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 dryadella (O. Hofmann, 1868)
[Lepidoptera: Nepticulidae]

Mountain-avens Pigmy

Nepticula dryadella O. Hofmann, 1868. Stett. ent. Ztg.: 29.
Stigmella dryadella
(O. Hofmann, 1868).

Leaf-miner: Egg on the leaf margin or the underside of the leaf. The mine is a corridor, narrow at first, for about 10 mm descending towards the base of the leaf, meticulously following the leaf margin. Then the corridor reverses its direction, and widens into a blotch that may occupy half of the leaf, to the midrib. Frass in the corridor as a broad central ribbon; broadly scattered in the blotch (Bladmineerders van Europa).

The mine, filled with black frass, follows the leaf margin for about 1cm then abruptly turns and forms a blotch, which occupies half the leaf (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).

Yellow, head dark brown (Emmet, 1983a) (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:

Dryas octopetala Mountain Avens British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant

Hosts elsewhere:

Dryas octopetala Mountain Avens 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 North Ebudes (NBN Atlas). The only known host has a northern distribution. See also British leafminers distribution map.

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, French mainland, Germany, Hungary, Italian mainland, Lithuania, Republic of Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland and Ukraine (Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Dryas octopetala

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Ichneumonoidea - Links to species no longer available  
Adelius subfasciatus Haliday, 1833 Braconidae: Cheloninae
Gelis nigritulus (Zetterstedt, 1838) 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 12-Jul-2019  Brian Pitkin Top of page