Plant Parasites of Europe

leafminers, galls and fungi

Phyllocnistis saligna

Phyllocnistis saligna (Zeller, 1839)

willow bent-wing

Phyllocnistis saligna mine

Salix alba, Nieuwendam

Phyllocnistis saligna mine


Phyllocnistis saligna: mine on Salix pentandra

Salix pentandra, Holy-Noord, Wijkerpark © Ben van As

Salix alba, Middelburg: a large part of the larval life is passed as a bark miner on young shoots © Camiel Doorenweerd


Very long, purely epidermal, corridor, either upper- or lower-surface. The mines are restricted to the terminal leaves of young shoots. The mine passes from one leaf to the other by way of the shoot epidermis. Frass in a broad fuzzy central line. The corridor ends upon a leaf margin, where pupation takes place under a folded part of the margin, not in an evident cocoon.

host plants

Salicaceae, monophagous

Salix alba, babylonica, daphnoides, x fragilis, lanata, purpurea, x salamonii, triandra, viminalis.

In the Netherlands S. alba is the main host plant by far. This evidently is no general rule. Emmet ao (1985a) describe purpurea as the main host, without even mentioning alba. And for Hering (1957a) purpurea is the host plant par excellence.

Found by Ben van As also on Salix pentandra.

Found once by Kasy (1965a) on S. caprea (pupation at the base of the leaf); considered xenophagy.

According to Delplanque (1998a) also regularly on Populus alba: confusion with Phyllocnistis xenia


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


BE recorded (Phegea, 2009).

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

LUX not recorded (Fauna Europaea, 2009).

distribution within Europe

Probably almost all Europe, but missing in Ireland, perhaps also in parts of the Balkan Peninsula (Fauna Europaea, 2009).


Described by Lüders (1900) and Grandi (1931a, 1933a).



The species is expanding. Huisman & Koster (1999a) still considered the species rather scarce, but already Huisman, Koster, van Nieukerken & Ulenberg (2001a) reported findings in urban situations. Now it is one of the commonest miners in the Netherlands. Similar signs come from Belgium (Phegea, 2009) and Britain (Langmaid & Young, 2009a).

Where willows are grown commercially, in monoculture, Ph. saligna may become a serious pest (e.g., Noreika & Smaliukas, 2005a).


Amsel & Hering (1931a), Barton (2015a), Bengtsson & Johansson (2011a), Buhr (1937a, 1964a), Buszko (1981a, 1992b), Buszko & Beshkov (2004a), Corley, Rosete, Marabuto ao (2014a), Csóka (2003a), Delplanque (1998a), Deutschmann (2008a), Drăghia (1967a, 1970a, 1971a, 1974a), Emmet, Watkinson & Wilson (1985a), Grandi (1931a, 1933a), Hering (1932b, 1957a), Huber (1969a), Huemer (1986b), Huemer & Erlebach (2003a), Huisman & Koster (1999a), Huisman, Koster, Muus & van Nieukerken (2013a), Huisman, Koster, van Nieukerken & Ellis (2009a), Huisman, Koster, van Nieukerken & Ulenberg (2001a), Jaworski (2009a), Kasy (1965a), Klimesch (1950c, 1957a), Kollár (2007a), Kollár & Hrubík (2009a), Kuchlein & Donner (1993a), Kuchlein & de Vos (1999a), Langmaid & Corley (2007a), Langmaid & Young (2009a), A & Z Laštůvka (2014a), Lüders (1900), Martynova (1955a), Noreika & Smaliukas (2005a), Popescu-Gorj & Drăghia (1966a), Patočka (2001a), Patočka & Turčáni (2005a), Patočka & Turčáni (2005a), De Prins & Steeman (2013a), Robbins (1991a), Schütze (1931a), Sefrová (2005a), Skala (1951a), Sobczyk (2019a), Sønderup (1949a) Stammer (2016a), Starý (1930a), Szőcs (1977a, 1978a, 1981a), Thomann (1956a).

Last modified 13.i.2021