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


Heliozela resplendella (Stainton, 1851)
[Lepidoptera: Heliozelidae]

Alder Lift

Aechmia resplendella Stainton, 1851. Suppl. Cat. Brit. Tin. Pteroph.: 6.
Heliozela resplendella
(Stainton, 1851).

Leaf-miner: The mine formed in the leaf-veins and midrib leads to an oval blotch (British leafminers). When fully fed, the larva cuts out an oval case, in which it descends to the ground and pupates (UKMoths).

The mine begins in one of the more heavy veins of a leaf. Boring in the vein the larva descends towards the midrib. Often in this process the larva moves from one thick vein to another by way of a hair-thin transverse corridor. Once in the midrib the larva descends, not rarely even for one or two cm into the petiole (one can see that by cleaving a petiole). Finally the larva returns into the leaf by way of the midrib, and makes a short, full depth, quickly widening corridor with a clear central line of frass. In the end an oval excision of made of about 2 x 5 mm, in which the larva drops to the ground (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).

Described by Patočka and Turčáni (2005a) (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:

Alnus       British leafminers
Alnus       UKMoths
Alnus glutinosa Alder British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant

Hosts elsewhere:

Alnus glutinosa Alder British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Belgian Lepidoptera
Alnus glutinosa Alder British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Alnus x hybrida    

Bladmineerders van Europa, as Alnus glutinosa x incana

Alnus incana Grey Alder British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

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

Time of year - adults: The adult moths fly in a single generation from late May to July, often in sunshine around alder branches (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: The moth is widespread and locally common throughout England, Wales and parts of Southern Scotland (UKMoths) including Banffshire, Bedfordshire, Breconshire, Cambridgeshire, Cardiganshire, Carmarthenshire, Cheshire, Denbighshire, Derbyshire, Dumfriesshire, Dunbartonshire, Durham, East Cornwall, East Kent, East Norfolk, East Ross, East Suffolk, Glamorgan, Haddington, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Isle of Wight, Kincardineshire, Merionethshire, Middlesex, North Devon, North Ebudes, North Hampshire, North Northumberland, Pembrokeshire, Shropshire, South Aberdeenshire, South Northumberland, South Wiltshire, South-west Yorkshire, Stafford, Stirlingshire, Warwickshire, West Cornwall, West Norfolk, West Suffolk, Westmorland, Wigtownshire and Worcestershire (NBN Atlas).

See also British leafminers distribution map.

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

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Austria, Belgium, Corsica, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Estonia, Finland, French mainland, Germany, Hungary, Kaliningrad Region, Latvia, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Romania, Russia - Central and North, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland and The Netherlands (Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Alnus glutinosa, Alnus x hybrida, Alnus incana

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere: Currently unknown.

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