Plant Parasites of Europe

leafminers, galls and fungi

Psychoides filicivora

Psychoides filicivora (Meyrick, 1937)

fern smut


Usually the larva lives free under the leaf, under an irregular mass of spun soredia and frass. The larva feeds on the sori, and larva betrays its presence as a sorus on an unusual place. Sometimes also elongate full depth blotches are made.

host plants

Aspleniaceae, Dryopteridaceae; narrowly polyphagous

Asplenium ceterach, adiantum-nigrum, hemionitis, scolopendrium, trichomanes; Dryopteris filix-mas; Polypodium cambricum, interjectum; Polystichum setiferum.


Larvae are found the year round (British Leafminers, 2009).


Not known from the Benelux countries (Fauna Europaea, 2009).

distribution within Europe

British Isles (Pelham-Clinton, 1985a).


Yellowish white; anal shield colourless, head and prothoracic shield very pale brown with somewhat darker lateral and posterior margins.


Mnesipatris, Teichobia, filicivora.


One supposes that the species has been introduced into the British Isles from East Asia in the 19th century. This agrees with the fact that the species has no diapause, and mainly occurs in coastal regions, where very low winter temperatures are rare.


Aguiar & Karsholt (2006a), Gaedike & Karsholt (2001a), Corley, Cardoso, Nunes, ao (2022a), Hering (1957a), Lepiforum (2023), Pelham-Clinton (1985a), Robbins (1991a).

Last modified 2.iii.2023