Eriocrania salopiella

Alternative names
Small Birch Purple

Wingspan about 10 mm. The adults are golden, marked with purplish, with a distinct pale tornal triangular spot, and a smaller costal spot. The head is covered with yellowish hairs.

Identification difficulty

Adult Leafmine with larva

Recording advice

Adult: Unless identified by a recognised expert, a photo is required and the specimen should be examined with a microscope. In the comments box, state the key or ID method used and describe the size and identifying characters.

Leafmine and larva: Unless identified by a recognised expert, photos are required showing the mine (preferably backlit to show frass) and the larva which should be removed from the mine for the purpose of photography.


Areas where Birch occurs.

When to see it

Single-brooded, flying mainly during April and May.

Life History

The larvae mine the leaves of birch Betula during May and June. The species is the latest of the birch-feeders with the exception of Eriocrania sparrmannella, which feeds mainly in July and August. The Eriocrania salopiella leafmine begins as a narrow gallery in the centre of the leaf, turning into an elongate blotch and then a larger blotch encompassing the leaf margin.

UK Status

Well distributed across mainland Britain, but fairly localised, this species is probably overlooked. In the Butterfly Conservation's Microlepidoptera Report 2011 this species was classified as local.

VC55 Status

Rarely recorded in Leicestershire and Rutland, though possibly overlooked.

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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