Plant Parasites of Europe

leafminers, galls and fungi

Swammerdamia caesiella

Swammerdamia caesiella (Hübner, 1796)

birch ermine

on Betula

Swammerdamia caesiella: larva on Betula spec.

Betula spec., Belgium, prov. Limbourg, Genk-de Maten, 24.ix.2016 © Carina Van Steenwinkel: free-living larva

Swammerdamia caesiella: larva on Betula pendula

Betula pendula, Belgium, prov. Antwerp, Mol, 27.ix.2014 © Carina Van Steenwinkel: much silk on the leaf

Swammerdamia caesiella: mine on Betula

Betula pendula, Lattrop, Bergvennen, 23.viii.2004

Swammerdamia caesiella: mines on Betula

Betula sp., Belgium, prov. Limburg, Zutendaal de Lieteberg, 29.ix.2012 © Chris Snyers

Swammerdamia caesiella: young larva

young larva with three small mines


The young larva makes one of, more probably, several tiny mines, from which much of the frass is ejected. Part of the frass grains are trapped in a slight spinning under the mine.


Betulaceae, monophagous

Betula pendula.


Bivoltine, larvae in June-July and September-October; hibernation as pupa.


BE recorded (Phegea, 2012).

NE recorded (Kuchlein & de Vos, 1999a;, 2012).

LUX recorded (Fauna Europaea, 2012).

distribution within Europe

All Europe (Fauna Europaea, 2012).


The free living larva is light or dark greyish green with three darker length lines. The larva lives under a slight spinning at the upper side of the leaf, causing window feeding.


These mines were known already for some years, but only in 2012 Chris Snyers succeeded in finding the link to the responsible species. Similar tiny youth mines seem to be a speciality of the family Yponomeutidae.


Agassiz (1996a), Baldizzone (2004a), Bengtsson & Johansson (2011a), Embacher & Kurz (2008b), Friese (1963a), Kuchlein & Donner (1993a), Kuchlein & de Vos (1999a), Leutsch (2011a), Paulavičiūtė (2020a).

Last modified 11.ii.2021