Plant Parasites of Europe

leafminers, galls and fungi

Donacaula forficella

Donacaula forficella (Thunberg, 1794)

pale water-veneer

Donacaula forficella: larva in its mine

Glyceria maxima, Belgium, prov. Antwerp, Mol © Carina Van Steenwinkel: larva in the mine.

Donacaula forficella: larva

larva (because of the flash-light the colour of the larva is somewhat too light)


Narrow, whitish, rather inflated corridor, sometimes several tens of centimeters long, running towards the leaf sheath. Frass in coarse grains, in a distinct central line. Now and then the larva makes a elongate case from leaf material and uses it to float to another host plant. The case may stick for some time to the new host. The larva pupates in a stem, after having made an exit hole and closed it with silk.

host plants

Cyperaceae, Poaceae; narrowly polyphagous

Carex; Glyceria fluitans, maxima; Phragmites australis.


Larvae from autumn till July (Hering, 1957a).


BE recorded (Phegea, 2010).

NE recorded (Kuchlein & de Vos, 1999a;, 2010).

LUX recorded (Fauna Europaea, 2010).

distribution within Europe

All Europe (Fauna Europaea, 2010).


Greyish green; head black, prothoracic shield black, divided. Thoracal feet with an anteromesal globular structure (Neunzig, 1987a, Vallenduuk & Cuppen, 2004a).


See Patočka & Turčáni (2005a)


Harpella, Schoenobius forficella, forficellus.


Buhr (1935b), Grabe (1955a), Hering (1925a, 1957a), Koren, Vukotić & Črne (2015a), Kravchenko, Poltavsky, Segerer, ao (2020a), Kuchlein & Donner (1993a), Kuchlein & de Vos (1999a), Neunzig (1987a), Patočka & Turčáni (2005a), De Prins (1998a), Rinnhofer (1988a), Robbins (1991a), Vallenduuk & Cuppen (2004a), Vallenduuk, Cuppen & van der Velde (1997a).

Last modified 10.ii.2023