Phyllonorycter messaniella

Alternative names
Ilex Leaf-miner
Garden Midget

Wingspan 7 to 9 mm. The leaf mines caused by the larvae are usually found on the underside and have a typical 'tented' appearance with a crease line across the surface.

Identification difficulty

Adult Leafmine if on Holm Oak otherwise needs to be reared through.

ID checklist (your specimen should have all of these features)

Leafmine occurs on Holm Oak (but also on other Oak species, Hornbeam, Beech and Sweet Chestnut).


Wherever the larval foodplants occur.

When to see it

The adult moths occur in a number of generations, any time between April and November.

Life History

The larvae mine the leaves of Oak, Hornbeam, Beech or Sweet Chestnut, and sometimes on other tree species. The mines can be seen during March and April and again July to October.

UK Status

Fairly common throughout much of the British Isles, though more so in the south. In the Butterfly Conservation's Microlepidoptera Report 2011 this species was classified as common.

VC55 Status

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

15.040 BF321

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


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

UK Map

Species profile

Common names
Garden Midget
Species group:
Records on NatureSpot:
First record:
04/10/2011 (Calow, Graham)
Last record:
08/07/2024 (Isabel Raval, Stephen Gray, Fliss Manning, Graham Finch, Anona Finch)

Total records by month

% of records within its species group

10km squares with records

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