Stigmella ruficapitella

Alternative names
Red-headed Pigmy

Wingspan 4.5 to 6 mm.  The adult moths are similar to several other species in the group, having uniform dark brownish wings with a bronzy sheen and it may not be possible to identify adult to species even by gen det.  This species is best recorded from the leafmine on Oak. It takes the form of a long gallery, initially with narrow black frass, later becoming more dispersed. The egg is laid on the upperside of the leaf. The larva is whitish-yellow, head pale brown.

Identification difficulty

Adult Leafmine  

Recording advice

Adult: It may not be possible to identify adults to species level, even by gen det.

Leafmine: Unless identified by a recognised expert, a photo is required.  Please include a photograph showing the mine backlit to show the frass pattern.  Please also state the host plant and most importantly the egg position on the leaf.


Where Oak is present.

When to see it

Leafmine from June to November. Adults are on the wing from May to June and in July and August.

Life History

The larvae feed in June and July and between September and November.

UK Status

The commonest of a complex of similar species which have oak (Quercus) as the foodplant. In the Butterfly Conservation's Microlepidoptera Report 2011 this species was classified as common.

VC55 Status

Rarely recorded in Leicestershire and Rutland.

4.060 BF84

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