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Stigmella malella (Stainton)
Nepticula malella

Insecta, Lepidoptera, Stigmellidae .

Wild crab leaf miner, Apple pygmy moth

Description, Biology, Life Cycle, Damage, Common Names, Images


[R]Description
- Adult: 4 mm wingspan. Black wings with a silvery band on the fore wings (*) .

[R]Biology
- Host plant: apple.
- Egg: deposited on the underside of the leaves (*) .
- Larva: tiny, it lives inside the leaf lamina and forms elongated and sinuous gallery terminating in a broade blotch which can reach 3 to 4 mm (*) . The frass is deposited inside the gallery to form a thin black thread. The fully grown larva leaves the leaf, pupates in the ground and hibernates (*) .

[R]Life Cycle
- 3 generations, 4 in Mediterranean countries.
- The moths appear between mid-March and the end of May. The second flight occurs at intervals throughout June and the third from end of July to the beginning of September.

[R]Damage
The damage is generally minor unless there is a massive infestation. In this case, the numerous galleries which travel through the leaf impede photosynthesis and cause its drying up (*) . The leaf turns brown and falls prematurely which endangers the harvest and the physiological balance of the tree (*) .


[R]Common Names
DE: Apfelminiermotte ES: Minadora de hojas del manzano FR: Mineuse des feuilles du pommier IT: Nepticola del melo PT: Lagarta mineira das folhas da macieira GB: Wild crab leaf miner, Aple pigmy moth

[R] Images

  1. Stigmella malella (Stainton) Moth sous une feuille de Pommier. (Coutin R. / OPIE)
  2. Stigmella malella (Stainton) Moth under an apple leaf Note the galleries which are enlarged rapidly.
  3. Stigmella malella (Stainton) Cocoons on the ground (Coutin R. / OPIE)
  4. Stigmella malella (Stainton) Eggs Deposited on the underside of an apple leaf.
  5. Stigmella malella (Stainton) Severely attacked apple tree (Coutin R. / OPIE)
  6. Stigmella malella (Stainton) Larva in an apple leaf The gallery has been opened to show the larva.

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HYPPZ on line : Species (scientific name), Pests (common names), Glossary, Crops.

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