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 mespilicola (Frey, 1856)

(zoological nomenclature: valid name, available)

General information:

Nepticula mespilicola Frey, 1856: 392.
Type locality: Switzerland, Zürich
Type: Holotype : Switzerland, Zürich, "in geheiztem Zimmer 1856 erzogen", Frey Coll., genitalia preparation BM 21825, in coll. NHM, London

Synonyms, misspellings, wrong determinations, etc.:
Nepticula ariella Herrich-Schäffer, 1860: 60. Type locality: Germany, Regensburg. Junior subjective synonym.


The species is know from large parts of Europe, from Great Britain and Spain throughout central Europe to the Ukraine. It is unknown however from large parts of Fennoscandia, NE- and SE Europe, as well as the large Mediterranean islands (Nieukerken 2019). The vertical distribution is documented from near sea-level to about 1000 m a.s.l. (Kurz & Kurz 2019).


The species inhabits dry and sunny woodland. Vacated mines have been found from mid August to early October. On Sorbus torminalis, competition by mining in the same leaf has been observed to an unidentified species of Phyllonorycter (Kurz & Kurz 2019).

Stages in development:

Mine on Sorbus aria: Salzburg, Untersberg area, Grödig, Gossenleier Mine on Sorbus graeca: Lower Austria, Korneuburg, Bisamberg, 2007.09.22 Lower Austria Bisamberg, 2007.09.22, leg. Marion & Michael Kurz, coll. Michael Kurz Mine on Sorbus torminalis: Croatia, Istria, from Rabac to Labin, 2010.09.05
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view

Confirmed hostplants of the larvae are Amelanchier ovalis and Sorbus aria (Nieukerken 2019). Mines have also been found in leaves of Sorbus graeca and Sorbus torminalis (Kurz & Kurz 2019, see photos above). These records, however, have not been confirmed by breeding.

Worth knowing:


Frey, H. 1856. Die Tineen und Pterophoren der Schweiz. Verlag von Meyer und Zeller, Zürich: I-XII, 1-430.
Kurz, M. A. & M. E. Kurz 2000–2019. Naturkundliches Informationssystem. URL: https://www.nkis.info [online 2019.08.28].
Nieukerken, E. J. van 2019. Nepticulidae and Opostegidae of the world. URL: http://nepticuloidea.info/ [online 2019.08.28].

Publication data:

Kurz Michael: 2014.02.16
Kurz Michael: 2015.12.02
Kurz Michael: 2015.12.17
Kurz Michael: 2019.08.28
not reviewed