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 nemorivaga (Tengström, 1848)
[Lepidoptera: Tortricidae]

Bearberry Bell

Paedisca nemorivaga Tengström, 1848. Not. Sallsk. fauna. Fenn. 1: 88
Epinotia rhododendrana
Herrich-Schäffer, 1851. Syst. Bearb. Schmett. Europ. 4: 281.
Epinotia nemorivaga
(Tengström, 1848).

Leaf-miner: Larva mines the leaves turning the upper part from red to black. In the spring the larva spins the leaves together and then mines the leaves- creating bladder mines (British leafminers).

The larva begins by making a corridor that generally traverses the leaf perpendicularly, and later remains visible as a brown ridge. Upon arrival at the other side this corridor is vacated through an unitidy hole (In some instances an exuvium was found here). Next the larva makes a a large, untidy full depth blotch, either in the same leaf or in a neighbouring one. The blotch, that may occupy the entire leaf, contains many coarse, oval, frass grains. The larva leaves the blotch through a large circular opening. Before moving to a new leaf to old and the new are connected with silk (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).

Comparatively large, dull grey-green with blackish-brown feet, pinacula, and thoracic plate. The head is shining black, the anal plate is light brown (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:

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi Bearberry   Pitkin & Plant
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi Bearberry   British leafminers
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi Bearberry   UKMoths

Hosts elsewhere:

Arctostaphylos alpinus Alpine Bearberry   Bladmineerders van Europa
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi Bearberry   Bladmineerders van Europa

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

Time of year - adults: The adult moths are on the wing in June and July, and can be found flying on sunny afternoons (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: A species generally of high moorland and mountains, occurring in Scotland from Perth northwards (UKMoths) including Cardiganshire, Easterness, Kincardineshire, South Aberdeen and West Ross (NBN Atlas).

Also recorded iin the Republic of Ireland (National Biodiversity Data Centre Map).

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Austria, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Estonia, Finland, French mainland, Germany, Italian mainland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Russia - North and Northwest, Slovakia, Spanish mainland, Sweden and Switzerland (Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Arctostaphylos alpinus, Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Ichneumonoidea - Links to species no longer available  
Apanteles contaminatus (Haliday, 1834) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Dolichogenidea lineipes (Wesmael, 1837)) Braconidae: Microgastrinae

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