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 pygmaeana (Hübner, 1799)
[Lepidoptera: Tortricidae]

Dingy Spruce Bell

Tortrix pygmaeana Hübner, 1799. Europ Schmett. Tort.: 69.
Epinotia pygmaeana
(Hübner, 1799).

Leaf-miner: Groups of young needles are completely mined out by the young larvae. Between the needles only a few strands of silk (often also bud scales are trapped in the silk). Later in summer the larva lives free among spun needles (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).

Light greenish, with black brown head and pronotum. Anal comb present, c. 6 prongs. Pinacula moderately large, concolorous with the integument. Prolegs with c. 45 crochets in a double row (Bradley et al., 1979a; Grandi 1931a, 1933a; Swatschek, 1958a) (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 by Graham Featherstone. The species is included in

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Abies       Pitkin & Plant
Picea       Pitkin & Plant

Hosts elsewhere:

Abies alba European Silver-fir British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Picea abies Norway Spruce British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al.

Bladmineerders van Europa

Picea sitchensis Sitka Spruce British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: Spring (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Britain including Bedfordshire, Breconshire, Buckinghamshire, Caernarvonshire, Cardiganshire, Denbighshire, Dorset, Dunbartonshire, East Cornwall, East Norfollk, East Suffolk, Flintshire, Glamorgan, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Kirkudbrightshire, Middlesex, North Aberdeenshire, North Somerset, Shropshire, South Aberdeenshire, South-west Yorkshire, Stafford, West Norfolk and West Suffolk (NBN Atlas).

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

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Estonia, Finland, French mainland, Germany, Hungary, Italian mainland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Romania, Russia - Central, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland and The Netherlands. Also recorded in East Palaearctic (Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Abies alba, Picea abies, Picea sitchensis

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Dibrachys microgastri (Bouché, 1834) Pteromalidae: Pteromalinae
Psychophagus omnivorus (Walker, 1835) Pteromalidae: Pteromalinae
Trichogramma evanescens Westwood, 1833 Trichogrammatidae: Trichogrammatinae
Ichneumonoidea - Links to species no longer available  
Coeloides abdominalis (Zetterstedt, 1838) Braconidae: Braconinae
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

Find using Google
Find using Google Scholar
Find images using Google

XHTML Validator
Last updated 18-Oct-2019  Brian Pitkin Top of page