N A T U R K U N D L I C H E S   I N F O R M A T I O N S S Y S T E M

Stigmella myrtillella (Stainton, 1857)

(zoological nomenclature: valid name, available)

General information:

Nepticula myrtillella Stainton, 1857: 44.
Type locality: Switzerland, Zürich
Type: Syntypes: Switzerland, Zürich, larvae on Vaccinium myrtillus, leg. Frey, in coll. NHM, London

Synonyms, misspellings, wrong determinations, etc.:
Nepticula myrtillella var. uliginosi Skala, 1941: 80. Nomen nudum.


The species has been recorded throughout Europe, except for the Iberian peninsula, large parts of the Balkan peninsula (except Bulgaria), the large Mediterranean islands and parts of eastern Europe (no data available). The vertical distribution is documented at least from near sea-level in Denmark up to 2000 m in the Alps (Nieukerken 2020, Kurz & Kurz 2020).


The species inhabits high moors, spruce dominated woods and dwarf shrub heaths with occurences of Vaccinium sp.. In central Europe, it is univoltine with imagines in May and June and larvae in September and October (Kurz & Kurz 2020).

Stages in development:

Mine in the leaf of Vaccinium myrtillus Linné: Bavaria, Berchtesgadener Land, Watzmann area, near Kühroint-Alm, 2003.09.21 Salzburg, Pongau, Radstadt, way up the Roßbrand, 2011.10.01    
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view

Larva. The larva is yellow with light brown head. It mines the leaves of Vaccinium myrtillus, Vaccinium uliginosum and, very rarely, also Vaccinium vitis-idaea (Ellis 2020, Kurz & Kurz 2020). The mine is a highly contorted gallery, in its later part often confluent, but not forming a true blotch. The frass line is black, often dispersed, in its first part sometimes completely filling the corridor, but in the later part always leaving broad clear margins.

Worth knowing:


Ellis, W. N. 2001-2020. Plant Parasites of Europe. Leafminers, galls and fungi. URL: http://bladmineerders.nl/ [online 2020.05.15].
Nieukerken, E. J. van 2013. Nepticulidae. In - Karsholt, O. & E. J. van Nieukerken (eds.). Lepidoptera, Moths. – Fauna Europaea version 2017.06. URL: https://fauna-eu.org [online 2020.05.15].
Kurz, M. A. & M. E. Kurz 2000–2020. Naturkundliches Informationssystem. URL: https://www.nkis.info [online 2020.04.24].
Stainton, H. T. 1857. Nepticula Myrtillella. Entomologist´s Weekly Intelligencer 2: 44.

Publication data:

Kurz Michael: 2015.08.20
Kurz Michael: 2020.05.15
not reviewed