Seq # 185330420

Phyllonorycter quercifoliella (Zeller, 1839) Species

Last modified: March 3, 2024, 2:39 p.m.

A very common species throughout Belgium.


Family: Gracillariidae > Subfamily: Lithocolletinae > Genus: Phyllonorycter > Species: Phyllonorycter quercifoliella
Vernacular names
Gewone eikenvouwmot (NL), Common oak midget (EN)
First mention in Belgium
De Sélys-Longchamps E. 1844. Énumération des insectes Lépidoptères de la Belgique. — Mémoires de la Société royale des Sciences de Liége 2: 1–35. On page 25 (as Elachista quercifoliella Fischer). view page




Head ochreous or brownish; forewing ground colour golden, olive-ochreous, whitish pattern consisting of a very long, narrow, basal line, finely edged with brown scales; four costal and three dorsal striae, finely edged with brown scales on the basal side. A distinct, small, black dot in the apical area.

Museum specimens

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Specimens in nature


A semi-circular, oval or sometimes long tentiform mine with a variable length (10–22 mm) on the underside of a leaf, very often situated in an axil. One strong longitudinal fold in the centre of the mine. The upperside is visible as a yellowish or white patch, at first with a green island, but when all the parenchyma is consumed, completely discoloured. The black frass is usually scattered all over the mine.
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The last instar of the summer generation makes a whitish, oval cocoon, which is completely covered with the black frass, and attached to the roof of the mine. The last instar of the autumn generation makes a tough, white, oval cocoon, which is only covered at the sides with black frass, and attached both to the roof and the bottom of the mine. Pupa brown to very dark brown.

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The species hibernates in the pupal stage, inside the cocoon between fallen leaves among leaf litter on the ground. After emergence of the adult, the pupal skin protrudes from the mine.
The adults rest on tree trunks, during the day; they are active at dusk and later come to light.

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Flight periods

The adults fly in two generations a year: in April–May and again in August–September.

Observed on

Host plant (species):
Quercus robur and Quercus petraea
Host plant (genera):

The species is monophagous on Quercus, with a preference for Quercus robur, but it has also been found on Quercus petraea.

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Forest edges, borders of streets, meadows and gardens.

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