Lyonetia clerkella

Lyonetia clerkella (Linnaeus)

Taxonomic placing: Insecta, Holometabola, Lepidoptera, Lyonetiidae.

Common name: Apple leaf miner.

Geographical distribution: The Middle East, Turkey, Europe, North Africa, Siberia, India, and Japan.

Host plants: Apple, pear, almond and other Rosaceous fruit trees.

Morphology: The adult is whitish, about 3-4 mm in length, the wings bordered by long hairs, the forewings silvery white with reddish brown stripes and an apical small black spot. At rest the wings are folded, roof-like, above the body. Larva initially transparent, then becoming green, 8-9 mm long and with prominent segments.

Life cycle: The nocturnal adults emerge in March-April and lay their eggs on the leaves. The larvae invade the leaves wherein they tunnel, pupating within a thin webbed cocoon on the surfaces of infested leaves. The pest has 4-6 annual generations, passing the winter under fallen leaves.

Economic importance: The larvae (caterpillars) tunnel between the upper and lower epidermis of infested leaves and may cause considerable defoliation, followed by reduced yields. The pest is especially harmful to saplings in nurseries and to young trees.


Monitoring: Periodical examinations of young, fully extended leaves are necessary to decide on control measures.

Chemical control: Pesticides applied against Carpocapsa pomonella L. also control the apple leaf miner.

Biological control: Several hymenopterous parasitoids attack the pest In Europe, as do entomopathogenic fungi.


Berg, W. 1960. Zur Kenntnis der Obstbaumminiermotte Lyonetia clerkella L. unter besonderer Berücksichtigung des Massenwechsels während der Jahre 1951 bis 1953. Teil II. Zeitschrift für Angewandte Entomologie 45: 268-303 (in German with an English Abstract).

Berlinger, M. J. 1971. Contribution to the phenology of leaf miners (Nepticula near pulverosella Staint: Nepticulidae and Lyonetia clerkella L.: Lyonetiidae: Lepidoptera) on almond in Israel. Israel Journal of Entomology 6: 133-141.

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