Plant Parasites of Europe

leafminers, galls and fungi

Acrolepiopsis vesperella

Acrolepiopsis vesperella (Zeller, 1850)

Acrolepiopsis vesperella: mines on Smilax canariensis

Smilax canariensis, Canary Islands, la Gomera, 12.ii.2020 © Sébastien Carbonelle

mine on Dioscorea (left) and Smilax; uit Hering (1927a)

Acrolepiopsis vesperella mine

Dioscorea communis, Teneriffa; from Klimesch (1983a)

Acrolepiopsis vesperella mine

Smilax aspera, Spain, prov. Asturias, Gijon © Jean-Yves Baugnée



On Smilax the young larva makes a short corridor which almost completely is filled with frass; later the larva lives free at the leaf underside, under a frass-covered web. On Dioscorea the larva lives its whole life in a very transparent full depth mine free of frass; the mine may be a corridor, blotch, or a star. In both plants the pupation occurs in a net-like cocoon (Klimesch, 1983a).

host plants

Dioscoreaceae, Smilacaceae; narrowly polyphagous

Dioscorea communis; Smilax aspera, canariensis.


Larvae in March (Hering, 1957a).


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

distribution within Europe

From Germany to the Iberian Peninsula, Italy, and the Balkan; also Canary Islands (Fauna Europaea, 2009).


Described by Patočka (1999b), Patočka & Turčáni (2005a).


Acrolepia smilaxella Millière, 1874; A. tami Hering, 1927.


The mines, and even the larvae, on Smilax and Dioscorea are rather different. Because no differences have been found between reared adults they nevertheless are considered conspecific. Hering (1957a) also sees differences between Smilax mines from the Canary Islands and from the Mediterranean.


Baldizzone & scalercio (2018a), Corley, Rosete, Gonçalves ao (2016a), Fazekas (2009a), Gaedike & Baldizzone (2008a), Gaedike & Karsholt (2001a), Hering (1927a, 1957a), Klimesch (1942a, 1983a), Maček (1999a), Patočka (1999b), Patočka & Turčáni (2005a).

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