Firethorn Leaf Miner - Phyllonorycter leucographella


Wingspan 7 to 9 mm. Resemble other Phyllonorycter species, with a buff ground colour and whitish chevrons. Often easier to find the leaf mine which can be on Firethorn (Pyracantha) plus a number of other plant species including Hawthorn, Apple, London Plane and Cotoneaster. The mine is usually on the upper side, silvery in appearance and over the midrib

Identification difficulty

Adult Leafmine if on Firethorn (care if on other species).

ID guidance

Leafmine occurs on Firethorn, Hawthorn and several other species.


In gardens and other suburban habitats.

When to see it

Having a number of generations, the adults can be found between April and October.

Life History

As a larva, it mines the leaves of rosaceous bushes, but mainly those of Firethorn. It forms a blotch in the centre of a leaf, leaving a thin membrane through which the larva can be seen, being whitish with black blotches.

UK Status

Now fairly common in parts of England. Discovered in Essex in 1989, this species has spread rapidly northwards through England to parts of north Yorkshire. In the Butterfly Conservation’s Microlepidoptera Report 2011 this species was classified as common.

VC55 Status

Fairly frequent and possibly becoming more common in Leicestershire and Rutland.

15.053 BF332a

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


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

UK Map