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


Etainia louisella (Sircom, 1849)
[Lepidoptera: Nepticulidae]

Maple-seed Pigmy

Nepticula louisella Sircom, 1849. Zoologist 7: 42
Nepticula sphendamni
Hering, 1957. Die blad-minen Mittel und Nord-Europas: 561 (note).
Ectoedemia louisella
(Sircom, 1849)
Etainia louisella (Sircom, 1849).

Samara-miner: The larva feeds on buds in the spring. In the Summer it feeds on seeds forming a gallery in the wing (British leafminers).

Oviposition on the wing of a key (samara). The larva makes a short superfical corridor (sometime only the egg is visible) running towards the seed. Finally the seed is eaten out. Attacked fruits remain on the plant (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).

Pale amber, head yellowish (Emmet, 1983a; Bladmineerders van Europa).

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

Pupation in a brownish cocoon, often on the stem (Bladmineerders van Europa).

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

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Acer campestre Field Maple British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers

Hosts elsewhere:

Acer campestre Field Maple British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Acer tataricum Tartar Maple   Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: June, August - September, October (British leafminers).

Time of year - adults: Emmet (1983a) speculates that in the UK sometimes two summer generation occur (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Widespread in Britain including Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Dorset, East Norfolk, East Suffolk, Glamorgan, Huntingdonshire, Isle of Wight, Leicestershire, Middlesex, North Somerset, Shropshire, West Gloucestershire, West Kent, West Suffolk and Worcestershire (NBN Atlas).

See also British leafminers distribution map.

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Germany, Hungary, Italian mainland, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland and Ukraine (Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Acer campestre, Acer tataricum

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Adelius erythronotus (Förster, 1851) Braconidae: Cheloninae

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 17-Oct-2019  Brian Pitkin Top of page