Bucculatrix ulmella

Alternative names
Oak Bent-wing

Wingspan 7 or 8 mm. The adult moth has an orange head tuft and an untidy appearance created by black scaling against a whitish ground colour.

Identification difficulty

Adult Leafmine

ID guidance

Areas where Oak or Hornbeam are present.

When to see it

Leaf-mine: July, September and October.  Adults are found mainly in July and October.

Life History

The larva feeds on Oak and Hornbeam, in conflict with the misapplied scientific name ulmella which suggests it feeds on Elm. The mine is a short contorted gallery close to the midrib of a leaf, containing broken black frass. When pupating, in common with other Bucculatrix species, the larva creates a distinctive ribbed cocoon surrounded by a 'palisade' of vertical silken hairs.

UK Status

A fairly common species over England, Wales and Scotland, though like many of its genus probably overlooked. In the Butterfly Conservation's Microlepidoptera Report 2011 this species was classified as common.

VC55 Status

It appears to be uncommon in Leicestershire and Rutland, where there are few records. L&R Moth Group status = D (rare or rarely recorded).

14.010 BF274

be our species champion

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


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

UK Map