Plant Parasites of Europe

leafminers, galls and fungi

Scythris siccella

Scythris siccella (Zeller, 1839)

least owlet


Very transparent, frass-less fleck mine. The larva mines from a long silken tube, covered with sand, under the leaf, in which it retracts at daytime. Mainly in (under) leaves they lie on the ground. The larva mines all its life. Pupation in a cocoon in the ground below the plant.

host plants

polyphagous on low herbs

Anthyllis vulneraria; Armeria maritima; Cerastium; Helianthemum nummularium; Lotus corniculatus; Ononis spinosa subsp. procurrens; Pilosella officinarum; Plantago; Scabiosa columbaria; Thymus, Tuberaria.

In the experience of Baran (2003a) Pilosella is the most important host.


Larvae in May (Hering, 1957a).


BE not recorded (Fauna Europaea, 2009).

NE observed (Kuchlein & de Vos, 1999). Recently, after half a century, found again by Bot (2002a: Terschelling)

LUX not recorded (Fauna Europaea, 2009).

distribution within Europe

Entire Western Europe, Ireland excepted (Fauna Europaea, 2009).


Larva reddish purple; segment limits between the first five or so segments whitish; head, prothoracic plate, anal plate and thoracic feet shining dark brown to black. Baran (2003a) gives a detailed description of the chaetotay and morphology.


Baran (2003a), Patočka & Turčáni (2005a).


Baran (2003a), Bengtsson (2002a), Bot (2002a), Emmet & Langmaid (2002b), Fournier (2017a), Hering (1957a), Huisman & Koster (2000a), Patočka & Turčáni (2005a), Pröse (1995a), Sutter (1994a), Szőcs (1977a), Takács, Szabóky & Tóth (2021a), Wegner (2010a), Zoerner (1970b).

Last modified 21.i.2023