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


Parornix alpicola (Wocke, 1877)
[Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae]

Ornix alpicola Wocke, 1877. Bresl. Ent. Zeitschr.: 48.
Parornix leucostola
Pelham-Clinton, 1964. Ent. Gaz. 15: 51.
Parornix alpicola
(Wocke, 1877).

Leaf-miner: The larva first makes a lower-surface epidermal corridor. Next the larva begins to feed on the sponge parenchyma, subsequently also the palissade parenchyhma; the initial corridor becomes obliterated. The final mine is full depth, occupies half of a leaf, at one side of the midrib, and is almost flat. The upperside turns orange brown. Finally the larva vacates its mine and spins a new leaf into a pod, that is eaten from the inside. If needed another leaf is treated the same way (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).

Pale greenish, head light brown. Prothoracic shield pale green with four transverse blackish spots (Emmet et al., 1985a) (Bladmineerders van Europa).

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

Descirbed by Patocka, (2001b), Patocka and Turcani (2005a) (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Adult: The adult is not illustrated in UKMoths (check for update). The species is included in

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Dryas octopetala Mountain Avens British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Dryas octopetala Mountain Avens British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant

Hosts elsewhere:

Dryas octopetala Mountain Avens British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: Currently unknown.

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Britain including West Sutherland (NBN Atlas). The only known host has a northern distribution. See also British leafminers distribution map

Distribution elsewhere: Continental Europe including Austria, French mainland, Germany, Italian mainland and Switzerland (Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Dryas octopetala

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Ichneumonoidea - Links to species no longer available  
Diadegma elishae (Bridgman, 1884) 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