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


Syncopacma vinella (Bankes, 1898)
[Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae]

Syncopacma vinella (Bankes, 1898)

Leaf-miner/Leaf-spinner: The larvae feed between spun leaves and often mine them. The mine is illustrated in British leafminers.

The larva spins a number of leaflets together. Within this protection it bites a hole in the epidermis of the basal part of a leaflet, then mines it out almost completely (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Larva: The larva is illustrated in British leafminers. Described by Bankes (1899a) and Bland, Heckford & Langmaid (2002a); Beavan & Heckford (2014a) present a picture. Body varying from dull white to almost black. Head brown, prothoracal plate from brownish to black; pinacula, anal plate and feet shining black. The chaetotaxy is described by Baran (2002a) (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Pupa: Cremaster pointed, with a good many of pale yellowish hooked bristles (Bankes, 1899a; Patočka & Turčáni, 2005a) (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Adult: The adult is not illustrated in UKMoths (check for update). The species is included in

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Genista tinctoria Dyer's Greenweed   British leafminers

Hosts elsewhere:

Genista tinctoria Dyer's Greenweed   Bladmineerders van Europa
Medicago falcata     Bladmineerders van Europa
Medicago sativa Lucerne British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Trifolium pratense Red Clover   Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: April-June; October, November (hibernating until Spring) (British leafminers and (Bland, Heckford & Langmaid, 2002a).

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: It was previously known from four or possibly five sites in the British Isles, all in West and East Sussex). The last record was in 1990. It was then thought extinct. In 2013 it was rediscovered on the Isle of Wight. Further searches in 2014 found this species in two further localities on the island. (Beavan & Heckford, 2014, Syncopacma vinella (Bankes, 1898) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) rediscovered in the British Isles, on the Isle of Wight, Entomologist’s Gazette 65: 209–214) (British leafminers). Isle of Wight and East Sussex (NBN Atlas).

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Austria, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Germany, Italian mainland, Poland, Romania, Russia - Central, East and South, Sardinia, Slovakia, Switzerland, Sweden, The Netherlands and Ukraine (Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Genista tinctoria

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere: Currently unknown.

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 19-Oct-2019  Brian Pitkin Top of page