Plant Parasites of Europe

leafminers, galls and fungi

Phyllonorycter mespilella

Phyllonorycter mespilella (Hübner, 1805)

scarce brown midget

Phyllonorycter mespilella:  mine on Sorbus tormalis

Sorbus torminalis, Czech Republic, northwestern Bohemia, Děčín © Jindra Černý (reared and genitalised)

Phyllonorycter mespilella:  mine on Sorbus tormalis

same mine, underside


Lower-surfce, yellow-green tentiform mine, 20-32 mm long, with a number of fine folds in the lower epidermis. In most cases the mine is elongate, situated between two lateral veins. The reddish to chestnut brown cocoon lies in a flimsy cocoon in which no frass is incorporated: the frass is stored not in a clump but in a row of loose grains behind the cocoon. Just before edcysis the pupa works itself out of the mine through the lower wall; mostly the empty exuvium sticks halfway out of the mine.

host plants

Rosaceae, oligophagous

Amelanchier ovalis; Cotoneaster integerrimus; Crataegus; Cydonia oblonga; Malus domestica; Mespilus germanica; Prunus cerasus; Pyrus communis, cordata; Sorbus aria, aucuparia, intermedia, torminalis.


Larvae in July and September – October (Emmet, Watkinson & Wilson, 1985a); hibernation as pupa (Triberti, 2007).


BE recorded (Phegea, 2009).

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

LUX not recorded (Fauna Europaea, 2009).

distribution within Europe

From Germany to the Iberian Peninsula, Sardinia, Italy and the Carpathians, and from Ireland to southern Russia (Fauna Europaea, 2009). In recent times introduced in the Canary Islands (De Prins ao).


Cremaster, similar to that of Ph. anceps, with two pairs of short, stout spines, the outer one curved outwards, the inner one inward; the outer spines about as long as wide at their base (Gregor & Patočka, 2001a; Triberti, 2007a).


Lithocolletis mespilella; L. pyrivorella Bankes, 1899.

parasitoids, predators

Sympiesis sericeicornis.


Aguiar & Karsholt (2006a), Bouček (1959a), Buhr (1935b), Corley, Ferreira, Grundy, ao (2018a), Corley, Marabuto, Maravalhas ao (2009a), Corley, Nunes, Rosete & Ferreira (2019a), Corley, Nunes, Rosete, ao (2020a), Deutschmann (2008a), Drăghia (1972a, 1974a), Emmet, Watkinson & Wilson (1985a), Gregor & Patočka (2001a), Hartig (1939a), Hering (1957a), Huber (1969a), Huisman & Koster (1996a, 1998a, 2000a), Huisman, Koster, Muus & van Nieukerken (2013a), Kirichenko, Augustin & Kenis (2018a), Kuchlein & Donner (1993a), Kuchlein & de Vos (1999a), A & Z Laštůvka (2011a, 2014a), Maček (1999a), Nel & Varenne (2014a), Olivella (2002a), Patočka & Turčáni (2005a), De Prins, De Prins, De Coninck ao (2013a), Pröse (1981a), Robbins (1991a), Szőcs (1977a), Triberti (2007a).

Last modified 29.v.2022