Plant Parasites of Europe

leafminers, galls and fungi

Stigmella ruficapitella

Stigmella ruficapitella (Haworth, 1828)

red-headed pigmy

Stigmella ruficapitella mine

Quercus robur, Amstelveen, JP Thijssepark: leaf only 2 cm long; identification not confirmed by breeding

same mine, detail

Stigmella ruficapitella: mine on Quercus robur

Quercus robur, Belgium, prov. Namur, Vierves-sur-Viroin © Stéphane Claerebout

Stigmella ruficapitella: mine on Quercus robur

same mine lighted from behind


Oviposition mostly at the upperside of the leaf, generally not far from the leaf margin. Mine an initially narrow corridor with a thin frass line, soon widening into a fairly long, broad corridor with a largely broad frass line; locally the frass may be coiled. Often the first part of the mine follows the leaf margin, entering the centre of the leaf after a hairpin turn.


Fagaceae, monophagous

Quercus cerris, petraea, pubescens, robur.

In the literature morever Castanea sativa en Q. macrolepis, rubra, velutina are cited. Because the taxonomy of the species group around ruficapitella has been clarified only as late Johansson’s (1971a) revision, these associations are uncertain.


Bivoltine; larvae in June – July and September – October (Emmet, 1983a).


BE recorded (Phegea, 2009).

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

LUX not recorded (Fauna Europaea, 2009).

distribution within Europe

From Fennoscandia to the Pyrenees, Italy, and Greece, and from Ireland to Central Russia and the Ukraïne (Fauna Europaea, 2009).


Yellow, head light brown (Borkowski, 1972b); Gustafsson & van Nieukerken (1990a) give a detailed description.


Nepticula ruficapitella.


Stigmella mines in general are variable, and this applies in particular to the oak-inhabiting species. Actually, St. basiguttella is the only species that with absolute certainty can be identified on the base of the mine (Erik van Nieukerken in litt.)


Amsel & Hering (1931a), Anisimovas, Diškus & Stonis (2006a), Beiger (1979a), Bengtsson (2008a), Borkowski (1969a, 1972b), Buhr (1936a, 1964a), Buszko & Baraniak (1989a), Buszko & Beshkov (2004a), J Černý (2001a), Diškus & Stonis (2012a), Emmet (1971a, 1983a), Gustafsson (1985a), Gustafsson & van Nieukerken (1990a), Haase (1942a), Hartig (1939a), Hering (1932g, 1934a, 1957a), Huber (1969a), Huemer (2012a), Johansson (1971a), Johansson ao (1990a), Klimesch (1936a, 1940a, 1942a, 1950c, 1958c), Kuchlein & Donner (1993a), Kuchlein & de Vos (1999a), Kurz (2016a), A & Z Laštuvka (1997a), Maček (1999a), Michalska (1970a), Navickaitė, Diškus & Stonis (2011a), van Nieukerken (1986a, 2006a), van Nieukerken & Johansson (2003a), van Nieukerken, A & Z Laštuvka (2004a, 2006a), Nowakowski (1954), Plóciennik, Pawlikiewicz & Jaworski (2011a), De Prins (1998a), Schütze (1931a), Sefrová (2005a), Skala (1939a, 1941a, 1951a), Sønderup (1949a), Stammer (2016a), Starý (1930a), Steuer (1995a), Stolnicu (2008a), Surányi (1942a), Szőcs (1977a, 1978a, 19981a), Tomov & Dimitrov (2007a), Ureche (2010a), Utech (1962a).

Last modified 26.viii.2019