Friday, 8 November 2019

Leaf mines on bramble, elm and hazel

Following on from Andrew's post yesterday, I have also found some it difficult to match some mines found while cutting shrubs in my garden with the info on the British Leafminers and other such sites.  However the first (on bramble) looks like a good fit for Stigmella aurella? The next one (on elm) has an active caterpillar and is possibly Stigmella lemnicella?  The third (on hazel) could be Stigmella microtheriella (as suggested for Andrew's leafminer), but does not appear to show the centralized frass line which is said to be characteristic of this mine.  The last (also on hazel) could possibly be Ectoedemia minimella - the caterpillar was in the central oval area and is also shown isolated.
Elm (detail)
Hazel 1

Hazel 2

Caterpillar from Hazel 2

John Thacker



  1. Hello John

    Yes to Stigmella aurella and Stigmella lemniscella. The two mines in the first Hazel image are quite old (there seems to be a dried-up deceased larva in one of them too) but I think there's a sufficiently clear view of the first part of each one to say these are Stigmella microtheriella. I'm afraid I've no idea what the second hazel miner is so would have suggested trying to rear it, although that may be difficult now that the larva is outside the mine. To me the mine doesn't look right for an Ectoedemia - they usually start with a very contorted gallery of which there is no sign in your image - and it is very late now for minimella anyway.

  2. Hi John, Hazel 2 could possibly be Phyllonorycter coryli. As the leaf veins are slightly out of focus I'm guessing that your photo is from the top side of the leaf. Also the mine has frass stacked at one end with the larva at the other, which matches with the description in MOGBI Vol. 2 page 338 (at least in my edition). I'm not confident with miners so this is my best guess.

  3. Thanks to both. The 'photo' of Hazel 2 was in fact taken with a scanner using transmitted light and shows the underside. The mine did not look like the 'classic' blister of P. coryli, but it may have been an early stage - it seems that this species along with P. nicellii and Parornix devoniella share the feature of frass in one corner but their mines (at least at a later stage) differ in other ways. I shall have to look into how to keep such mines going as Dave suggests!


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