Plant Parasites of Europe

leafminers, galls and fungi

Agonopterix arenella

Agonopterix arenella (Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775)

brindled flat-body

Agonopterix arenella: window feeding on Centaurea macrocephala

Centaurea macrocephala, Belgium, prov. Namur, Grand-Leez: window feeding © Jean-Yves Baugnée

Agonopterix arenella: larva



Short full depth corridor. The larva soon leaves its mine, and then lives in a spinning at the leaf underside, from where it causes window feeding. In Centaurea and Serratula the larva lives in a leaf rolled downwards.

host plants

Asteraceae (+ Caprifoliaceae); narrowly polyphagous

Arctium lappa, minus, tomentosum; Carduus crispsus; Carlina vulgaris; Centaurea jacea, macrocephala, nigra, scabiosa; Cirsium arvense, vulgare; Knautia; Onopordum acanthium; Serratula tinctoria; Sonchus.


Larvae in May – early August (Harper, Langmaid & Emmet, 2002a).


BE recorded (Phegea, 2009).

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

LUX recorded (Fauna Europaea, 2009).

distribution within Europe

Entire Europe, except the Iberian Peninsula (Fauna Europaea, 2009).


Larva with pale brown or yellowish head. Prothoracic shield also pale with a black spot at each side. Body, anal shield and thoracic feet pale green or yellowish; darker dorsal and subdorsal lines. Pinacula black (Harper, Langmaid & Emmet, Fetz).


Described by Patocka (1989a) and Patočka & Turčáni (2005a).


Remarkably, this species is not mentioned by Hering (1957a).


Baldizzone (2004a), Blaik, Dobrzański, Hołowiński & Zajda (2019a), Corley, Marabuto & Pires (2007a), Corley, Rosete, Romão, ao (2015a), Fetz (1994a), Hannemann (1995a), Harper, Langmaid & Emmet (2002a), Hellers (1998a, 2020a), Huemer (2012a), Huisman (2012a), Klimesch (1959a), Kuchlein & Donner (1993a); Kuchlein & de Vos (1999a), Patocka (1989a), Patočka & Turčáni (2005a), Schmid (2019a), Thomann (1956a).

Last modified 26.i.2023