Plant Parasites of Europe

leafminers, galls and fungi

Phyllonorycter nigrescentella

Phyllonorycter nigrescentella (Logan, 1851)

vetch midget

Phyllonorycter nigrescentella: mines on Vicia sepium

Vicia sepium, Belgium, prov. Namur, Furfooz, Parc National de Furfooz © Stéphane Claerebout

Phyllonorycter nigrescentella: mine, underside

underside of the mine

Phyllonorycter nigrescentella mine

Vicia sepium, Belgium, prov. Namur, Dinant; © Jean-Yves Baugnée

Phyllonorycter nigrescentella: mine on Vicia sepium

another specimen

Phyllonorycter nigrescentella: mine on Vicia sepium

underside of the same mine

Phyllonorycter nigrescentella mine

Lathyrus pratensis, Luxemburg, Dudelange, Haerdt

larva in opened mine; upper surface of the mine


Lower surface tentiform mine that occupies an entire leaflet; lower epidermis strongly folded. Fully developed mines are strongly inflated and the leaflet is so completely folded over the mine that the latter becomes practically invisible. In this stage the larva has consumed also all tissue in the roof of the mine, making the mine thereby very conspicuous. The pupa in a cocoon that consists of a loose lining of the walls of the mine.

host plants

Fabaceae, oligophagous

Lathyrus vernus; Lotus; Medicago; Trifolium alpestre, medium, pratense, repens, rubens; Vicia dumetorum, sativa, sepium.

Preference for Vicia sepium (Hering, 1957a).


Larvae in July and August – September (Emmet, Watkinson & Wilson, 1985a). However, in the UK final instar larvae have also been found in the months of November, December, and January (Bond, 2000a; Henwood, 1999a).


BE recorded (Phegea, 2009).

NE not recorded (Fauna Europaea, 2009).

LUX not recorded (Fauna Europaea, 2009).

distribution within Europe

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


Cremaster with two pairs of spines. The inner pair has shifted so far sidewards that the inner and outer pairs seem to form one whole. The inner spines are fairly slender, the outer ones are stout, and the two combined look like one long spine with a broad base (Gregor & Patočka, 2001a; Patočka & Turčáni, 2005a).


Lithocolletis nigrescentella.

parasitoids, predators

Achrysocharoides nigricoxae; Elachertus inunctus.


Preference for plants that are overgrown by grass, or are growing in shade (Emmet ao, 1985a).


Beiger (1955a, 1960a), Bengtsson & Johansson (2011a), Bond (2000a_, Buhr (1936a), Buszko (1992b), Buszko & Beshkov (2004a), Deschka (1968a), Deutsch (2012a), Emmet, Watkinson & Wilson (1985a), Gregor & Patočka (2001a), Hartig (1939a), Henwood, 1999a, Hering (1924b, 1957a), Huber (1969a), Huisman ao (2004a), Klimesch (1958c), Maček (1999a), Michna (1975a), Nel & Varenne (2014a), Patočka & Turčáni (2005a), Robbins (1991a), Sønderup (1949a), Starý (1930a), Steeman & Sierens (2019a), Steurer (1988a), Szőcs (1977a, 1978a), Watkinson (1975a), Yefremova & Kravchenko (2015a).

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