Plant Parasites of Europe

leafminers, galls and fungi

Incurvaria masculella

Incurvaria masculella (Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775)

feathered leaf-cutter

Incurvaria masculella: excision on Vaccinium myrtillus

Vaccinium myrtillus, Belgium, prov. Limbourg, de Hoefaert-Lanaken © Carina Van Steenwinkel

Incurvaria masculella: excision on Vaccinium myrtillus

another leaf


Oviposition is by way of an ovipositor, therefore no egg shell visible. The larva makes a small, roundish, blotch; often several in a leaf. Already after its first moult it makes an excision out of the mine, in size almost equal to the blotch (3-4 mm). Thus sandwiched it drops to the ground and continues feeding on dead leaf material.

host plants

Polyphagous on woody plants.

Carpinus betulus; Castanea sativa; Corylus avellana; Crataegus; Fagus sylvatica; Quercus rubra; Rosa; Tilia cordata, platyphyllos; Vaccinium myrtillus.

In Britain Hawthorn is the main host plant (Heath & Pelham-Clinton, 1983a), quite unlike the situation in continental Europe. Kovács & Kovács (2000a) mention a long series of localities in Romania, exclusively from Quercus.


Mining larvae in May – June (Heath & Pelham-Clinton, 1983a).


BE recorded (Phegea, 2009).

NE recorded (Kuchlein & de Vos, 1999a;, 2009).

LUX not recorded (Fauna Europaea, 2009).

distribution within Europe

Almost all Europe (Fauna Europaea, 2009).


Mining Incurvaria-larvae, while resting, take a horse-shoe like posture, unlike the larvae of Antispila species.


Described by Patočka & Turčáni (2005a).


Incurvaria muscalella (Fabricius, 1787).


Incurvaria masculella oviposition

Ruben Meert observed oviposition (in nature) on Malus domestica and Prunus spinosa; at the spot of the egg a tiny bulge could bee seen. This underlines the polyphagy of this species. (Belgium, East Flanders, Lebbeke, 22.ivi.2022)


Adolph, Kortstock, Niehoff & Schweitzer (2019a), Baldizzone (2004a), Bengtsson (2008a), Buhr (1935a, 1936a, 1937a), Dziurzynski (1957a, 1958a), Heath & Pelham-Clinton (1983a), Hellers (2016a), Hering (1934a, 1935a, 1957a), Huemer (1988a, 2012a), Kovács & Kovács (2000a), Kuchlein & Donner (1993a), Kuchlein & de Vos (1999a), Kurz (2016a), Michna (1975a), Patočka & Turčáni (2005a), Robbins (1991a), Skala (1951a), Sønderup (1949a), Stammer (2016a), Szőcs (1977a), Tomov & Dimitrov (2007a).

Last modified 22.iv.2022