Stigmella trimaculella

Alternative names
Black-poplar Pigmy

A tiny moth with a wingspan of 5 to 6 mm. The adults are rather attractive, with brownish grey forewings each with three creamy patches.

Identification difficulty

Adult Leafmine

ID guidance

Leafmines occur on Lombardy Poplar, Black Poplar and Hybrid Black-poplar.


Areas where the larval foodplant is present.

When to see it

They fly in May and again in August.

Life History

The larvae mine the leaves of Poplar (Populus), with variable characteristics, but usually beginning with a narrow black central line of frass. The mines are found in late June and July and from September to October.

UK Status

Distributed throughout England, where it is fairly common except in the west; there are records from Scotland and Wales, but very few. In the Butterfly Conservation's Microlepidoptera Report 2011 this species was classified as common.

VC55 Status

Increasingly well recorded in Leicestershire and Rutland in recent years, particularly from the leafmines on Poplar

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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