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 froelichiella (Zeller, 1839)
[Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae]

Broad-barred Midget

Lithocolletis froelichiella Zeller, 1839. Isis: 218.
Phyllonorycter froelichiella
(Zeller, 1839).

Leaf-miner: The mine is underside, about 25 mm long, often from midrib to margin of leaf. The lower epidermis appears smooth. There may be several mines in a leaf (British leafminers).

Large, lower-surface tentiform mine, often occupying the entire space between two side veins, from the midrib almost to the leaf margin, Lower epidermis without clear folds.The larva is grey (all other phyllonorycters on Alder are white). Pupa in a light brown cocoon that is fastened to the roof of the mine. The cocoon is entirely free of frass: all frass is accumulated in the inner corner of the mine (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).

Cremaster with only one pair of spines; mesonotum without a pit at the rear margin. The cremaster is illustrated in British leafminers and Bladmineerders van Europa.

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

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Alnus       British leafminers
Alnus glutinosa Alder British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Alnus glutinosa Alder British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. UKMoths

Hosts elsewhere:

Alnus glutinosa Alder British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Belgian Lepidoptera
Alnus glutinosa Alder British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Alnus incana Grey Alder British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

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

Time of year - adults: The moth is believed to have only a single generation, flying in July and August, though bred specimens will emerge in spring if kept indoors (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Widespread in Britain including Anglesey, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Breconshire, Caernarvonshire, Cambridgeshire, Cheshire, Denbighshire, Dorset, Durham, East Cornwall, East Kent, East Norfolk, East Ross, East Suffolk, East Sutherland, Easterness, Glamorgan, Haddington, Huntingdonshire, Isle of Wighht, Merionethshire, Middlesex, North Somerset, Pembrokeshire, North Wiltshire, Shropshire, South Aberdeenshire, South Northumberland, South Wiltshire, South-west Yorkshire, Stafford, West Kent, West Lancashire, West Norfolk, West Suffolk, Westmorland and Worcestershire (NBN Atlas). Also Hampshire (Fleet) (British leafminers).

See also British leafminers distribution map.

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

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

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Alnus glutinosa, Alnus incana

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Achrysocharoides cilla (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Achrysocharoides latreillii (Curtis, 1826) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Chrysocharis nephereus (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Pnigalio agraules (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Pnigalio longulus (Zetterstedt, 1838) Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Sympiesis gordius (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Baryscapus nigroviolaceus (Nees, 1834) Eulophidae: Tetrastichinae
Ichneumonoidea - Links to species no longer available  
Coloneura stylata Förster, 1862 Braconidae: Alysiinae
Colastes braconius Haliday, 1833 Braconidae: Exothecinae
Pholetesor bicolor (Nees, 1834) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Pholetesor circumscriptus (Nees, 1834) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Pholetesor nanus (Reinhard, 1880) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Rhysipolis hariolator (Haliday, 1836) Braconidae: Rhysipolinae
Scambus inanis (Schrank, 1802) Ichneumonidae: Pimplinae

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