Plant Parasites of Europe

leafminers, galls and fungi

Recurvaria nanella

Recurvaria nanella (Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775)

brindled groundling

on Prunus, etc.

Recurvaria nanella: mine on Prunus cerasifera

Prunus cerasifera, Hungary, Budapest, 5.x.2017 © László Érsek

Recurvaria nanella: mine on Prunus cerasifera

mine, upper side

Recurvaria nanella: mine on Prunus cerasifera

same mine, underside

Recurvaria nanella: larva


Recurvaria nanella: larva

another image

Recurvaria nanella mine

Pyrus communis, Belgium, Liège, 4.x.2010 © Jean-Yves Baugnée

Recurvaria nanella mine


Recurvaria nanella mine

Malus domestica, Belgium, Liège, 3.x.2010 © Jean-Yves Baugnée


Branched, sometimes stellate, brownish, very transparent, sometimes long corridor that contains almost no frass. All frass is ejected through a number of tiny openings that generally are close to a vein. Only the young larvae live as miners.

host plants

Rosaceae, oligophagous

Amelanchier ovalis; Chaenomeles; Cotoneaster; Crataegus laevigata, monogyna; Cydonia oblonga; Malus domestica, ringo, sylvestris; Mespilus germanica; Prunus armeniaca, avium, cerasus, domestica & subsp. insititia, dulcis, mahaleb, persica, serrulata, spinosa; Pyrus communis; Sorbus.

Also Betula (Requena). At least in Britain Malus, Pyrus, Prunus spinosa are the main host plant (Bland ao, 2002a)

Mentioned by Elsner ao (1999a) also from “Cerasus serratula”; probably Prunus serrulata was intended.

Now and then the species is recorded from Corylus avellana, Rhamnus and Betula. A common acceptance of Birch and Rosaceae is not exceptional, but the other cases probably should be regarded as xenophagy.


Larvae mine from August to October; after hibernation they live free in the buds and among young leaves (Hering, 1957a).


BE recorded (Phegea, 2009).

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

LUX recorded (Fauna Europaea, 2009).

distribution within Europe

Almost all of Europe, but missing in Ireland and rare in the North (Fauna Europaea, 2009).


Larva reddish brown; head and prothoracic plate black (Bland ao, 2002a).


Described by Patočka & Turčáni (2005a).


Seems to be in decline (Bland ao, 2002a).

Elsner ao (1999a) list also Recurvaria leucoptera (Clerck, 1758) as a miner, living an a long series of Rosaceae, moreover, with question marks, Rhamnus and Acer. However, in the discussion of the biology of this species by Bland ao (2002a) not even a hint to a mining life style is given.


Baldizzone (2004a), Baldizzone & Scalercio (2018a), Benander (1937a), Bidzilya, Karsholt, Kravchenko & Šumpich (2019a), Biesenbaum (2001c), Bland, Corley, Emmet ao (2002a), Buhr (1935b, 1964a), Drăghia (1970a, 1972a), Elsner, Huemer & Tokár (1999a), van Frankenhuyzen & Houtman (1972a), van Frankenhuyzen Houtman & Kabos (1982a), Haase (1942a), Hartig (1939a), Hering (1932g, 1957a), Huber (1969a), Huemer (1988a, 2012a), Klimesch (1050c, 1958a), Klimesch & Skala (1936a), Kozlov, van Nieukerken, Zverev & Zvereva (2013a), Leutsch (2011a), Lhomme (1934c), Maček (1999a), Parsons (1995a), Patočka & Turčáni (2005a), De Prins (2010a), De Prins & Steeman (2011a), Requena (2009a), Robbins (1991a), Sefrová (2005a), Skala (1950a, 1951a), Skala & Zavřel (1945a), Szőcs (1977a), Vegliante & Zilli (2007a).

Last modified 24.i.2023