Prays oleae (Bernard, 1788)
small olive ermel
Phillyrea angustifolia, France, Corse, Paslasca © Stéphane Claerebout
mine, lighted from behind
Olea europaea, Greece, Lesbos, Agiásos
Initially the larva makes an upper-surface, short, narrow corridor. Later, in early spring, it may abandon this mine and make elsewhere on the leaf an irregular full depth blotch, or it may continue the corridor into a blotch. Most frass is ejected through a hole in the mine; part of it is captured in spinning at the leaf underside. In the end the larva lives free under the leaf, causing window feeding.
Mining larvae from autumn till early in the following spring. There are two more larvae generations, one feeding on the flowers, the second on the developing fruits.
Not known from the Benelux countries (Fauna Europaea, 2009).
distribution within Europe
Mediterranean Region (Fauna Europaea, 2009).
Described by Amsel & Hering (1931a).
Prays oleella (Fabricius, 1794.
A very serious pest, in particular because of the damage to the flowers and fruits.
An adult that was captured in Britain (Langmaid & Young, 2009a) perhaps indicates that the species has established itself on ornamental olive trees.
Amsel & Hering (1931a), Athanasíou & Zárpas (0000a), Buhr (1930a, 1941a), Hering (1932e, 1934d, 1936b, 1957a, 1967a), Klimesch (1942a), Klimesch & Skala (1936a), Langmaid & Young (2009a), Maček (1999a).