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 pyri (Glitz, 1865)
[Lepidoptera: Nepticulidae]

Pear-tree Pigmy

Nepticula pyri Glitz, 1865. Jahrb. nat. hist. Ges. Hannov. 14: 42.
Stigmella pyri
(Glitz, 1865).

Leaf-miner: A very contorted gallery (British leafminers).

Egg may be at either side of the leaf. Mine a corridor, usually compacted into a small area, sometimes forming a secondary blotch. Frass in the first section of the gallery in a more of less broad central line, clearly coiled in the last part (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).

Bluish green, head light brown (Emmet, 1983a; Schoorl et al., 1985a; 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:

Pyrus       British leafminers
Pyrus communis Pear   Pitkin & Plant

Hosts elsewhere:

Pyrus       Belgian Lepidoptera
Pyrus betulifolia     Bladmineerders van Europa
Pyrus communis Pear   Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: July; September - October (British leafminers).

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Britain including East Gloucestershire, East Norfolk, Herefordshire and Worcestershire (NBN Atlas). See also British leafminers distribution map.

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

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Pyrus communis

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Ichneumonoidea - Links to species no longer available  
Adelius erythronotus (Förster, 1851) Braconidae: Cheloninae
Adelius subfasciatus Haliday, 1833 Braconidae: Cheloninae
Gnamptodon pumilio (Nees, 1834) Braconidae: Gnamptodontinae

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