Ectoedemia occultella

    Alternative names
    Large Birch Pigmy

    Wingspan 5 to 7 mm. The adults are quite large for a Nepticulid, and have blackish forewings with a hint of violet, and contrasting whitish fascia and eye-caps. The males have black heads, those of the female orange or yellow.

    Identification difficulty

    Adult Leafmine

    ID guidance

    Anywhere that the host tree, birch is found.

    When to see it

    There is a single generation, with adults at large from late May to July, and mines in evidence between August and October.

    Life History

    The larvae mine the leaves of birch, creating a distinctive mine which begins as a dark circular blotch, and is then extended into a larger pale blotch with a darker central circle. Sometimes several mines are found in one leaf.

    UK Status

    Distributed commonly throughout mainland Britain, it is however local in Ireland. In the Butterfly Conservation's Microlepidoptera Report 2011 this species was classified as common.

    VC55 Status

    Occasional or little recorded in Leicestershire and Rutland. L&R Moth Group status = C (very scarce resident or rare migrant).

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    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

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

    UK Map