Plant Parasites of Europe

leafminers, galls and fungi

Orchestes rusci

Orchestes rusci (Herbst, 1795)

on Betula

Orchestes rusci on Betula pendula: mine

Betula pendula, Russia, Moscow region, Ramensky district, village Zhukovo, © Andrey Ponomarev

Orchestes rusci on Betula pendula: mine

same mine, lighted from behind

Orchestes rusci on Betula pendula: mine

now with excision

Orchestes rusci on Betula pendula: cocoon


Orchestes rusci on Betula pendula: imago

imago, with frass and feeding traces

Orchestes rusci: vacated mine on Betula pendula

Betula pendula, Belgium, prov. Antwerp, Retie, Prinsenpark, 25.v.2014 © Carina Van Steenwinkel

Orchestes rusci: vacated mine on Betula pendula

Betula pendula, Belgium, prov. East Flanders, Ename, Volkegembos, 23.v.2015 © Carina Van Steenwinkel


Betula pendula, Spanderswoud,

Orchestes rusci

Betula pubescens, Amstelveen, JP Thijssepark, 6.vii.2008: the excision is almost finished

Orchestes rusci

frass pattern


A rather stubby, gradually widening, corridor that usually begins near the leaf tip and descends along the leaf margin (especially in the first generation). The larva lies venter-upward in the mine. Finally an almost perfectly circular excision is cut, in which the larva drops to the ground for pupation.

host plants

Betulaceae, monophagous

Betula humilis, nana, pendula, pubescens.


Larvae in May-June, in two generations (Hering, 1957a; Scherf, 1964a). However, Rheinheimer & Hassler (2010a) write of but one generation, of which the adults emerge in July.


BE recorded (Curculionidae).

NE recorded (Heijerman, 1993a; Vorst, 2010a).

LUX not recorded (Fauna Europaea, 2010).

distribution within Europe

From the British Isles and France till Poland, Roumania and Italy (Fauna Europaea, 2007).



Rhynchaenus rusci.

parasitoids, predators

Pnigalio agraules.


Morris (1993a) calls the species common in the UK; this certainly does not apply to the Netherlands. Roques (1998a) mentions also Populus nigra as a host plant, but his description of the mine (‘long, slender, winding’) suggests that he had a different species before him.


Ahr (1966a), Bachmaier (1965a), Braunert (2017a), Buhr (1933a, 1964a), Caillol (1954a), Haase (1942a), Heijerman (1993a), Hering (1924b, 1927b, 1930a, 1957a), Kozlov, van Nieukerken, Zverev & Zvereva (2013a), le Monnier (2003a), Morris (1993a), Nowakowski (1954a), Rheinheimer & Hassler (2010a), Robbins (1991a), Roques (1998a), Roques, Cleary, Matsiakh & Eschem (2017a), Scherf (1964a), Seidel (1926a), Skala (1951a), Sønderup (1949a), Viramo (1962a), Vorst (2010a), Zoerner (1969a)

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