Plant Parasites of Europe

leafminers, galls and fungi

Zeiraphera ratzeburgiana

Zeiraphera ratzeburgiana (Saxesen, 1840)

spruce-bud moth

Zeiraphera ratzeburgiana?? mine on Abies grandisZeiraphera ratzeburgiana?? mine on Abies grandis

Abies grandis, Belgium, prov. Namur, Lompret: possibly a youth mine of ratzeburgiana © Stéphane Claerebout


The young larva penetrates the top of just opening bud and feeds on the developing needles. While feeding the still young larva may create fleck mines in the tip of a needle. During most of its life the larva is protected by the bud scales that do not drop off because they are secured with silk.

host plants

Pinaceae, oligophagous

Abies cephalonica, grandis; Picea abies, sitchensis, smithiana; Pinus pinea, sylvestris.


Univoltine; hibernatIon as egg.


BE recorded (Phegea, 2009).

NE recorded (Kuchlein & de Vos, 1999a;, 2009).

LUX recorded (Fauna Europaea, 2009).

distribution within Europe

From Fennoscandia to the Pyrenees, Italy, and Romania, and Ireland to Central Russia (Fauna Europaea, 2009).


Dirty yellow green with a light brown head, pronotum, and thoracic feet. Pinacula unusually large, dark brown. Anal comb present. Prolegs with c. 32 crochets in a double row (Bradley ao, 1979a; Swatschek, 1958a).


See Patočka & Turčáni.


Steganoptycha ratzeburgiana.


The status of this species as a miner is unclear. Bradley ao make no allusion to a mining habit. It is difficult to imagine how the behaviour of the young larva, as described by Hering, would apply equally to Picea and Pinus, with its much longer leaves. Perhaps the species does not behave as a miner under all circumstances and on all of its host plants.


Bradley, Tremewan & Smith (1979a), Disqué (1905a), Hancock & Bland (2015a), Hering (1957a), Kuchlein & Donner (1993a), Kuchlein & de Vos (1999a), Lepiforum (2020), Meijerman & Ulenberg (2000a), Patočka & Turčáni (2005a), Pilon (1965a), Robbins (1991a), Schütze (1931a), Skala & Zavřel (1945a), Sønderup (1949a), Swatschek (1958a), Szőcs (1977a), Wegner (2010a).

Last modified 21.i.2020