Plant Parasites of Europe

leafminers, galls and fungi

Kessleria saxifragae

Kessleria saxifragae (Stainton, 1868)

highland ermine


The leaf rosette is covered by several larvae with a spinning, under which each young larva mines out a few leaves; the older larva lives free. The mines contain no frass, only rarely a leaf contains one or a few large frass pellets. Pupation external.

host plants

Saxifragaceae, monophagous

Saxifraga aizoides, cotyledon, federici-augusti subsp. grisebachii, hirsuta, oppositifolia, paniculata, spathularis.


Larvae in June, July (Hering, 1957a).


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

distribution within Europe

Mountain ranges from the British Islands to Italy and Macedonia, and from Poland to the Iberian Peninsula (Fauna Europaea, 2009); up to about 2800 m alt.


Head and prothoracic plate black. Body spindle-shaped, dull olive green with a slightly darker dorsal line; reddish brown markings laterally on each segment; venter green (Agassiz, 1996a). The description by Huemer & Tarmann (1991a) runs somewhat differently: Head yellowish brown; prothoracic and anal plate greenish brown; light green, with a light reddish dorsal line and red subdorsal spots; pinacula blackish green; thoracic feet light brown. Pictures in Schmid.


Hofmannia, Zelleria saxifragae.

parasitoids, predators

Pnigalio soemius.


Agassiz (1996a), Baraniak (1988a), Burmann (1943a), Deschka & Wimmer (2000a), Gershenson, Pavlíček, Chikatunov & Nevo (2002a), Embacher & Huemer (2008a), Embacher & Kurz (2008b), Huemer (2005a), Huemer & Mutanen (2015a), Huemer & Tarmann (1991a), Gershenson ao (2002a), Heckford (2001b), Hering (1931f, 1957a), Klimesch (1942c, 1956c), Kyrki (1985a), Laštůvka & Laštůvka (2020a), Schmid (2019a), Skala (1951b), Szabóky (2015a), Thomann (1956a).

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