Plant Parasites of Europe

leafminers, galls and fungi

Phyllonorycter distentella

Phyllonorycter distentella (Zeller, 1846)

scarce midget


Lower-surface tentiform mine; lower epidermis with a numerous extremely fine folds. The mine is exceptionally large, 25 mm on average, and extends from midrib to leaf margin. The roof of the mine is largely eaten out but generally a green centre is left over. Often several mines in a leaf. The mine causes the leaf to contract strongly. The pupa hangs in the mine, suspended by a loose net of silk. Frass heaped in a corner of the mine.

host plants

Fagaceae, monophagous

Quercus pubescens, robur.


Larvae in July and September – October (Hering, 1957a). Only one generation in Britain, with larvae in July – August; whether they hibernate as larva or pupa is not known (Emmet, 1986d).


BE recorded (Phegea, 2009).

NE not recorded (Fauna Europaea, 2009).

LUX not recorded (Fauna Europaea, 2009).

distribution within Europe

From Germany to Portugal, Italy, and Hungary, and from Britain to South Russia (Fauna Europaea, 2009).


See Gregor & Patočka (200a), Patočka & Turčáni (2005a). The pupa strongly resembles the one of Ph. harrisella.


Everywhere a rare species.


Many authors consider Ph. mannii (Zeller, 1846) a synonym of distentella. Ph. mannii has the same range of hostplants as distentella (Global taxonomic database of Gracillariidae, 2009). For practical reasons also here mannii is set aside as a synonym.


Buhr (1936a), Buszko (1992b,c), Deschka (1970c, 2014a), Emmet (1975b, 1986d, 1994a), Emmet, Watkinson & Wilson (1985), ffennell (1975a), Gregor (1952a), Gregor & Patočka (2001a), Harper & Langmaid (1978a), Hartig (1939a), Hering (1934a, 1957a), Kasy (1987a), Kondur & Simsek (2016b), Maček (1999a), Nel & Varenne (2014a), Patočka & Turčáni (2005a), Robbins (1991a), Schütze (1931a), Skala & Zavřel (1945a), Steuer (2002a), Szőcs (1977a, 1988a), Tomov & Dimitrov (2007a).

Last modified 6.i.2023