Plant Parasites of Europe

leafminers, galls and fungi

Phyllonorycter insignitella

Phyllonorycter insignitella (Zeller, 1846)

clover midget


Lower surface tentiform mine that occupies only part of a leaflet. In full grown leaves the mine is strongly inflated an is largely hidden by the leaf. Contrary to other species not the entire leaflet is mined out.

host plants

Fabaceae, oligophagous

Lathyrus; Lotus; Medicago falcata, lupulina; Ononis spinosa subsp. procurrens; Trifolium alpestre, medium, montanum, pratense; Vicia.

Records from Lathyrus are somewhat dubious (Hering, 1957a).


Larvae in July and September – October (Emmet ao, 1985a).


BE recorded (Phegea, 2009).

NE recorded (Huisman ao, 2004a; van Stiphout ao, 2004a;, 2009).

LUX recorded (Fauna Europaea, 2009).

distribution within Europe

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


Described by Gregor & Patočka (2001a) and Patočka & Turčáni (2005); see also King & Murria (2002a). The pupa strongly resembles the one of Ph. medicaginella, but the 10th abdomen segment is clearly wider than long (as wide as long in medicaginella) and the cremaster spines are not notched just before the hooks. The constancy of these differences remains to be established.


Lithocolletis insignitella.


The mine can easily be confused with the one of Ph. nigrescentella or Ph. medicaginella. Even when pupae or exuviae are available, the distinction from medicaginella remains difficult.


Baldizzone (2004a), Bengtsson & Johansson (2011a), Buszko (1992b), Buszko & Beshkov (2004a), Chowaniec & Larysz (2024a), Deschka (1968a), Drăghia (1974a), Emmet, Watkinson & Wilson (1985a), Gregor & Patočka (2001a), Hering (1924b, 1957a), Huisman, Koster, van Nieukerken & Ulenberg (2004a), Jaworski (2009a), Kasy (1965a), King & Murria (2002a), Klimesch (1950c, 1958c), Kvičala (1938a), Z & A Laštůvka (2009b), Nel & Varenne (2014a), Patočka & Turčáni (2005a), Sønderup (1949a), van Stiphout, Langohr & Kuchlein (2004a), Skala (1951a), Skala & Zavřel (1945a), Steurer (1988a), Szőcs (1977a, 1981a), Thomann (1956a), Yefremova & Kravchenko (2015a).

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