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 ulicicolella (Stainton, 1851)
[Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae]

Gorse Midget

Phyllonorycter ulicicolella (Stainton, 1851).

Leaf-miner: A rarely found mine. The larva feeds in the epidermis and in this mine a clear area can be seen at the top of the mine, with frass deposited lower down (British leafminers).

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).

Within the mine (British leafminers).

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

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Ulex europaeus Gorse British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers

Hosts elsewhere: Currently unknown.

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

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Widespread in southern England (British leafminers) including Fleet, Hampshire (British leafminers); Dorset, Durham, East Norfolk, East Suffolk, Hertfordshire, South Essex West Cornwall and West Norfolk (NBN Atlas).

See also British leafminers distribution map.

Distribution elsewhere: Continental Europe including French mainland, Greek mainland, Italian mainland (Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Ulex europaeus

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere: Currently unknown.

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 31-May-2019  Brian Pitkin Top of page