Eriophyes tiliae

    Alternative names
    Nail Gall

    The gall mites Eriophyes tiliae causes nail galls (tubular growths usually over 8mm long, with pointed tips) to develop on the upper surface of Large-leaved Lime (Tilia platyphyllos) tree leaves.  They may also occur on Common  Lime, Tilia x europaea, and other planted hybrid limes, but are hard to distinguish from Eriophyes lateannulatus on hybrids. The galls are far easier to see than the mites.

    Similar Species

    Eriophyes lateannulatus in found on Small-leaved Lime (Tilia cordata) and hybrid Limes; it is smaller (c.5mm) and with rounded tips

    Identification difficulty

    Adult Gall

    ID guidance

    Only identifiable with confidence on Large-leaved Lime; this has leaves that are hairy on the lower-side, the hairs are simple and the inflorescences are usually 3-5 flowered, without staminodes.

    Recording advice

    The host plant MUST be identified to species-level, and noted in the comments box; galls on hybrid limes cannot be identified with confidence 


    Anywhere that the host trees grow

    When to see it

    During late spring and summer.

    Life History

    The mites move onto the foliage in the spring, having overwintered in the bark crevices or around buds. As the mites suck sap from the leaf surface the chemicals released cause the galls to develop. The galls are usually red but may vary from yellow through pink.

    UK Status

    Very common and widespread in Britain where the host trees grow.

    VC55 Status

    Common in Leicestershire and Rutland.

    be our species champion

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

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

    UK Map