British Insects: the Genus Phyllonorycter (Lepidoptera-Gracillariidae)


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Phyllonorycter rajella (Linnaeus)

Synonym: Phyllonorycter alnifoliella (Hübner).

Associated with trees. On Betulaceae; Alnus (not confined to Grey Alder, Alnus incana, as distinct from P. strigulatella).

Larvae. The larvae mining in leaves; in the under-side. Found in July, or September to October.

Adults. Face white. Head mixed white and fuscous. Thorax mixed white and fuscous.

Wing-span 7–9 mm. Forewings variable, dark ochreous, or fuscous; with a well defined basal streak (this somewhat lanceolate and pointed, reaching to the middle of the wing). The basal streak pale; dark-edged above. Forewings with well defined pale strigulae (white). Costal strigulae 4. Dorsal strigulae 3. Forewings with the first costal strigula approaching a dorsal one at an acute angle; without transverse pale fasciae. Hindwing cilia brownish fuscous.

Adults abroad May and August.

General comments. Recognised as distinct in Bradley's (2000) check list, but much confused with P. strigulatella (q.v.) and the mainland-European P. alnifoliella, which formerly included both of them. Diagnostic descriptions have proved elusive, and the present description does not distinguish between these species morphologically.

Illustrations. • P. stettinensis, P. schreberella and P. cf. rajella (as alnifolia): Stainton (1855) Plate V, under Lithocolletis. • Stainton (1855), Plate V: original legend.. • P. rajella (as alnifoliella Hübner) and 5 other species: Hübner, 1796–1819.

To view illustrations with legends giving names in current use, go to the interactive key. This also offers full and partial descriptions, diagnostic descriptions, differences and similarities between taxa, lists of taxa exhibiting or lacking specified attributes, and distributions of character states within any set of taxa, as well as source references and other relevant material.

Cite this publication as: ‘Watson, L., and Dallwitz, M.J. 2003 onwards. British insects: the genus Phyllonorycter (Lepidoptera-Gracillariidae). Version: 29th December 2011.’.