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

Increasingly well recorded in Leicestershire and Rutland, usually from the leafmines on Birch.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


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

UK Map