Seq # 185190080

Parornix torquillella (Zeller, 1850) Species

Last modified: Feb. 28, 2023, 11:27 a.m.

An uncommon species in Belgium, recorded from many localities but always in low numbers.


Family: Gracillariidae > Subfamily: Gracillariinae > Tribus: Parornichini > Genus: Parornix > Species: Parornix torquillella
Vernacular names
Fraaie zebramot (NL), Blackthorn slender (EN)
First mention in Belgium
De Fré Ch. 1858. Catalogue des Microlépidoptères de la Belgique. — Annales de la Société entomologique belge 2: 45–162. On page 147. view page




Forewing brownish grey with a row of inconspicuous, small whitish striae along the costa; some brownish spots in the middle of the wing and near the inner margin. Identification of the adults is difficult without knowledge of the larval host plant, because the resemblance with other Parornix species, and genitalia should be studied.

Museum specimens

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Specimens in nature



Yellowish to yellowish green, light brown head capsule. Legs yellowish green to pale brown (in Parornix finitimella the legs are black). First prothoracic segment with two dark brown to blackish spots, sometimes diffuse (in Parornix finitimella four such spots), but be careful with identification as this character is variable.

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The first instar makes a short, narrow gallery on the underside of the leaf, soon widening into a blotch and later on, by applying some spinning, into a weakly inflated tentiform blotch with a quadrangular shape when it is situated between two veins, or triangular when it is situated in a vein axil. The dark frass is concentrated in a corner of the mine. The mine becomes transparant when almost all the tissue is consumed.
See also and

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The free living instars fold a leaf margin downwards and continue feeding on the leaf parenchyma within this fold. On small leaves, this fold can occupy the entire leaf.
Pupation in the fold, and hibernation between leaf litter on the ground.
The adults rest during the day in the oliage and they become active at dusk and during the night. They come to light.

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Flight periods

The adults fly in one generation from May till mid July.

Observed on

Host plant (species):
Prunus spinosa and Prunus domestica

The larvae feed primarily on Prunus spinosa, but they have also been recorded from Prunus domestica.

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