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


Mompha lacteella (Stephens, 1834)
[Lepidoptera: Momphidae]

Rust-blotch Cosmet

Anacampsis lacteella Stephens, 1834. Ill. Brit. Ent. Haust. 4: 210.
Elachista basipallidella
Stainton, 1849
Elachista gibbiferella
Zeller, 1839. Isis: 212
Mompha lacteella
(Stephens, 1834).

Leaf-miner: The larvae feed mainly on Broad-leaved Willowherb mining the leaves (UKMoths).

Large full depth blotch in the lower leaves. Much frass in coarse grains. The larva easily leaves its mine and restart elsewhere. Pupation either in the mine or in the ground. Mines cannot be told apart from those of Mompha propinquella (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).

Body varying from yellowish pink to purple brown; head black with a light V-shaped marking. Prothoracic plate black, divided lengthwise; anal plate and feet dark grey (Koster, 2002b; Koster and Sinev, 2003a) (Bladmineerders van Europa).

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

See Patocka and Turcáni (2005a) (Bladmineerders van Europa).

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

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Epilobium montanum Broad-leaved Willowherb British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. UKMoths

Hosts elsewhere:

Epilobium hirsutum Great Willowherb British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Epilobium montanum Broad-leaved Willowherb British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: Currently unknown.

Time of year - adults: The moths are at large between May and July (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Distributed locally in England and Scotland (UKMoths) including Cambridgeshire, Carmarthenshire, Derbyshire, Dorset, Durham, East Cornwall, East Norfolk, East Suffolk, Glamorgan, Herefordshire, Huntingdonshire, Kincardineshire, North Essex, North Somerset, Shropshire, South Essex, South Hampshire, Stafford, West Cornwall, West Suffolk and Wigtownshire (NBN Atlas).

Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland (Fauna Europaea).

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

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Epilobium hirsutum, Epilobium montanum

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
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Last updated 26-May-2019  Brian Pitkin Top of page