Plant Parasites of Europe

leafminers, galls and fungi

Bucculatrix frangutella

Bucculatrix frangutella (Goeze, 1783)

buckthorn bent-wing

on Frangula, Rhamnus

Bucculatrix frangutella: mines on Frangula alnus

Rhamnus frangula, Ede

Bucculatrix frangutella: mine on Frangula alnus

Rhamnus frangula, Ommen: enkele mijn

Bucculatrix frangutella: mine on Rhamnus cathartica

Rhamnus cathartica, Hungary, Budapest – Jánoshegy © László Érsek

Bucculatrix frangutella: mine on Rhamnus cathartica: egg and exit

underside of the same mine, with empty egg shell and exit opening

Bucculatrix frangutella: feeding traces on Frangula alnus

Rhamnus frangula, Lage Mierde: window feeding, caused by the free living larvae


A narrow corridor, densely wound, almost entirely filled with purplish brown frass. The last 1 to 2 cm of the corridor are free from te spiral, and almost straight. At this point the mine is left, and the larvae continue to live free on the leaf, causing window feeding. The empty larval chamber, obviously free from frass, is conspicuously slender. The egg, in the very centre of the spiral, is at the leaf lower side, as is the exit from the mine (Emmet, 1985a). Pupation in a greyish-brown, spindle-shaped, strongly ribbed cocoon.


Rhamnaceae, monophagous

Frangula alnus, rupestris; Rhamnus cathartica, erythroxyloides, erythroxyloides, saxatilis & subsp. tinctoria, virgata.


Mines are found from July to November; according to Emmet (1985a) the larval stage is in June-July. Univoltine, hibernation as pupa (Patočka, 1996a).


BE recorded (De Prins, 1998a).

NE recorded (, 2008).

LUX recorded (Ellis: Ahn, Palmberg).

distribution within Europe

Entire Europe, including Portugal and Spain, except the Balkan Peninsula (Baugnée in litt., 2012; Corley ao, 2006a; Fauna Europaea, 2008).



Described by Patočka (1996a), Patočka & Turčáni (2005a).


B. fragulella. Goeze’s original spelling of the specific name is frangutella. Given the name of the host plant, and the small difference between an l and a t in worn lead hand printing this obviously is a typing error and according to the rules of nomenclature frangulella should be the valid name. However, in Lepidoptera tradition it is customary to set side the rules of nomenclature at this point, and to rigidly adhere to the original spelling.


In some shrubs of Rhamnus catharticus the mines are surrounded by unusually large darkened spots.
Bucculatrix frangutella: mines on Rhamnus cathartica

Rhamnus catharticus, Oostvoorne, Tenellaplas


Some pictures of the spinning of the cocoon:


Baldizzone (2004a), Bengtsson & Johansson (2011a), Biesenbaum (2010a), Borkowski (2003a), Buhr (1964a), Burmann (1991a), Corley, Maravalhas & Passos de Carvalho (2006a), Corley, Rosete, Romão ao (2015a), Deschka & Wimmer (2000a), Diškus & Stonis (2012a), Drăghia (1968a), Dziurzynski (1957a), Emmet (1985a), Haase (1942a), van Frankenhuyzen & Houtman (1972a), van Frankenhuyzen, Houtman & Kabos (1982a), Hering (1932g, 1957a), Huber (1969a), Kasy (1983a, 1987a), Klimesch (1937b, 1942a, 1950c, 1951b, 1956a, 1958c), Kollár & Hrubík (2009a), Kuchlein & Donner (1993a), Kuchlein & de Vos (1999a), Kurz & Kurz (2007a), Kurz & Embacher (2012a), Kvičala (1938a), Laštůvka & Laštůvka (2017a), Lhomme (1934d), Maček (1999a), Michalska (1972a), Michna (1975a), Patočka (1996a), Patočka & Turčáni (2005a), Popescu-Gorj & Drăghia (1966a), De Prins (2008d, 2010a), Robbins (1991a), Schmid (2019a), Sefrová (2005a), Skala & Zavřel (1945a), Steuer (1995a), Svensson (1971a), Szőcs (1977a, 1981a), Thomann (1956a), van Wielink (2020a), Zoerner (1969a).

Last modified 10.iv.2023