Plant Parasites of Europe

leafminers, galls and fungi

Stigmella aurella

Stigmella aurella (Fabricius, 1775)

golden pigmy

Stigmella aurella mine

Rubus sp., Belgium, Liège; © Jean-Yves Baugnée, January 11th, 2009

Stigmella aurella mine

Rubus fruticosus, Denekamp, Singraven, January 12th, 2012


Oviposition may be at either side of the leaf, not necessarily close to a vein. The mine is a not very tortuous corridor, not widened in the end. Frass in a broad central line. The mine strongly overlaps with the one of S. splendidissimella.

Koster, Bryan & Povel (1984a) have made an attempt to present a diagnosis that in the most confusing situation, on Rubus, has a maximised chance to lead to a correct identification. It runs like this, for S. aurella, in decreasing order of weight: frass in the second half of the mine at least half as wide as the width of the corridor; frass in the first cm at least half as wide as the width of the corridor; corridor in the first cm straight; mine rarely intersects itself; mine rather often crosses the midrib.

host plants

Rosaceae, oligophagous

Agrimonia eupatoria, procera; Aremonia agrimonoides; Fragaria moschata, vesca, viridis; Geum aleppicum, rivale, urbanum; Rubus caesius, “dumetorum”, fruticosus, idaeus, laciniatus, plicatus, sanctus, saxatilis, spectabilis, ulmifolius.

Occasionally observed on Geranium endressii, versicolor (Laštuvka & Laštuvka, 1997a; Keith Palmer in litt., 2009); in fact a bit too frequently to put it aside as simple xenophagy. The reference to Populus tremula by Tomasi (2014a) is incomprehensible.


S. aurella is a decided southern species (occuring in the Canary Islands, where S. splendidissimella is missing), and lacks the possibility to enter diapause at wintertime. During mild winters the larvae remain active, and complete their development in March – April. Probably there is a second generation later in the summer (Emmet, 1983a).


BE recorded (van Nieukerken, 2006b; Phegea, 2009).

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

LUX recorded (Fauna Europaea, 2009).

distribution within Europe

Europe, south of the line Ireland – Ukraine (Fauna Europaea, 2009).




Chrysocharis gemma, pentheus.


Nepticula aurella; Stigmella fruticosella (Müller-Rutz, 1914).

Emmet (1973-74, 1983a) considered the form on Agrimony a separate species, S. nitens (Fologne, 1862), similarly the form on Strawberry, S. fragariella (Heinemann, 1862) and one on Wood Avens, S. gei (Wocke, 1871); Johansson ao (199oa) regard these as synonyms of S. aurella.


Aguiar & Karsholt (2006a), Ahr (1966a), Amsel & Hering (1931a, 1933a), Baldizzone (2004a), Banytė, Diškus & Podėnas (0000a), Beiger (1958a, 1960a, 1979a), Borkowski (1969a), Buhr (1930a, 1935b, 1964a), Buszko & Beshkov (2004a), Černý (2001a), Corley, Nunes, Rosete & Ferreira (2019a), Corley, Rosete, Romão ao (2015a), Diškus & Stonis (2012a), Drăghia (1968a), Emmet (1971a, 1973-74, 1983a), Gustafsson & van Nieukerken (1990a), Haase (1942a), Hartig (1939a), Hering (1927a, 1932g, 1934b, 1957a), Huber (1969a), Huemer (1985a, 1988a, 2012a), Johansson ao (1990a), Kasy (1965a), Klimesch (1936a, 1940a, 1942a, 1950c, 1958c, 1977a, 1978b, 1981a), Klimesch & Skala (1936c), Koster, Bryan & Povel (1984a), Kuchlein & Donner (1993a), Kuchlein & de Vos (1999a), Kurz (2016a), A & Z Laštuvka (1997a, 2008a, 2014a), Z & A Laštůvka (2009b), Lhomme (1934c,d), Maček (1999a), Matošević, Pernek, Dubravac & Barić (2009a), Meijer, Smit, Beukeboom & Schilthuizen (2012a), Michalska (1970a, 1972a, 1976a), Michna (1975a), Mifsud & Askew (2019a), van Nieukerken (1986a, 2006a), van Nieukerken, A & Z Laštuvka (2004a, 2006a), van Nieukerken, Mutanen & Doorenweerd (2012a), Nowakowski (1954a), Popescu-Gorj & Drăghia (1968a), De Prins (2007a), Pröse (1981a), Pröse, Kolbeck & Segerer (2003a), Robbins (1991a), Skala (1939a, 1941a, 1951a), Skala & Zavřel (1945a), Sønderup (1949a), Stammer (2016a), Starý (1930a), Steuer (1995a), Stolnicu (2008a), Surányi (1942a), Szőcs (1977a, 1978a, 1981a), Tomasi (2014a), Triberti & Braggio (2011a), Ureche (2010a), Zerafa & van Nieukerken (2011a), Zoerner (1969a, 1970a).

Last modified 7.i.2024