This micro moth has a forewing length of just 3-5mm and is reddish-brown with white and black bands. It is one of the ‘leaf miner’ moths which means its larvae feed within the leaves of their foodplant, leaving characteristic blotches. It was first discovered near Macedonia in the 1980s and since then has quickly spread across Europe, reaching Britain in 2002. The larvae can cause serious defoliation of Horse Chestnut trees, however this does not appear to do any long-lasting damage.

The larvae mine the leaves of Horse Chestnut, causing brown blotches. The pupa is then formed inside the leaf in a cocoon.

Flight Times

It has at least two generations with adults seen from May to October. They fly by day and come to light.

Size and Family

  • Family – Gracillariidae

  • Small sized

  • Wingspan Range – 8mm

Conservation Status

  • UK BAP: Not listed

  • Common

Caterpillar Food Plants

The larvae feed on the leaves of Horse Chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) or sometimes Sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus).

Habitat

They are found in parkland, gardens and alongside roads and railway lines.

Distribution

  • Countries – England, Wales

  • It has rapidly spread north and west since it was first recorded in Britain in 2002 and it is now common throughout England and Wales.

Horse-Chestnut Leaf Miner - Ryszard Szczygieł

Horse-Chestnut Leaf Miner

Horse-Chestnut Leaf Miner - Ryszard Szczygieł

Horse-Chestnut Leaf Miner

Horse-Chestnut Leaf Miner - Patrick Clement

Horse-Chestnut Leaf Miner

Horse-Chestnut Leaf Miner - Allan Drewitt

Horse-Chestnut Leaf Miner

Horse-Chestnut Leaf Miner - Ben Sale

Horse-Chestnut Leaf Miner

Horse-Chestnut Leaf Miner (larval damage) - Lez Round

Horse-Chestnut Leaf Miner (larval damage)

Horse-Chestnut Leaf Miner (larval damage) - Lez Round

Horse-Chestnut Leaf Miner (larval damage)