Plant Parasites of Europe

leafminers, galls and fungi

Orchestes testaceus

Orchestes testaceus (Müller, 1776)

Orchestes testaceus: mine with cocoon

Alnus glutinosa, Hongarije, Kimle, 5.v.2016 © László Érsek: mine with cocoon

Orchestes testaceus: larva in cocoon

larva in opened cocoon

Orchestes testaceus: larva

16.v.2019: larva, dorsal

Orchestes testaceus: larva

larva, ventral

Orchestes testaceus: pupa

pupa in the mine

Orchestes testaceus: pupa

pupa dorsal

Orchestes testaceus: pupa

pupa, ventral

Orchestes testaceus: mine

Alnus x spaethii, Aalten, 24.v.2002

Orchestes testaceus: mine on Alnus glutinosa

Alnus glutinosa, Belgium, prov. Antwerp, Balen, Scheps, 14.v.2015 © Carina Van Steenwinkel

Orchestes testaceus: mine on Alnus glutinosa

same leaf, underside, with oviposition scar

Orchestes testaceus: mine on Alnus glutinosa

another mine, lighted from behind

Orchestes testaceus: larva

larva, ventral view

Orchestes testaceus mine

Alnus incana, Belgium, prov. Namur, Lives, 4.v.2010 © Jean-Yves Baugnée

Orchestes testaceus larva

larva dorsal view

Orchestes testaceus larva

ventral view


Alnus glutinosa, Orvelte, 7.viii.2003


Oviposition in the underside of the midrib or a thick lateral vein; later a large scar is visible there. Initially the larva tunnels in the midrib or vein, that inflates and disfigures somewhat as a result. Then the larva starts a corridor in the leaf blade, quite narrow at first, but strongly widening as the larva approaches the leaf margin or leaf tip. The mine is reddish brown in colour. The mature larva makes itself a dark brown globular cocoon in the mine and pupates there.

Because the mine is made at a time that the leaf still is unfolding, the leaf becomes permanently rumpled. In the course of the summer the mine erodes away, but the combination of the oviposition scar, the swollen midrib and the frayed leave missing a large part of its distal half remains unmistakable.

host plants

Betulaceae, oligophagous

Alnus glutinosa, incana, x pubescens, x spaethii.


Larvae in May-June (Scherf, 1964a); adults emerge in June (Rheinheimer & Hassler, 2010a).


BE recorded (, 2010).

NE recorded (Heijerman, 1993a).

LUX not recorded (Fauna Europaea, 2007).

distribution within Europe

Almost all of Europe, except Ireland, the Iberian Peninsula and the Balkan Peninsula (Fauna Europaea, 2007).


Rhynchaenus, Trecticus, testaceus; Rhynchaenus scutellaris (Fabricius, 1801).

parasitoids, predators

Tetrastichus leocrates, miser.


According to Hering (1957a) the species is very common throughout Europe, and this is confirmed for the Netherlands by van Frankenhuyzen a.o. (1982a); in my experience during the last decade is rather uncommon in the Netherlands. Also in the UK the species is fairly scarce (Morris, 1993a)
It has long be assumed that O. testaceus and O. calceatus were one and the same species. This has definitely been refuted by Košťál & Caldara.


Ahr (1966a), Beiger (1979a), Buhr (1933a, 1964a), Drăghia (1968a), van Frankenhuyzen & Houtman (1972a), van Frankenhuyzen a.o. (1982a), von Frauenfeld (1864a), Hartig (1939a), Heijerman (1993a), Hering (1927b, 1930a, 1957a), Huber (1969a), Kleine (1924/25a), Košťál & Caldara (2013a), Kozlov, van Nieukerken, Zverev & Zvereva (2013a), le Monnier (2003a), Morris (1993a), Rheinheimer & Hassler (2010a), Robbins (1991a), Scherf (1964a), Seidel (1926a), Skala (1936a), Sønderup (1949a), Viramo (1962a, 1970a, 1975a), Vorst (2010a), Yunakov, Nazarenko, Filimonov & Volovnik (2018a).

Last modified 7.vii.2022