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


Leucoptera laburnella (Stainton, 1851)
[Lepidoptera: Lyonetiidae]

Laburnum Leaf Miner

Cemiostoma laburnella Stainton, 1851. Cat. Suppl.: 11.
Cemiostoma wailesella
Stainton, 1858. Weekly Int. 4: 44.
Leucoptera laburnella
(Stainton, 1851).

Leaf-miner: An irregular gallery filled with greenish frass, leading to a circular or oval blotch with blackish frass arranged in a spiral fashion (British leafminers).

The very first part of the mine is a densely contorted corridor of about 2 mm long, that quickly turns brown. It is followed by a more or less straight corridor of c. 10 mm, entirely filled with greyish green frass. This suddenly widens into a round blotch that during its expansion overruns the earlier corridor and in the end may occupy half of a Laburnum leaflet. The frass, greenish at first, black later, is deposited in the bloth in roughly concentric arcs, glued to the upper epidermis. Pupation external, exit slit in upper epidermis (Bladmineerders van Europa).

The mine is also illustrated in UKMoths.

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).

The larva is illustrated in British leafminers, UKMoths and Bladmineerders van Europa.

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

The larva is described by Patocka (2000a) and Patocka and Turcani (2005a); rear half of abd. 8 scabrous (difference with L. genistae) (Bladmineerders van Europa).

The pupa is also described in British leafminers and UKMoths.

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

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Cytisus battandieri Pineapple Broom   Pitkin & Plant
Genista tinctoria Dyer's Greenweed British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Genista tinctoria Dyer's Greenweed British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Genista tinctoria Dyer's Greenweed British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. UKMoths
Laburnum       British leafminers
Laburnum       UKMoths
Laburnum anagyroides Laburnum British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Lupinus       British leafminers
Lupinus       Pitkin & Plant
Piptanthus laburnifolius Evergreen Laburnum   Pitkin & Plant

Hosts elsewhere:

Astragalus       Bladmineerders van Europa
Chamaecytisus supinus     Bladmineerders van Europa
Genista alpinus     Bladmineerders van Europa
Genista tinctoria Dyer's Greenweed British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Belgian Lepidoptera
Laburnum       Belgian Lepidoptera
Laburnum anagyroides Laburnum British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Laburnocytisus adamii     Bladmineerders van Europa
Lupinus polyphyllyus Garden Lupin   Bladmineerders van Europa
Petteria ramentacea     Bladmineerders van Europa

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

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Widely distributed and fairly commonly throughout much of the British Isles (UKMoths) including Anglesey, Bedfordshire, Caernarvonshire, Cambridgeshire, Cardiganshire, Denbighshire, Dorset, Durham, East Cornwall, East Norfolk, East Ross, East Suffolk, Easterness, Edinburgh, Flintshire, Glamorgan, Haddington, Hertfordshire, Kincardineshire, Leicestershire, Linlithgow, Merionethshire, Middlesex, North Aberdeenshire, North Devon, North Somerset, Pembrokeshire, Shropshire, South Aberdeenshire, South Northumberland, South Wiltshire, South-east Yorkshire, South-west Yorkshire, Stafford, Surrey, Warwickshire, West Gloucestershire, West Lancashire, West Norfolk, West Ross, West Suffolk, Westmorland and Worcestershire (NBN Atlas). It tends to inhabit suburban areas where Laburnum is grown in gardens (UKMoths).

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, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, French mainland, Germany, Hungary, Italian mainland, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Romania, Sardinia, Slovakia, Spanish mainland, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Yugoslavia. Also recorded in the Nearctic region (Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Genista tinctoria, Laburnum anagyroides

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Chrysocharis viridis (Nees, 1934) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Closterocerus trifasciatus Westwood, 1833 Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Cirrospilus diallus Walker, 1838 Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Cirrospilus vittatus Walker, 1838 Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Baryscapus nigroviolaceus (Nees, 1834) Eulophidae: Tetrastichinae
Halticoptera patellana (Dalman, 1818) Pteromalidae: Miscogastrinae
Ichneumonoidea - Links to species no longer available  
Rhysipolis meditator (Haliday, 1836) Braconidae: Rhysipolinae

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 11-Jul-2019  Brian Pitkin Top of page