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 paradoxa (Frey, 1858)
[Lepidoptera: Nepticulidae]

Scarce Thorn Pigmy

Nepticula paradoxa Frey, 1858. Ent. Weekly Intell. 4: 14.
Stigmella juryi
Puplesis, 1991
Stigmella paradoxa
(Frey, 1858).

Leaf-miner: A blotch mine is formed on the on leaf-lobe with central frass (British leafminers).

Primary blotch in the tip of a leaf segment, without any preceding corridor. Frass in a central patch, pasted to the upper epidermis; when not feeding the larva retreats here. Around the centre some more frass grains are present, but not in an apparent spiral order. Oviposition is at the underside of the leaf at about 1 mm from the leaf margin (in Leucoptera malifoliella, with which confusion might be possible, the egg is deposited well away from the leaf margin) (Bladmineerders van Europa).

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).

Pale green; see Gustafsson and van Nieukerken (1990a) for a description (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:

Crataegus       British leafminers.
Crataegus       Pitkin & Plant

Hosts elsewhere:

Crataegus laevigata Midland Hawthorn British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Crataegus monogyna Hawthorn British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Crataegus pentagyna     Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: June - early July (British leafminers).

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Britain including Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Derbyshire, Dorset, East Gloucestershire, Glamorgan, Hertfordshire, North-west Yorkshire, South-west Yorkshire, Stafford, Warwickshire, West Suffolk and Worcestershire (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 Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, French mainland, Germany, Greek mainland, Hungary, Italian mainland, Macedonia, Republic of Moldova, Poland, Portuguese mainland, Romania, Russia Central and East, Sardinia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spanish mainland, Sweden, Switzerland and Ukraine. Also recorded in East Palaearctic (Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Crataegus laevigata, Crataegus monogyna

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Chrysocharis prodice (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Cirrospilus viticola (Rondani, 1877) Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Ichneumonoidea - Links to species no longer available  
Adelius erythronotus (Förster, 1851) Braconidae: Cheloninae
Adelius subfasciatus Haliday, 1833 Braconidae: Cheloninae
Adelius viator (Förster, 1851) 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