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


Swammerdamia caesiella (Hübner, 1796)
[Lepidoptera: Yponomeutidae]

Birch Ermel

Swammerdamia caesiella (Hübner, 1796)

Leaf-miner: The young larva makes one of, more probably, several tiny mines, from which much of the frass is ejected. Part of the frass grains are trapped in a slight spinning under the mine (Bladmineerders van Europa).

The initial mine is small. The larva then feeds mostly on the upper surface of the leaf, under a slight web (British leafminers).

Larva:The free living larva is light or dark greyish green with three darker length lines. The lara lives under a slight spinning at the upperside of the leaf, casuing window feeding (Bladmineerders van Europa).

The young larva is green but it changes colour as it matures. The final instar larva is darker green dorsally with yellow-green blocks on its side and subdorsally (British leafminers).

The larva is illustrated in UKMoths and British leafminers.

Pupa: The pupa is illustrated in UKMoths.

Adult: The adult is illustrated in UKMoths. The species is included in

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:




Hosts elsewhere:

Betula       Belgian Lepidoptera


pendula Silver Birch British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: Currently unknown.

Time of year - adults: Occurs in two broods, in May and June and again in August (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Widespread in Britain including Anglesey, Banffshire, Bedfordshire, Breconshire, Caernarvonshire, Cambridgeshire, Carmarthenshire, Denbighshire, Derbyshire, Dorset, East Cornwall, East Kent, East Norfolk, East Ross, East Suffolk, East Sussex, East Sutherland, Easterness, Glamorgan, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Isle of Wight, Kincardineshire, Kirkcudbrightshire, Linlithgow, Middlesex, Montgomeryshire, North Aberdeenshire, North Devon, North Hampshire, North Northumberland, North Somerset, North-east Yorkshire, Pembrokeshire, Shropshire, South Aberdeenshire, South Hampshire, South Northumberland, South Wiltshire, Stafford, Stirlingshire, Surrey, Warwickshire, West Cornwall, West Gloucestershire, West Kent, West Lancashire, West Norfolk, West Perthshire, West Suffolk, West Sutherland, Westmorland and Worcestershire (NBN Atlas)

Also recorded in Northern Ireland (National Biodiversity Data Centre Map).

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in Europe including Albania, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Estonia, Finland, French mainland, Germany, Greek mainland, Hungary, Italian mainland, Kaliningrad Region, Latvia, Luxembourg, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Romania, Russia (Central, North, Northwest), Sardinia, Sicily, Slovakia, Spanish mainland, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, and Ukraine (Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Betula pendula

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Ichneumonoidea - Links to species no longer available  
Apanteles xanthostigma (Haliday, 1834) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Dolichogenidea coniferae (Haliday, 1834)) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Microgaster novicia Marshall, 1885 Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Gnotus chionops (Gravenhorst, 1829) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae
Herpestomus nasutus Wesmael, 1845 Ichneumonidae: Ichneumoninae
Mesochorus stigmator (Thunberg, 1822) Ichneumonidae: Mesochorinae
Synosis caesiellae Broad & Shaw, 2005 Ichneumonidae: Metopinae
Itoplectis maculator (Fabricius, 1775) Ichneumonidae: Pimplinae

External links: Search the internet:
Belgian Lepidoptera
Biodiversity Heritage Library
British leafminers
Bladmineerders van Europa
Encyclopedia of Life
Fauna Europaea
NBN Atlas
NHM UK Checklist
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Last updated 12-Jul-2019  Brian Pitkin Top of page