Plant Parasites of Europe

leafminers, galls and fungi

Gracillaria syringella

Gracillaria syringella (Fabricius, 1794)

common slender

Gracillaria syringella, mines & cones

Ligustrum ovalifolium: (old) mines and leaf rolls, Belgium, Liège © Jean-Yves Baugnée

Gracillaria syringella mine

Ligustrum ovalifolium, Nieuwendam

Gracillaria syringella: mines on Fraxinus excelsior

Fraxinus excelsior, Flevoland, Reve-Abbertbos © Hans Jonkman

Gracillaria syringella mine

Fraxinus excelsior, Arnhem

Gracillaria syringella mine

Syringa vulgaris, Castricum: the lower-surface start of the mine

Gracillaria syringella mine

same mine, at stronger magnification, to show the flimsy remnant of the egg shells

Gracillaria syringella: mine on Syringa vulgaris

Syringa vulgaris, België, prov. Namen, Couvin © Stéphane Claerebout

Gracillaria syringella: initial galleries

egg shells and two initial galleries, that this time run separately.


The mine begins at a row of eggs along the midrib. The emerging larve form relatively broad, inconspicuous, lower-surface corridor. Subsequently a large, grey brown or greenish brown, very opaque upper-surface blotch is made, occupied by ten or more larvae. The mine makes the leaf somewhat bumpy, but the leaf does not fold around the mine, like in Caloptilia cuculipennella. After some time the larva leave the mine and continue feeding, still communally, in a downwards rolled leaf.


Oleaceae, oligophagous

Chionanthus virginicus; Forestiera acuminta; Forsythia x intermedia, suspensa, viridissima; Fraxinus americana, angustifolia subsp. oxycarpa, anomala, excelsior, latifolia, nigra, oregona, ornus, quadrangulata, sogdiana; Jasminum nudiflorum; Ligustrum ibota, ovalifolium, vulgare; Osmanthus x burkwoodii; Phillyrea latifolia; Syringa emodi, josikaea, komarowii, x persica, reticulata, tomentella subsp. sweginzowii, vulgaris.

In Forsythia the mines remain corridor-like, and the larvae die after the mines have grown to 1-2 cm (Buhr, 1935b, 1964a).

Less often observed on Deutzia, Diervilla lonicera, Euonymus europaeus, verrucosus, Weigela ‘Rosea’. Zoerner (1975a) mentions a surprising observation on Magnolia; Kollár (2007a), Robbins (1991a), Szőcs (1977a), and Kollár & Hrubík (2009a) add Sambucus nigra, Symphoricarpos, and Viburnum. In most cases this concerns xenophagy, and the larvae will not complete their development; only the large number of Caprifoliaceae suggests that here a real host plant relation may exist.


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


BE recorded (Phegea, 2009).

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

LUX recorded (Fauna Europaea, 2009).

distribution within Europe

Entire Europe, except the Balkan Peninsula (Fauna Europaea, 2009).



Described by Patočka & Turčáni (2005a). The pupa mostly in the leaf rol, in a fold, and protected by a parchment-like sheet (Tymo Muus, pers. comm.)


Caloptilia, Xanthospilapteryx syringella; Gracillaria anastomosis Haworth, 1928.


Can cause considerable damage in gardens and ornamental crops, especially in Lilacs.


Ahr (1966a), Baldizzone (2004a), Bengtsson & Johansson (2011a), Beiger (1979a), Biesenbaum (2010a), SCS Brown (1947a), Buhr (1935a,b, 1937a, 1964a), Buszko (1992b), Csóka (2003a), Deschka & Wimmer (2000a), Deutschmann (2008a), Drăghia (1971a), Emmet, Watkinson & Wilson (1985a), van Frankenhuyzen & Houtman (1972a), van Frankenhuyzen Houtman & Kabos (1982a), Fulmek (1910b), Haase (1942a), Hering (1926b, 1930b, 1931-32f, 1932b, 1934c, 1957a), Huber (1969a), Huemer (2012a), Jaworski (2009a), Kasy (1965a), Kiziroglu (1976a), Klimesch (1950c), Kollár (2007a), Kollár & Hrubík (2009a), Kozlov & Kullberg (2010a), Kvičala (1938a), Leutsch (2011a), Lhomme (1934c), Maček (1999a), Matošević, Pernek, Dubravac & Barić (2009a), Michalska (1970a, 1972a, 1976a), Nowakowski (1954a), Opheim (1977a), Patočka & Turčáni (2005a), Robbins (1991a), Sefrová (2005a), Skala (1941a), Sønderup (1949a), Stammer (2016a), Starý (1930a), Stolnicu (2007a, 2008a), Szőcs (1977a, 1978a, 1981a), Tomov & Krusteva (2007a), Ureche (2010a), Zoerner (1969a, 1975a).

Last modified 19.ix.2018