Last modified: April 10, 2021, 12:31 p.m.
This species arrived in 1993 in Belgium, continuously spreading, mainly via gardens and parks in which the larval hostplant is planted as an ornamental plant. Present in all provinces.
Head ochreous, mixed with some white hairs. Forewing ground colour golden brown, white pattern consisting of a narrow, rather long basal line (almost reaching middle of wing), a row of scales at the base at dorsum, four costal and three dorsal striae (the most basal of the dorsal striae very narrow and long, the most distal of these striae very small), all striae finely edged with brown scales.
At first a short serpentine mine at the upperside of the leaf, gradually broadening until it becomes a large, whitish tentiform mine. In the beginning the brownish frass is concentrated along or on the main vein, but later on it is spread all over the mine as light brown patches. There are no brownish or black dots like in Phyllonorycter corylifoliella. Also, Ph. leucographella does not make an inner mine like Phyllonorycter corylifoliella does. In the last stage the mine covers the whole leaf area and the leaf is folded longitudinally concealing the mine completely.
See also gracillariidae.net and bladmineerders.be.
One egg is oviposited at the base of a leaf, on the upperside of the main vein. The species hibernates in the larval stage, with the leaves attached to the plant. Pupation during spring.
This species can sometimes heavily be parasitized as was experienced in a garden near Antwerpen where 100% of the collected mines (n=200) were parasitized by an eulophid species.
It is not clear how many generations per year are produced. The adults have been observed from April till October.
The larva lives on Pyracantha coccinea, but occasionally, when population density is really high and almost every leaf of its primary host plant is infested, it can also survive on other Rosaceae, like: Chaenomeles, Cotoneaster, Cydonia, Malus or Sorbus.
Parks and gardens were Pyracantha coccinea is planted as an ornamental plant.