Seq # 185190020

Parornix betulae (Stainton, 1854) Species

Last modified: Oct. 3, 2020, 10:40 a.m.

A fairly common species throughout Belgium.


Family: Gracillariidae > Subfamily: Gracillariinae > Tribus: Parornichini > Genus: Parornix > Species: Parornix betulae
Vernacular names
Berkenzebramot (NL), Brown birch slender (EN)
First mention in Belgium
Fologne E. 1863. Addenda au catalogue des Lépidoptères de Belgique. — Annales de la Société entomologique belge 7: 87–93. On page 92. view page




Forewing with greyish ground colour; many small inconspicuous, whitish striae along the costa and some brown spots near the inner margin. Identification difficult without knowledge of the larval hostplant because of the close resemblance with other Parornix species; study of the genitalia might be necessary.

Museum specimens

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Specimens in nature


Light green with light brown head; a row of four conspicuous dark brown spots on the thorax, the two inner ones larger than the two outer ones.

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The first instar constructs a narrow gallery on the underside of the leaf, filled with brown frass. The next instar enlarges the gallery into a blotch in which gradually more spinning is attached causing the blotch to contract into a tentiform mine, which rather soon turns brown. Dark brown frass is deposited in a corner of the mine.
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When the caterpillar starts it free living stage, it turns a leaf edge downwards and fixes this with silk to a fold under which it feeds further on the parenchyma.
Pupation in that leaf roll which falls to the ground litter during autumn.
The species hibernates in the pupal stage.
The adults rest in the foliage during day time but become active at dusk and during the night. They come to light.

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Flight periods

Two generations a year: from late April till June and from August till October.

Observed on

Host plant (species):
Betula pendula and Betula pubescens
Host plant (genera):

The caterpillars monophagously live on Betula species, mainly on Betula pendula, but also on Betula pubescens, B. alba and others.

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