Seq # 185330330

Phyllonorycter mespilella (Hübner, 1805) Species

Last modified: May 2, 2024, 4:40 p.m.

A very local and very rare species in Belgium. All records need to be checked carefully because other Phyllonorycter species look very much like this species externally. The genitalia should be checked.


Family: Gracillariidae > Subfamily: Lithocolletinae > Genus: Phyllonorycter > Species: Phyllonorycter mespilella
Vernacular names
Perenvouwmot (NL), Scarce brown midget (EN)
Phyllonorycter pomifoliella (Zeller, 1839) and Phyllonorycter torminella (Frey, 1856)
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 156 (as pomifoliella). view page




Head brown with some scattered white hairs; forewing ground colour brown; white pattern consisting of a basal line, four costal and three dorsal striae finely edged with dark brown scales; some scattered dark brown scales in the apical area.

Museum specimens

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Specimens in nature

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Yellowish green.

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A rather large (max. 32 mm), yellowish green tentiform mine on the underside of a leaf, mostly situated between two secondary veins; underside with some fine longitudinal folds. In the last stages the mine colours brown on the upperside. The dark frass is concentrated in a line at one side of the mine.
See also and

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A flimsy, white cocoon on the opposite side of the frass line. The pupa is light brown, darker brown towards the head.

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Pupation in a white cocoon in the mine. The species hibernates in the pupal stage. After emergence of the adult, the pupal skin protrudes through the mine.

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Flight periods

Two generations a year: May–June and August.

Observed on

Host plant (species):
Mespilus germanica

The species has been recorded on several species of the family Rosaceae, like: Amelanchier, Cotoneaster, Crataegus, Cydonia, Malus, Prunus, Pyrus and Sorbus, but in Belgium it seems to have a preference for Mespilus germanica.

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Orchards and gardens.

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