir   Bladmineerders van Europa
Abies cephalonica Grecian fir   Bladmineerders van Europa
Abies nordmanniana Caucasian Fir   Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: August - October; overwintering as larva, pupating in spring (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Widespread in Britain including Dorset, East Cornwall, Herefordshire, Montgomeryshire, North Aberdeenshire, Shropshire, South Aberdeenshire, South Hampshire, Stafford, West Norfolk and Worcestershire (NBN Atlas).

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

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, French mainland, Greek mainland, Hungary, Italian mainland, Latvia, Luxembourg, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spanish mainland, Sweden, Switzerland and The Netherlands (Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Abies alba, Abies grandis, Abies cephalonica, Abies nordmanniana

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Elachertus fenestratus Nees, 1834 Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Ichneumonoidea - Links to species no longer available  
Lissonota dubia Holmgren, 1856 Ichneumonidae: Banchinae

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 18-Oct-2019  Brian Pitkin Top of page