Phyllonorycter harrisella

Alternative names
White Oak Midget

Wingspan 7-9 mm. A leaf-mining species which tends to show narrower and less distinct chevrons on the forewing than many of its close relatives. Some forms have a very greyish appearance with indistinct markings.

The leaf mines on oak can be searched for from late autumn through winter, and it is relatively easy to rear the adult.  The species can't be identified from the mine alone, as P quercifoliella, P messaniella and other oak species are very similar, but the pupa has a distinctive arrangements of hooks at the very end, known as the 'cremaster'.  There is a key and description of these on here, and photos at



Identification difficulty

Around areas with Oak

When to see it

On the wing in May and June and again in the autumn.

Life History

The larvae feed on Oak forming a blotch-like leaf mine.

UK Status

It is fairly common over much of Britain but less so in Ireland. In the Butterfly Conservation’s Microlepidoptera Report 2011 this species was classified as common.

VC55 Status

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

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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