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 raschkiella (Zeller, 1839)
[Lepidoptera: Momphidae]

Little Cosmet

Elachista raschkiella Zeller, 1839. Isis: 211.
Mompha raschkiella
(Zeller, 1839).

Leaf-miner: A narrow gallery, often following the midrib, occasionally tinged red at the edges. This leads to a yellowish blotch containing dispersed frass (British leafminers).

The oval, iridescent egg is deposited at the upperside of the leaf, mostly close to the midrib. Here starts a gallery, at first narrow and hardly widening, the first cm not always full depth, often making a few loops around the egg and/or running along the midrib for some distance. Parts of the leaf cut off by a corridor loop often turn red. Frass in small, grey grains, dispersed, not glued to floor or ceiling of the mine. Later the larva makes a full depth blotch; mostly in continuation to the corridor, but the larva can also leave the mine and restart elsewhere, which may happen already at this stage. A new mine begins with a hole where tha larva has gained entrance, end ends in an untidy exit. The larva lies venter-upwards in the mine. Pupation external (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 Bladmineerders van Europa.

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

On the ground amongst detritus (British leafminers).

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

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Chamerion angustifolium Rosebay Willowherb British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Chamerion angustifolium Rosebay Willowherb British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. UKMoths

Hosts elsewhere:

Chamerion angustifolium Rosebay Willowherb British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Belgian Lepidoptera
Chamerion angustifolium Rosebay Willowherb British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

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

Time of year - adults: Two generations in the year, flying during May and again in August (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Occurs over much of mainland Britain (UKMoths), including Anglesey, Banffshire, Bedfordshire, Breconshire, Caernarvonshire, Cambridgeshire, Carmarthenshire, Cheshire, Cumberland, Denbighshire, Derbyshire, Dorset, Dumfriesshire, Dunbartonshire, Durham, East Cornwall, East Gloucestershire, East Kent, East Norfolk, East Ross, East Suffolk, East Sutherland, Easterness, Edinburgh, Elgin, Fife, Flintshire, Glamorgan, Haddington, Herefordshire, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Isle of Wight, Kincardineshire, Leicestershire, Linlithgow, Main Argyll, Mid-west Yorkshire, Middlesex, Monmouthshire, Montgomeryshire, North Aberdeenshire, North Devon, North Ebudes, North Essex, North Hampshire, North Northumberland, North Somerset, North Wiltshire, North-east Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Outer Hebrides, Pembrokeshire, Radnorshire, Shropshire, South Aberdeenshire, South Devon, South Essex, South Hampshire, South Lancashire, South Northumberland, South-east Yorkshire, South-west Yorkshire, Stafford, Surrey, Warwickshire, West Cornwall, West Gloucestershire, West Kent, West Lancashire, West Norfolk, West Perthshire, West Suffolk, West Sutherland, Westmorland, Wigtownshire and Worcestershire (NBN Atlas).

See also British leafminers distribution map.

Also recorded the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland (Fauna Europaea) See also Ireland's National Biodiversity Data Centre Map).

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

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Chamerion angustifolium

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Cirrospilus vittatus Walker, 1838 Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Ichneumonoidea - Links to species no longer available  
Coloneura stylata Förster, 1862 Braconidae: Alysiinae
Colastes braconius Haliday, 1833 Braconidae: Exothecinae
Rhysipolis decorator (Haliday, 1836) Braconidae: Rhysipolinae
Rhysipolis meditator (Haliday, 1836) Braconidae: Rhysipolinae
Campoplex raschkiellae Horstmann, 1980 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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Find using Google Scholar
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Last updated 11-Jul-2019  Brian Pitkin Top of page