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 tityrella (Stainton, 1854)
[Lepidoptera: Nepticulidae]

Small Beech Pigmy

Nepticula tityrella Stainton, 1854. Ins. Brit.: 304.
Stigmella tityrella
(Stainton, 1854).

Leaf-miner: A gallery completely without coiled frass (British leafminers).

Ovipisition at the underside of the leaf, in the axil of a vein. From there a corridor, that does not widen much, zigzags between two lateral veins in the direction of the leaf margin. Frass at first in a narrow central line. Later the frass becomes widely dispersed; it never lies in coils (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).

The larva is yellow, dark head and prothoracic plate (British leafminers). The larva is also illustrated in 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 illustrated in UKMoths. The species is included in

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Fagus       British leafminers
Fagus       Pitkin & Plant

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

Time of year - larvae: June - July, end August - October (British leafminers).

Time of year - adults: April and May, and again in July and August (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Britain including Anglesey, Banffshire, Bedfordshire, Breconshire, Buckinghamshire, Caernarvonshire, Cambridgeshire, Cumberland, Denbighshire, Derbyshire, Dorset, Dumfriesshire, Durham, East Cornwall, East Gloucestershire, East Kent, East Norfolk, East Ross, East Suffolk, East Sussex, Easterness, Flintshire, Glamorgan, Haddington, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Isle of White, Kincardineshire, Leicestershire, Linlithgow, Main Argyll, Merionethshire, Mid-west Yorkshire, Middlesex, Monmouthshire, Montgmeryshire, North Aberdeenshire, North Devon, North Essex, North Hampshire, North Northumberland, North Somerset, North-west Yorkshire, North Wiltshire, North-west Yorkshire, Shropshire, South Aberdeenshire, South Hampshire, South Lancashire, South Northumberland, South Wiltshire, South-west Yorkshire, Stafford, Stirlingshire, Surrey, West Cornwall, West Gloucestershire, West Kent, West Lancashire, West Norfolk, West Suffolk, Westmorland, Wigtownshire, 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, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, French mainland, Germany, Greek mainland, Hungary, Italian mainland, Lithuania, Macedonia, Norwegian mainland, 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 gemmeus Westwood, 1840 Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Derostenus punctiscuta Thomson, 1878 Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Cirrospilus curvineurus Askew, 1965 Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Cirrospilus diallus Walker, 1838 Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Cirrospilus vittatus Walker, 1838 Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Pnigalio longulus (Zetterstedt, 1838) Eulophidae: Eulophinae
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
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Last updated 12-Jul-2019  Brian Pitkin Top of page