Plant Parasites of Europe

leafminers, galls and fungi

Stephensia brunnichella

Stephensia brunnichella (Linnaeus, 1767)

basil dwarf

Stephensia brunnichella: primary mine on Clinopodium vulgare

Clinopodium vulgare, Belgium, prov. Liège, Modave, 16.xi.2018 © Philippe Vanmeerbeeck: primary mines

Stephensia brunnichella: secondary mine on Clinopodium vulgare

primary and secondary mine

Stephensia brunnichella: larva


Stephensia brunnichella: exuvium



Egg elongate, with strong longitudinal ridges, at the underside of the leaf, in the basal part, near the midrib. The egg is partly inserted into the leaf tissue. The mine begins as a long, narrow, full depth gallery running towards the leaf tip; frass here in a narrow central line. After the leaf tip has been reached a large, full depth, brown blotch is made. Much silk is deposited within, strongly contracting the mine and making it opaque. Frass lies in big black lumps here either in the oldest part, or in the centre, of the blotch. The larvae are capable of leaving their mine and restarting elsewhere, in which case the initial corridor is missing. Larvae of the first generation hibernate in the mine. Pupation external, in a white spinning, often between the leaves of the hostplant.

host plants

Lamiaceae, narrowly oligophagous

Clinopodium nepeta & subsp. glandulosum, vulgare; Origanum.


Larvae from autumn till April, then again in July (Traugott-Olsen & Nielsen, 1977a).


BE recorded (Phegea, 2010).

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

LUX not recorded (Fauna Europaea, 2010).

distribution within Europe

Most of Europe; missing in Spain, the Mediterranean Islands, and the Balkan Peninsula (Fauna Europaea, 2010).


See Steuer (1987a) and Baran (2010a); greenish, head and thoracic plate black.


See Patočka (1999a), Patočka & Turčáni (2005a).


Stephensia staudingeri Nielsen & Traugott-Olsen, 1981 – see Parenti & Pizzolato (2014a).


Aarvik, Bakke, Berg ao (1997a), Baldizzone (2004a), Baran (2005a, 2010a), Baran, Mazurkiewicz & Palka (2007a), Beiger (1979a), Bidzilya, Budashkin & Zhakov (2016a), Bland (1996a), Buhr (1935a), Buszko & Beshkov (2004a), Gielis, Huisman, Kuchlein ao (1985a), Hering (1924a, 1957a), Huisman, Koster, van Nieukerken & Ellis (2009a), Kuchlein & Donner (1993a), Kuchlein & de Vos (1999a), Nielsen & Traugott-Olsen (1978a, 1981a), Parenti & Pizzolato (2014a), Parenti & Varalda (1994a), Patočka (1999a), Patočka & Turčáni (2005a), De Prins (1998a), Robbins (1991a), Skala (1949a), Skala & Zavřel (1945a), Sønderup (1949a), Sruoga & Ivinskis (2005a, 2011a), Steeman & Sierens (2020a), Steuer (1987a, 1995a), Šulcs (1996a), Šumpich (2011a), Szőcs (1977a), Traugott-Olsen & Nielsen (1977a), Wörz (1957a).

Last modified 24.ii.2023