Plant Parasites of Europe

leafminers, galls and fungi

Caloptilia betulicola

Caloptilia betulicola (Hering, 1928)

red birch slender

Caloptilia betulicola mine

Betula pubescens, Vlaardingen (herb. B van As)

Caloptilia betulicola mineCaloptilia betulicola mine

mine with initial corridor; same mine, lighted from behind


The mine starts with an inconspicuous epidermal corridor, mainly visible by a reddish brown frass line. During the following larval stage a blotch is formed, that quickly develops into a tentiform mine; the epidermis is brown. Generally the mine is lower-surface, but upper-surface mines are not rare. Frass in a mass of grains in a corner of the mine. After having left its mine the larva moves twice. First it lives in a rolled (sometimes just folded) leaf margin, after that in a leaf that is transversely rolled downwards, starting from the leaf tip; generally the entire leaf is involved. Pupation in a white, strongly shining, parchment-like cocoon, that is fixed with silk to the leaf margin.

host plants

Betulaceae, monophagous

Betula pendula, pubescens.

Preference for suckers and seedlings.


Larvae in May and July, pupae in May-June and in August (Emmet, Watkinson & Wilson, 1985a).


BE recorded (Phegea, 2008).

NE recorded (Kuchlein & de Vos (1999a;, 2008).

LUX not recorded (Fauna Europaea, 2008).

distribution within Europe

From Scandinavia and the north of European Russia to the Pyrenees and Alps, and from Ireland to Poland and Slovakia (Fauna Europaea, 2008); also Iberia (A & Z Laštůvka, 2014a).


Whitish with pale brown head; pronotum without black spots (contrary to Parornix betulae).


See Patočka & Zach (1995a), Patočka & Turčáni (2005a), in a shiny, yellowish cocoon.


Gracillaria betulicola.


Also many members of the Lepidoptera family Tortricidae live in leaf rolls. However, contrary to Tortricidae larvae, Caloptilia larvae leave the outer layers of the palissade parenchyma uneaten, causing their leaf rolls to remain green (Emmet, Watkinson & Wilson,1985a).


Bengtsson & Johansson (2011a), Biesenbaum (2010a), SCS Brown (1947a), Buszko (1992c), Deutschmann (2008a), Emmet, Watkinson & Wilson (1985a), Heckford (1986a), Hering (1927b, 1957a), Huisman, Koster, van Nieukerken & Ellis (2009a), Jaworski (2009a), Kirichenko, Triberti, Akulov ao (2019a), Klimesch & Skala (1936b), Kollár & Hrubík (2009a), Kuchlein & Donner (1993a), Kuchlein & de Vos (1999a), A & Z Laštůvka (2014a), Opheim (1977a), Patočka & Turčáni (2005a), Patočka & Zach (1995a), Plóciennik, Pawlikiewicz & Jaworski (2011a), De Prins & Steeman (2013a), Robbins (1991a), Skala & Zavřel (1945a), Szőcs (1977a).

Last modified 7.viii.2019