Plant Parasites of Europe

leafminers, galls and fungi

Cosmopterix orichalcea

Cosmopterix orichalcea Stainton, 1861

marsh cosmet

on grasses

Cosmopterix orichalcea: mine on Anthoxanthum odoratum

Anthoxanthum odoratum, Lippenhuisterheide, 1.vii.2017 © Gerrit Tuinstra


Up to 6 mm long, narrow, straight unbranched gallery in the direction of the leaf, often starting not far from the base of the leaf disk, full depth but most conspicuous from above. In coarser grasses the callery may broaden irregularly towards the end. At the base of the mine a small upper surface opening where frass is extruded and a frass plug develops; often several more similar openings occur higher up. The remaining frass is concentrated in a few heaps. The larva makes several mines (Hering). Pupation outside the mine

host plants

Poaceae, oligophagous

Anthoxanthum odoratum; Hierochloe odorata; Milium effusum; Phalaroides arundinacea; Phragmites australis; Schedonorus arundinaceus.

Tuinstra found in the Netherlands the species exclusively on Anthoxanthum odoratum, despite careful inspection of other grasses.


Larvae from August till May; hibernation outside the mine, in a hibernaculum (Koster, 2002c).


Found in the Netherlands (Tuinstra, 2018a) and Belgium (Benoit Molitor,, 2018).

distribution within Europe

Almost all Europe, except the Balkan Peninsula (Fauna Europaea, 2009).


Head flattened, blackish brown with U-shaped marking. Body yellow, ventrally a light brown, more or less oblong, spot on each segment; prothoracic plate dark brown and divided into two irregular parts; anal plate almost colourless; thoracic legs very light brown (Koster, 2002c).


Cosmopterix drurella auct.; Cosmopterix druryella Zeller, 1850.


Preference for the lower leaves (Hering, 1957a).


Baldizzone (2004a), Buhr (1935b), Chalmers-Hunt (1976a), Emmet & Langmaid (2002b), Hering (1957a), Klimesch (1960a), Koster (2002c), Koster & Sinev (2003a), Z Laštůvka, A Laštůvka, Liška ao (1992a), Pelham-Clinton (1986a), Robbins (1991a), Skala (1949a), Šumpich (2011b), Szőcs (1977a), Triberti, Longo Turri, Adami & Zanetti (2017a), Tuinstra (2018a), Vítek, Liška, Sitek ao (2015a), Wieser (2004a).

Last modified 24.iii.2023