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


Stigmella auromarginella (Richardson, 1890)
[Lepidoptera: Nepticulidae]

Gold-edged Pigmy

Nepticula auromarginella Richardson, 1890. Ent. mon. Mag. 26: 30.
Stigmella auromarginella
(Richardson, 1890).

Leaf-miner: A short, twisting irregular gallery with frass filling two-thirds of its width. In exposed leaves the frass is densely packed, whereas in shaded leaves it is thinner (British leafminers). It usually forms distinct dark brown mines, darker than S. aurella and the gallery edges are more conspicuously purple. Egg on the leaf upperside. The mine is an unusually short, not very tortuous corridor with a central line of frass that is irregularly interrupted and takes about 2/3 of the corridor width. Pupation external (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Mine of Stigmella aurella on Rubus sp.
Mine of Stigmella auromarginella on Rubus fructicosus agg.
Image: © Tony Davis (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).

The larva of auromarginellais amber yellow, head very light brown. The characteristic pattern of spinulation is depicted by Gustafsson and van Nieukerken (1990a) (Bladmineerders van Europa).

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

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

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Rubus fruticosus Bramble / Blackberry   Pitkin & Plant
Rubus fruticosus Bramble / Blackberry   British leafminers

Hosts elsewhere:

Rubus fruticosus Bramble / Blackberry   Bladmineerders van Europa
Rubus sanctus A bramble   Bladmineerders van Europa
Rubus ulmifolius A bramble British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: Throughout the year (British leafminers).

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Britain including Dorset and South Wiltshire (NBN Atlas).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 Crete, Croatia, Cyprus, Danish mainland, French mainland, Portuguese mainland and Sweden (Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Rubus fruticosus, Rubus ulmifolius

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Chrysocharis prodice (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Ichneumonoidea - Links to species no longer available  
Adelius subfasciatus Haliday, 1833 Braconidae: Cheloninae

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 12-Jul-2019  Brian Pitkin Top of page