Stigmella apicialbella (Chambers) Newton & Wilkinson

Nieukerken, Erik J. van, Gilrein, Daniel Owen & Eiseman, Charles S., 2018, Stigmellamultispicata Rociene. & Stonis, an Asian leafminer on Siberian elm, now widespread in eastern North America (Lepidoptera, Nepticulidae), ZooKeys 784, pp. 95-125: 95

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Stigmella apicialbella (Chambers) Newton & Wilkinson


Stigmella apicialbella (Chambers) Newton & Wilkinson  Figures 34, 36-39

Nepticula apicialbella  Chambers, 1873: 127.

Stigmella apicialbella  : Newton and Wilkinson 1982: 413.


Stigmella apicialbella  (Figure 34) can easily be recognized by the combination of a yellow head, white collar, and forewing with a narrow medial white fascia and an apical triangular white spot extending into the fringe. The basal half of the forewing is a bit more brown or fuscous, whereas the apical part is almost black with coarse scaling. The male genitalia are remarkably “bulky” and do not resemble any other North American species ( Newton and Wilkinson 1982).


Host plants. Ulmus americana  L., U. alata  Michx., U. rubra  Muhl. (= fulva Michx.), U. thomasii  Sarg. (= racemosa D. Thomas), Ulmus  spp. ( Ulmaceae  ) ( Braun 1917, Newton and Wilkinson 1982). Ulmus alata  constitutes a new host record.

Leafmine  (Figs 36-39). Egg on either leaf surface, may be against a vein, but never in leaf axil. Mines linear, usually rather straight, partly following veins, or more contorted; frass variable, from narrow linear to contorted, green or brown, sometimes completely filling the mine. Larval exit on leaf upperside.

Larva (Figure 39). Yellow, feeding with dorsum upwards; head capsule brown. Larva spinning a brown cocoon on debris.

Life history. Bivoltine, or possibly trivoltine ( Braun 1917). Larvae in June to early July, again in August to October. Adults recorded from April to early July and again in August.


Widespread in Eastern North America, positive records from: Canada: New Brunswick, Ontario (BOLD: BIOUG33718-A12), Quebec (van Nieukerken 2018), USA: Alabama*, Connecticut*, Georgia*, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky ( Chambers 1873), Massachusetts, Mississippi*, New York*, North Carolina, Ohio ( Braun 1917), Tennessee, Vermont. States without reference are new records: from states with asterisk we have as yet only seen vacated mines; from the other states the occurrence is confirmed by adults or DNA barcodes of larvae.

DNA barcodes.

We have three DNA barcodes, all with BINBOLD: ACG9146 (Figure 44).


The leafmines of this species are remarkably variable. Since we have not seen any adults or DNA barcodes yet from the southernmost states, the possibility that some of these mines represent other taxa cannot be excluded.

Material examined.

Canada: 1 larva, several mines, Québec, Brome-Missisquoi, St Armand, Étang Streit, 7.ix.2015, Ulmus americana  ; 1♀, Québec, Gatineau, Aylmer, 18 rue Washington, 19.v.1998. United States: several vacated mines, Alabama, Monroe Co., Haines Island Park, along Alabama River, 12.x.2010, Ulmus  ; several vacated mines, Connecticut, Litchfield Co., Canaan, Page Road near Falls Village, 11.ix.2011, U. americana  ; 8 vacated mines, Georgia, Murray Co., Chattahoochee Nat. Forest, E of Chatsworth, GA rd 52, 14.x.2010, U. alata  ; 1♂, Indiana, St. Joseph Co., 25.v.2010; 1♂, ibidem, 13.viii.2010; 3♂, ibidem, 15.viii.2010; 1♂, Kentucky [Kenton Co., Covington], Lectotype; 1 adult, Massachusetts, Hampshire Co., Northampton, Northampton Bikeway west of King St., 13.ix.2013, Ulmus  , emerged 22.v.2014; 3 vacated mines, Mississippi, Oktibbeha Co., Black Prairie Reserve, nr 16th Section Rd, 6.x.2010, U. alata  ; 1 vacated mine, Mississippi, Winston Co., Tombigbee Nat. Forest, Noxubee Hills trailhead, 7.x.2010, U. alata  ; 2 vacated mines, New York, Essex Co, S Wilmington, W branch Ausable river, 13.ix.2011, U. americana  ; 1 larva, mines, Tennessee, Obion Co., Reelfoot Lake, 17.xi.2012, Ulmus  ; 1 larva, 2 mines, Vermont, Addison Co., Addison, Dead Creek WMA, 16.ix.2011, U. americana  ; 1 vacated mine, Vermont, Chittenden Co., Burlington, Colchester Bog, 5.ix.2015, U. americana  .

Online photographs: Canada: vacated mine, New Brunswick, York Co., Fredericton, 28.viii.2015, Christopher Adam,, United States: 1 adult, Illinois, Cook Co., Glencoe, 22.v.2017, James F. Steffen,; mine with larva, North Carolina, Durham Co., Durham, Pelham Road,, U. alata  , Tracy S. Feldman,, plus many records of vacated mines from NC.