Seq # 185120020

Caloptilia azaleella (Brants, 1913) Species

Last modified: Sept. 6, 2023, 5:32 p.m.

A rare species in Belgium, mainly in azalea nurseries and parks with Rhododendron.


Family: Gracillariidae > Subfamily: Gracillariinae > Tribus: Gracillariini > Genus: Caloptilia > Species: Caloptilia azaleella
Vernacular names
Azaleasteltmot (NL), Azalea leaf-miner (EN), Azaleen-Miniermotte (DE)
First mention in Belgium
Lhomme L. 1946–1963. Catalogue des Lépidoptères de France et de Belgique. Volume II Microlépidoptères. (deuxième partie). — — : 489–1253. On page 1061.




Forewing brownish grey with a rather long ochreous patch along the costa. Rests in typical Caloptilia-position with the frontal part raised from the substrate.

Museum specimens

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Specimens in nature


First instars green, later on turning more yellowish.

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Underside, brownish blotch mine. Later on a cone by spinning a leaf tip downwards. The cone colours from green to reddish brown.
See also and

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A whitish, transparant cocoon.

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The young larvae make a gallery in the lower epidermis of a leaf of Rhododendron simsii, R. indicum, etc. This gallery leads to a blotch contorting the leaf. Later, the larva constructs a cone by rolling a leaf downwards from the tip.
Pupation on the underside of the leaf, where the larva first spins a whitish, transparant cocoon which is actually just a membrane. The pupa hibernates and after emergence of the adult the exuvium protrudes from the mine. The adults come to light.

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Flight periods

The adults fly in two generations a year: in May and in July–August. In mild seasons there is a small third generation during September–October.

Observed on

Host plant (species):
Rhododendron indicum, Rhododendron decandrum and Rhododendron dilatatum
Host plant (genera):

Oligophagous on Rhododenron.

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