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 fagivora (Frey, 1861)
[Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae]

Beech Slender

Ornix fagivora Frey, 1861. Linn. Ent. 15: 19.
Parornix fagivora
(Frey, 1861).

Leaf-miner: Early mine a blotch with upper epidermis turning brown. Then a fold at the leaf edge or tip of the leaf. Often two or three folds can be seen (British leafminers).

Initially a small lower-surface epidermal corridor with reddish brown frass, a small rectangular full depth blotch with black frass later. Lower, later also the upper, epidermis brown. The larva deposits only little silk in the mine, that therefore remains practically flat. Finally the larva leaves the mine and continues living free under a folded leaf margin or leaf tip (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).

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).

In folded leaf-edge, often on a Fallén leaf (British leafminers).

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

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Fagus       British leafminers
Fagus sylvatica Beech British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant

Hosts elsewhere:

Fagus sylvatica Beech British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Belgian Lepidoptera
Fagus sylvatica Beech British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Fagus sylvatica subsp. orientalis     Bladmineerders van Europa

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

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Southern England and Wales including Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Carmarthenshire, Dorset, East Gloucestershire, East Kent, East Norfolk, East Suffolk, East Sussex, Glamorgan, Hertfordshire, Middlesex, North Somerset, Shropshire, South-west Yorkshire, Stafford, West Gloucestershire and West Suffolk (NBN Atlas).

See also British leafminers distribution map.

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, French mainland, Germany, Hungary, Italian mainland, Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Russia - South, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Ukraine and Yugoslavia (Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Fagus sylvatica

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Ichneumonoidea - Links to species no longer available  
Pholetesor bicolor (Nees, 1834) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Pholetesor circumscriptus (Nees, 1834) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Rhysipolis hariolator (Haliday, 1836) Braconidae: Rhysipolinae
Gelis areator (Panzer, 1804) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae

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