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


Trifurcula immundella (Zeller, 1839)
[Lepidoptera: Nepticulidae]

Broom Pigmy

Trifurcula immundella (Zeller, 1839).

Twig-miner: A long black straight gallery which passes down the twig initially. The mine then changes direction and the spaces between the ridges stain black as the mine fills them. The branches may appear stained black as the mines develop. (British leafminers).

The larva mines not in leaves, but under the bark of twigs of broom. The mine is visible as a dark gallery, but is easily confused with the similar mine of Leucoptera spartifoliella (UKMoths).

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 (British leafminers).

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:

Cystisus scoparius Broom British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Cystisus scoparius Broom British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. UKMoths

Hosts elsewhere:

Cystisus       Belgian Lepidoptera, as Sarothamnus
Cystisus scoparius Broom British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: Seeptember to May (British leafminers).

Time of year - adults: June to August (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Widespread in Britain including Anglesey, Bedfordshire, Caernarvonshire, Denbighshire, Dorset, East Cornwall, East Kent, East Norfolk, East Ross, East Suffolk, Easterness, Elgin, Haddington, Herefordshire, Isle of Wight, Kincardineshire, Kirkudbrightshire, Linlithgow, Middlesex, North Aberdeenshire, North Hampshire, North Northumberland, Pembrokeshire, Shropshire, South Aberdeenshire, South Northumberland, Stafford, Stirlingshire, West Cornwall, West Norfolk, West Perthshire, West Suffolk, Westmorland and Worcestershire (NBN Atlas) and the Channel Islands (Fauna Europaea).

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, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, French mainland, Germany, Italian mainland, Poland, Portuguese mainland, Slovakia, Spanish mainland, Sweden, Switzerland and The Netherlands (Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Cytisus scoparius

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 09-Jun-2019  Brian Pitkin Top of page