Plant Parasites of Europe

leafminers, galls and fungi

Plutella xylostella

Plutella xylostella (Linnaeus, 1758)


on Brassicaceae

Plutella xylostella: larvae on Brassica oleracea

Brassica oleracea, Belgium, prov. Hainaut, Mouscron, 6.vii.2018 © Stéphane Claerebout: young larva move in and out of the leaf

Plutella xylostella: mines on Brassica oleracea

part of a leaf with small mines

Plutella xylostella: larvae on Brassica oleracea


Plutella xylostella: egg



Alliaria petiolata, Nunspeet



Plutella xylostella feeding

Crambe maritima, Denmark, NW Zealand, Ordrup Næ, © Hans Henrik Bruun; free-living larvae and window feeding


Eggs are deposited at the leaf lower surface. Young larva make a number of tiny full depth blotch or corridor mines, only a few mm in size, that contain no silk. Initially the frass is ejected from the mines, later it is stacked in the oldest part. Soon after the the larvae live free, eating windows in the leaf underside.


Brassicaceae, Capparaceae, Cleomaceae, Tropaeolaceae; narrowly polyphagous

Aethionema arabicum; Alliaria petiolata; Alyssum; Arabidopsis; Arabis; Armoracia rusticana; Aubrieta deltoidea; Aurinia saxatilis; Barbarea vulgaris; Biscutella; Brassica napus, nigra, oleracea; Braya; Bunias; Cakile maritima; Capparis spinosa; Calepina; Camelina; Capsella; Cardamine; Cardaria; Cleome graveolens, spinosa; Cochlearia; Conringia orientalis; Crambe cordifolia, koktebelica, maritima; Diplotaxis; Eruca; Erucastrum; Erysimum cheiri; Hesperis matronalis; Hirschfeldia incana; Iberis; Isatis tinctoria; Lepidium sativum; Lobularia; Lunaria annua; Malcolmia littorea; Matthiola longipetala subsp. bicornis, odoratissima; Moricandia; Myagrum; Neslia; Peltaria; Raphanus raphanistrum, sativus; Reseda; Rorippa; Sinapis alba, arvensis; Sisymbrium supinum; Thlaspi; Tropaeolum.

Newman found a strong preference for Lepidium sativum.


Mining larvae in June and August (Agassiz, 1996a).


BE recorded (Phegea, 2008).

NE recorded (, 2008).

LUX recorded (Fauna Europaea, 2008).

distribution within Europe




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


Plutella maculipennis (Curtis, 1832).

parasitoids, predators

Pteromalus puparum.


An important pest on various Brassicaceae (“diamond back moth”).

The reticulate cocoon strongly resembles the one of the related Acrolepiopsis assectella, but the material in assectella is clearly coarser (Landry, 2007a).


Agassiz (1996a), Aguiar & Karsholt (2006a), Amsel & Hering (1931a), Baldizzone (2008a), Baraniak (2007a), Bengtsson & Johansson (2011a), Biesenbaum (2003a), Buhr (1935a,b, 1936a, 1937a, 1964a), Deschka & Wimmer (2000a), Hering (1957a), Huemer (2012a), Huertas Dionisio (2002a, 2007a), Kozlov & Kullberg (2006a), Landry (2007a), Leutsch (2011a), Maček (1999a), Newman (2014a), Patočka (1999b), Patočka & Turčáni (2005a), Robbins (1991a), Skala (1951b), Szőcs (1977a), Tomasi (2014a), Žikić, Ritt, Colacci, ao (2019a).

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