Stigmella perpygmaeella

Alternative names
Least Thorn Pigmy

Wingspan about 5 mm. Adult moths are unicolourous, the forewings being greyish to dark brown, with a slight bronzy or purplish sheen. The head is yellow or orange and the eyecaps creamy-white, however the species is usually recorded from the leafmine. The larvae feed on Hawthorn mining the leaf and forming a compact twisting gallery that usually becomes a 'false blotch' - where the gallery twists back on itself and touches the sides of the earlier part of the gallery.

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.

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.


Where Hawthorn is present.

When to see it

There are two generations, with larvae to be found in July and October, and adults on the wing in May and again in August. As is usual with the Nepticulidae, the autumn mines are generally more plentiful.

UK Status

Reasonably well-distributed throughout Britain. In the Butterfly Conservation's Microlepidoptera Report 2011 this species was classified as common.

VC55 Status

Occasional in Leicestershire and Rutland, though possibly under recorded.

4.054 BF79

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


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

UK Map