Phyllocnistis saligna

Alternative names
Willow Bent-wing

A tiny white moth with a wingspan of about 7 mm.

Identification difficulty

Adult Leafmine

ID guidance

Leafmine occurs on Crack-willow and some other smooth leaved willows.


Where smooth leaved willows are present.

When to see it

Adult moths are at large in two generations, in July and from September through to April. The overwintering adults are sometimes found in thatch or haystacks. Larval mines are best looked for in June, or in August/September.

Life History

The larva feeds on willow, particularly on Purple Willow and sometimes on other smooth-leaved willows, such as Crack-willow.  The larva mines in the lower epidermis, forming a translucent mine, then moves into the twig via the petiole, eventually returning to a second leaf.

UK Status

This rather local species is distributed in the south and south-east of England, and is generally uncommon or possibly overlooked. In the Butterfly Conservation's Microlepidoptera Report 2011 this species was classified as local.

VC55 Status

Once rare or under-recorded in Leicestershire and Rutland - the record from Narborough Bog on 19th August is the first for VC55. It seems to have become more frequent recently in our area.

15.090 BF367

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map