Plant Parasites of Europe

leafminers, galls and fungi

Phyllonorycter medicaginella

Phyllonorycter medicaginella (Gerasimov, 1930)

Phyllonorycter medicaginella mines

Melilotus albus, Amstelveen

Phyllonorycter medicaginella mine

Melilotus albus, Nieuwendam


Lower-surface tentiform mine that occupies an entire leaflet. Fully developed mines are strongly inflated and the leaflet is folded so closely that the mine is almost invisible from below. In this stage the larva has eaten all parenchyma above the mine, giving the mine a white colour, and giving the leaflet the resemblance of whitish pod. Th pupa seems to lie free in the cocoon, without a cocoon. In fact the cocoon is part of inner lining of the mine. Frass in a clump in a corner of the mine, separated from the pupa by a partition, (the only recognisable part of the cocoon).

host plants

Fabaceae, oligophagous

Medicago falcata, lupulina, minima, sativa; Melilotus albus, dentatus, officinalis; Ononis spinosa; Trifolium dubium, campestre, repens.

Szőcs (1977a) also mentions Vicia.


Larvae and pupae found from mid-August to mid-October; probably the species hibernates as pupa.


BE recorded (Kuchlein, Kuchlein-Nijsten & De Prins, 2002a).

NE recorded (Kuchlein & Kuchlein-Nijsten, 2002a;, 2009).

LUX not recorded (Fauna Europaea, 2009).

distribution within Europe

From Denmark and Poland to France, the Alps, Bulgaria and the Ukraine (Fauna Europaea, 2009). In the process of a fast and strong expansion in Europe (Dauphin & Grange, 2014a; Sefrová, 2002c).


Described by Sefrová (2002c).



Lithocolletis medicaginella; Phyllonorycter insignitella: Beiger, 1979 [Buszko & Beshkov, 2004a].


van As & Ellis (2004a), Beiger (1979a), Bengtsson & Johansson (2011a), Buszko (1986a, 1992b), Buszko & Beshkov (2004a), Dauphin & Grange (2014a), Deschka (1968a), Deutschmann (2008a), Dimic, Peric & Magud (1999a), Gregor & Patočka (200a), Huisman, Koster, van Nieukerken & Ellis (2009a), Huisman, Koster, van Nieukerken & Ulenberg (2004a), Jaworski (2009a), Kasy (1987a), Kuchlein & Kuchlein-Nijsten (2002a), Kuchlein, Kuchlein-Nijsten & De Prins (2002a, 2003b), Kuznetzov & Baryshnikova (2006a), Larysz (2008a), Nel & Varenne (2014a), Patočka & Turčáni (2005a), De Prins (2007a), Schmid (2011a), Sefrová (2002c), Steurer (1988a), Szőcs (1977a, 11981a), Yefremova & Kravchenko (2015a).

Last modified 3.iv.2021