Join the RHS today and support our charitable work
Free personalised gardening advice
RHS members get reduced ticket prices
RHS members get free access to RHS Gardens
Free entry to RHS members at selected times »
Reduced prices on RHS Garden courses and workshops
020 3176 5800
Mon – Fri | 9am – 5pm
Help us achieve our goals
Join the RHS today and support our charity
Holm oaks (Quercus ilex) are affected by several leaf mining insects. The most frequently seen are two species of leaf-mining moths; Holm oak blotch leaf-miner (Phyllonorycter messaniella) and Holm oak linear leaf-miner (Ectoedemia heringiella).
Holm oak leaf miner (Phyllonorycter messaniella) on Holm oak (Quercus ilex). Credit: RHS/Entomology.
Leaf-mining moths are tiny moths with caterpillars that feed inside leaves, creating discoloured blotches and meandering lines where the internal tissues have been eaten away.
Look out for typical symptoms;
Holm oaks tolerate the damage and continue to grow, even when most leaves are affected. The appearance of will improve in early summer, when new foliage develops and some of the old mined leaves have been shed.
There is no control available for holm oak leaf-miners, although there are several predators and parasites that can limit populations.
The leaf-mining moth, Phyllonorycter messaniella has three generations a year. Larvae feed within the leaves during July, October, and from November to March. When fully fed, the larvae pupate within the leaf mines. By late winter, much of the foliage on a holm oak may be affected. The tiny moth has brownish-white wings with a span of almost 8mm.
Mines caused by Ectoedemia heringella develop during spring and are fully formed by the end of May. The adult moth has a wingspan of 5-6 mm and the forewings are white and black in colour.
Apple leaf miner
Astrantia leaf miner
Beet leaf mining fly
Celery leaf mining fly
Echinops leaf miner
Encouraging moths into your garden
Hellebore leaf miner
Horse chestnut leaf-mining moth
Laburnum leaf mining moth
Lilac leaf mining moth
Oak gall wasps
Reducing the size of large trees safely
Pyracantha leaf-mining moth
Sempervivum leaf miner
UK moths information on Ectoedemia heringella
UK moths information on Phyllonorycter messaniella
Winter moth caterpillars
the RHS today and get 12 months for the price of 9
RHS members can get exclusive individual advice from the RHS Gardening Advice team.
We're a UK charity established to share the best in gardening. We want to enrich everyone's life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.