Plant Parasites of Europe

leafminers, galls and fungi

Scrobipalpa instabilella

Scrobipalpa instabilella (Douglas, 1846)

saltern groundling

Scrobipalpa instabilella mine

Atriplex portulacoides, Britain; © Rob Edmunds


Larvae in blotchlike mines. Most frass is ejected through a small opening in the mine. Fresh mines are very difficult to find. The larvae can leave their mine and restart elsewhere. Pupation external.

host plants

Amaranthaceae, monophagous

Atriplex halimus; Halimione portulacoides.

The reference to Chenopodium by Hering (1957a) and Elsner ao (1999a) probably is due to confusion with Scrobipalpa atriplicella (Bland ao, 2002a). Also other host plants associations mentioned in the literature, like with Aster tripolium; Atriplex littoralis; Lycium barbarum; Plantago coronopus, maritima; Salicornia europaea; Salsola; Suaeda probably originated from erroneous identifications.


Mining larvae in April (Jansen, 1999a and in litt.); Bland ao (2002a) write March – May. Hibernation as larva.


BE recorded (Phegea, 2009).

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

LUX not recorded (Fauna Europaea, 2009).

distribution within Europe

From Denmark tot the Iberian Peninsula, Sardinia, Sicily, and Cyprus, and from Ireland to Hungary (Fauna Europaea, 2009).


Larva yellowish grey with three reddish brown length lines. Head and prothoracic shield light brown. Anal shield pale to dark brown; thoracic feet blackish (Jansen, 1999a; Bland ea, 2002a).


Gnorimoschema instabilellum; “G. stabilella”: Hering 1957a:150.


Only in salt marshes along the coast.


Bella & Karsholt (2015a), Bland, Corley, Emmet ao (2002a), Elsner, Huemer & Tokár (1999a), Hering (1957a), Huemer & Karsholt (2010a), Huisman & Koster (2000a), Jansen (1999a), Kuchlein & Donner (1993a), Kuchlein & de Vos (1999a), Nel (1999b), Requena (2009a), Rickert (2010a, 2011a), Skala (1950a), Szőcs (1977a), Wegner (2010a), Wegner, Kayser & van Loh (2007a).

Last modified 27.i.2020