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Nieuw voor België: Phyllonorycter issikii

Phyllonorycter issikii - Zutendaal ~ De Lieteberg (Lim.) 29-09-2012 ©Steve Wullaert

Phyllonorycter issikii, (Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae), new to the Belgian fauna.


Steve Wullaert


Samenvatting. Phyllonorycter issikii (Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae), nieuw voor de Belgische fauna. Tijdens een dubbelexcursie werd in het weekend van 29 en 30 oktober 2011 tijdens de excursie van zaterdag 29 oktober in Zutendaal op domein Lieteberg een nieuwe soort voor België ontdekt. Gegevens over de verspreiding en de biologie worden meegedeeld.

Key words: Phyllonorycter issikii  – Faunistics – First record – Belgium.

Wullaert,  S.: Vaartstraat 18, B-8710 Wielsbeke Belgium (sw.demijnen@gmail.com)



2011 was an interesting year for the leaf miners workgroup. We did 23 different excursions that year. A lot of those excursions were in autumn, especially because leaf miners are easier to find in that period of the year.  The weekend of 29 and 30 October we made two different excursions, one on Saturday the 29th, were we went to Ham and to Zutendaal (Pro. Limburg). The 30th we visited several places in Antwerp and East-Flanders.  But it was in Zutendaal that we were lucky! Three years of searching with our leaf miners workgroup was finally rewarded! On the domain Lieteberg we found several mines of  Phyllonorycter issikii (Kumata, 1963) on Tilia cordata. All the mines were abandoned and some of them had a pupa sticking out of the under epidermis (Fig. 2, 3). It was very likely to expect the species in Belgium near the German of Dutch border, because the species was expanding it’s range westwards, coming from the east over Germany to Holland and now into Belgium. In Europe there are 151 different species in the genus Phyllonorycter Hubner 1822, family Gracillariidae (Fauna Europaea 2012), 59 of them are present in Belgium (De Prins & Steeman, 2012). With Phyllonorycter issikii we reached 60 different species within the genus Phyllonorycter.



The larva makes rather large elliptical lower-surface tentiform mines between two veins almost without any folds in the epidermis (Fig. 2, 3). Often there are several mines of one leaf. Leaves with numerous mines are deformed. The average number of mines can reach 4 to 6 mines per leaf, but a maximum of 27 mines per leaf has already been observed (Kozlov, 1991; Orlinskii et al., 1991). The frass within the mine is concentrated in a corner, when the leaf is held towards a light source the pile of black frass is clearly visible (Fig. 3, 8). Early mines are very difficult to detect. When the larva reach the 4th and 5th instar the mines are clearly visible to the eye. 5th instar larva eats out little islands in the palisade parenchyma so that whitish dots are seen on the upper side of the mine (Šefrová, 2002).  The females lay there eggs on leaves, witch are in the shadow (Noreika, 1998). They usually prefer to select the lower branches or the undergrowth (Šefrová, 2002). Phyllonorycter issikii feeds in their native area on Tilia maximowicziana, T. kiussiana, T. japonica (in Japan), Tilia amurensis (far eastern Russia) and Tilia mandshurica (in Korea) (www.gracillariidae.net , 2012). In Europe it feeds on Tilia cordata and platyphyllos but also on their crosses, such as Tilia x euchlora and x vulgaris (Noreika, 1998, Lees, 2010).  The adults fly in two generations: in the end of April and May and again in August and September (Noreika, 1998) whereby the 2nd generation adults hibernate (Šefrová, 2002). Hibernating adults are to be found in the bark slots, crevices under bark and in other shelters (Šefrová, 2003). In the North the first generation is found much later probably because of colder weather during spring (Bengtsson, 2011). Habited mines can be found in May until half June and again from the end of July until the end of September (Scheurs & Muus, 2009). The adults are seasonally dimorphic, there is a aestival form and a autumnal form. The aestival or spring form is orange brown with certain dark costal and dorsal shades while the autumnal form is much darker. The forewing is covered with black, dark beige and white scales, making the moth mottled (Bengtsson, 2011). This striking habitual seasonal difference is possibly due to the fact that the hibernating adults easily escape the attention of their predators in overwintering shelters (Šefrová, 2002).



Phyllonorycter issikii was originally described from Japan, on the island of Hokkaido by Kumata in 1963 and it was found later on some other islands of Japan and in Korea and eastern China. It seems that the species during the 1980s was introduced into Moscow or other towns of the European part of the USSR, since then the species is spreading westwards (Šefrová, 2002).  From 1996 on the species spread rapidly throughout eastern Europe it was found in the same year in southeastern Poland, in 1997 in Lithuania (Bengtsson, 2011) and in Belarus and Latvia in 1998 (Buszko et al., 2000;  Buszko and Nowacki, 2000). In 2000 the first mines in the Czech and Slovak Republics were found (Šefrová et al., 2000) but also in northern Austria and northern Hungary (Šefrová, 2002). In 2001 the species reached eastern Germany (Graf et al. 2002). In 2002 it was found in Finland (Leinonen and Kaitila, 2003). And in 2003 it was found for the first time in Estland (Bengtsson, 2011). From 2005 on the species had spread well into parts of middle and western Germany. In Bayern, Furth im Wald (2005); in Rheinland-Pfalz, Ober-Olmer Wald (2006 & 2007); in Thüringen, Weimar-Waldstadt (2008) (http://www.lepiforum.de/, 2012). In 2007 the species reached the northeastern part of France (Reinhardt & Rennwald, 2008). In 2009 the species were found for the first time in the Benelux. In Posterholt (The Netherlands) Arnold Scheurs en Martien van Stiphout found the first mines the 21st September 2009 (Scheurs & Muus, 2009). Posterholt is a village very close to the Belgium border so Belgium was the logical following country were the species occurred and it is presumable that Phyllonorycter issikii will spread further into Europe the following years.  Bigger countries like Spain, Portugal, Great-Britain, Norway and Sweden are still missing the species (Fauna Europaea, 2012).



I would like to thank Dries De Vreeze and Chris Snyers who were accompanying me during the excursions. I also would like to thank Raymond Lambie who did provide the permission to do inventories in Lieteberg and the whole team volunteers working at the domain Lieteberg. Also I would like to thank Willy De Prins who commented this paper.



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Orlinskii, A.D., Shaharamanov, I.K., Muhanov, S.J., Masliakov, V.Y. (1991) Potential quarantine forest pests in the USSR. Zashchita Rastenii, N°11, p. 37-42.

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