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


Phyllonorycter distentella (Zeller, 1846)
[Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae]

Scarce Midget

Lithocolletis distentella Zeller, 1846. Linn. Ent. 1: 181, t. 1 fig. 8.
Phyllonorycter distentella
(Zeller, 1846).

Leaf-miner: Lower-surface tentiform mine; lower epidermis with a numerous extremely fine folds. The mine is exceptionally large, 25 mm on average, and extends from midrib to leaf margin. The roof of the mine is largely eaten out but generally a green centre is left over. Often several mines in a leaf. The mine causes the leaf to contract strongly. The pupa hangs in the mine, suspended by a loose net of silk. Frass heaped in a corner of the mine (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).

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

See Gregor and Patocka (200a), Patocka and Turcani (2005a). The pupa strongly resembles the one of Phyllonorycter harrisella (Bladmineerders van Europa).

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

Phyllonorycter distentella adult
Phyllonorycter distentella adult
Church Wood near Canterbury, Kent
Image: © Francis Solly

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Quercus       Pitkin & Plant

Hosts elsewhere:

Quercus       Belgian Lepidoptera
Quercus pubescens Downy Oak   Bladmineerders van Europa
Quercus robur Pedunculate Oak British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Belgian Lepidoptera
Quercus robur Pedunculate Oak 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 East Kent, Herefordshire and Monmouthshire (NBN Atlas).

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, French mainland, Germany, Hungary, Italian mainland, Poland, Russia - South, Slovakia, Switzerland and Ukraine. Also recorded in Near East (Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Quercus pubescens, Quercus robur

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Cirrospilus lyncus Walker, 1841 Eulophidae: Eulophinae

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
Find using Google
Find using Google Scholar
Find images using Google

XHTML Validator
Last updated 27-Jun-2019  Brian Pitkin Top of page