Stigmella microtheriella

Alternative names
Nut-tree Pigmy

Wingspan 3 to 4 mm. The adults have purplish-bronzy wings with a silvery fascia, and darker purple outside the fascia. They closely resemble several other family members.

Identification difficulty

Adult Leafmine

ID guidance
Recording advice

Care is needed when trying to separate some Stigmella microtheriella mines on Hazel from those of Stigmella floslactella. The most reliable method of identification for this species is the egg position, S.floslactella lays an egg always on underside in a vein axil whereas S.microtheriella lays it often on or near a vein, but not in the axil


Areas where hazel is present.

When to see it

They fly in May and again during August.

Life History

The larvae create narrow, often angular mines in the leaves of hazel and less commonly, hornbeam. Sometimes there can be several larvae mining the same leaf. The mines can be found in July and in October and November.

UK Status

Widespread and fairly frequent in Britain. 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).

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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