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 hemargyrella (Kollar, 1832)
[Lepidoptera: Nepticulidae]

Beech Pigmy

Oecophora hemargyrella Kollar, 1832. Beitr. 2: 98
Nepticula basalella Herrich-Schaffer 1855
Nepticula fagella
Herrich-Schaffer 1855
Nepticula fagi
Frey 1856
Nepticula fulgens
Stainton 1888
Nepticula nobilella
Heinemann & Wocke 1876
Stigmella hemargyrella
(Kollar, 1832)

Leaf-miner: A gallery, with coiled frass in central part (British leafminers).

Oviposition generally at the upperside of the leaf, and not far from the leaf margin. The mine is a rather wide corridor, that often crosses a vein, and almost invariably runs from somewhere near the leaf margin in the direction of the midrib. Its first part is quite narrow, with a narrow central frass line. The next section is wider, and here the frass is distinctly coiled. In the final section the frass lies somewhat more irregular, and in a rather narrow central zone (Bladmineerders van Europa).

The mine is also illustrated in the Encyclopedia of Life.

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 whitish-yellow, head pale brown (British leafminers).

Described by Gustafsson and van Nieukerken (1990a) (Bladmineerders van Europa). See also NBDC interactive map.

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

Adult: The adult is illustrated in UKMoths and the Encyclopedia of Life. The species is included in

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Fagus       British leafminers
Fagus       Pitkin & Plant in British leafminers
Fagus sylvatica Beech British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. UKMoths

Hosts elsewhere:

Fagus sylvatica Beech British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Belgian Lepidoptera
Fagus sylvatica Beech British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Fagus sylvatica orientalis Oriental Beech   Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae:

Time of year - adults:

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Widespread including Anglesey, Banffshire, Bedfordshire, Breconshire, Buckinghamshire, Caernarvonshire, Caithness, Cheshire, Derbyshire, Dorset, Dumfriesshire, Dunbartonshire, Durham, East Cornwall, East Gloucestershire, East Kent, East Norfolk, East Ross, East Suffolk, East Sussex, Easterness, Edinburgh, Flintshire, Glamorgan, Haddington, Herefordshire,Huntingdonshire, Isle of Wight, Kincardineshire, Kirkudbrightshire, Leicestershire, Linlithgow, Main Argyll, Mid-west Yorkshire, Middlesex, North Aberdeenshire, North Hampshire, North Somerset, North Wiltshire, Nottinghamshire, Pembrokeshire, Shropshire, South Aberdeenshire, South Hampshire, South Northumberland, South Somerset, South-west Yorkshire, Stafford, Stirling, Surrey, Warwickshire, West Cornwall, West Gloucestershire, West Kent, West Lancashire, West Norfolk, West Suffolk, Westmorland (NBN Atlas).

See also British leafminers distribution map.

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

Distribution elsewhere: mWidespread in continental Europe including Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Corsica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, French mainland, Germany, Greek mainland, Hungary, Italian mainland, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spanish mainland, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Ukraine (Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Fagus sylvatica

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Chrysocharis nephereus (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Chrysocharis prodice (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Derostenus punctiscuta Thomson, 1878 Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Ichneumonoidea - Links to species no longer available  
Coloneura stylata Förster, 1862 Braconidae: Alysiinae
Adelius subfasciatus Haliday, 1833 Braconidae: Cheloninae
Colastes braconius Haliday, 1833 Braconidae: Exothecinae

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 12-Jul-2019  Brian Pitkin Top of page