Plant Parasites of Europe

leafminers, galls and fungi

Caloptilia azaleella

Caloptilia azaleella (Brants, 1913)

azalea leaf-miner

Caloptilia azaleella:  mine on "Azalea"

Rhododendron spec., Belgium, prov. Liège, Cointe: mine and leaf roll, upperside © Jean-Yves Baugnée

Caloptilia azaleella:  mine on "Azalea"


Caloptilia azaleella:  mine on "Azalea"

Rhododendron spec., Drachten © Gerrit Tuinstra: mines and leaf rolls


Orange brown to rust-coloured lower-surface blotch, mostly near the midrib. Towards the end of the mining activity silk is deposited in the mine; this causes the mine to contract, folding the leaf over the mine. Frass packed in a corner of the mine. After some time the larva vacates the mine and lives free then in a leaf tip that has been rolled downwards and fixed with silk. Two of such cones are made and eaten out from the inside. Pupation in a membranous, shining cocoon at the underside of a leaf.

host plants

Ericaceae, monophagous

Rhododendron “hinomayo”, indicum, japonicum, simsii.

On ornamental “Azalea”, mostly in greenhouses, but in sheltered situations also in the open.


Larvae in June, September, sometimes again in late autumn (Emmet ea, 1985a).


BE recorded (Phegea, 2010).

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

LUX recorded (Fauna Europaea, 2010).

distribution within Europe

From Sweden to Portugal and Italy, and from Britain to Central Russia (Fauna Europaea, 2010).


Described by SCS Brown (1947a).


Sometimes a pest in greenhouses.


Aguiar & Karsholt (2006a), Bengtsson & Johansson (2011a), Biesenbaum (2010a), Brown (1947a), Buhr (1935a, 1964a), Buszko (1992b), Corley, Rosete, Marabuto ao (2014a), Dekle (2016a), Emmet, Watkinson & Wilson (1985a), van Frankenhuyzen & Houtman (1972a), van Frankenhuyzen Houtman & Kabos (1982a), Hering (1925b, 1957a), Huisman & Koster (1994a, 1999a), Huisman, Koster, Muus & van Nieukerken (2013a), Huisman, Koster, van Nieukerken & Ulenberg (2001a), Klimesch & Skala (1936b), Kuchlein & Donner (1993a), Kuchlein & de Vos (1999a), De Prins (1998a), De Prins & Steeman (2013a, 2014a), Pröse (2006a), Shin, Lee & Byun (2015a), Skala & Zavřel (1945a), Sønderup (1949a), Szabóky (2012a).

Last modified 15.i.2020