Stigmella betulicola

Alternative names
Common Birch Pigmy

Wingspan about 5 mm. The larva creates a contorted gallery mine in leaves of Birch (Betula), leaving a central irregular line of frass. The mine resembles that of S. luteella, but is far less contorted at the beginning. The larva shows a line of dark ventral spots, unlike that of luteella, and tends to have a darker brown head.

Identification difficulty

Adult Leafmine

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. It may not be possible to identify adults of this species, which are best reared or recorded from the leafmine.

Leafmine: Unless identified by a recognised expert, a photo is required. If the photo doesn't show the key ID features then in the comments box describe the size and identifying characters you have observed.


Found mainly where birch trees are growing.

When to see it

There are two generations, with moths on the wing in May and August, and leafmines visible in July and again from September to November.

UK Status

In the Butterfly Conservation's Microlepidoptera Report 2011 this species was classified as local.

VC55 Status

Rare, or rarely recorded in Leicestershire and Rutland.

4.005 BF110

be our species champion

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


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

UK Map