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 propinquella (Stainton, 1851)
[Lepidoptera: Momphidae]

Marbled Cosmet

Elachista propinquella Stainton, 1851. Cat. Suppl.: 8
Laverna palidicollella Doubleday, 1859
Mompha propinquella (Stainton, 1851).

Leaf-miner: Large full depth blotch in the lower leaves; much frass in coarse grains. The larva can make several mines. Pupation either in the mine or in the ground. Mines cannot be distinguished from those of Mompha lacteella (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 brownish red; head black; prothoracic plate two dark brown rectangular sclerites; anal plate light brown, thoracic feet dark brown (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).

Adult: The adult is illustrated in UKMoths and the Encyclopedia of Life. The species is included in

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Epilobium       UKMoths
Epilobium hirsutum Great Willowherb British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant

Hosts elsewhere:

Epilobium hirsutum Great Willowherb British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Belgian Lepidoptera
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: The species spends the winter as a larva (UKMoths).

Time of year - adults: The moths fly at night between June and August, and come to light (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Occurs in suitable habitat throughout most of Britain (UKMoths) including Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Breconshire, Caernarvonshire, Cambridgeshire, Carnarvonshire, Cumberland, Denbighshire, Derbyshire, Dorset, Dumfriesshire, Dunbartonshire, Durham, East Cornwall, East Gloucestershire, East Norfolk, East Suffolk, Easterness, Flintshire, Glamorgan, Herefordshire, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Isle of Wight, Kincardineshire, Leicestershire, Linlithgow, Main Argyll, Middlesex, North Aberdeenshire, North Essex, North Hampshire, North Lincolnshire, North Northumberland, North Somerset, Nottinghamshire, Outer Hebrides, Pembrokeshire, Shropshire, South Aberdeenshire, South Lancashire, South Northumberland, South-east Yorkshire, South-west Yorkshire, Stafford, Surrey, Warwickshire, West Gloucestershire, West Kent, West Norfolk, West Perthshire, West Suffolk, West Sussex and Westmorland (NBN Atlas).

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

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Estonia, Finland, French mainland, Germany, Hungary, Italian mainland, Latvia, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Russia - Central, Slovakia, Spanish mainland, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Ukraine (Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Epilobium hirsutum, Epilobium montanum

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Ichneumonoidea - Links to species no longer available  
Apanteles atreus Nixon, 1973 Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Diadegma latungulum (Thomson, 1887) Ichneumonidae: Campopleginae

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