Cameraria ohridella (horse-chestnut leaf miner)

The horse-chestnut leaf miner Cameraria ohridella was first described by Deschka and Dimić in1986.
It is a small species of leaf-mining moth in the family Gracillariidae.

This species has gained public prominence in the past 25 years thanks to its spectacular biological invasion.

It is now found in most countries across the Palaearctic region including Europe, and is still expanding northwards.

The larvae produce characteristic mines on the white flowering horse chestnut tree’s leaves, but they do not kill the tree. Infested trees may however, produce smaller conkers.

Species detail

  • Cameraria ohridella adults

    Find out more about this moth’s origins, its appearance, and the mines it produces.

  • Cameraria ohridella leaf damage

    No-one knows exactly why the horse-chestnut leaf-mining moth suddenly became invasive, but it has spread rapidly throughout Europe in the last decade. Find out where you might find it today, along with its host plant.

  • Cameraria ohridella cocoon

    The moth lays eggs on the upper side of the horse chestnut tree leaves. These develop into larvae that produce characteristic mines as they feed. Find out more about Cameraria ohridella’s life cycle.

  • Cameraria ohridella leaf damage

    This species is invasive, but does not kill its host tree. Find out how the horse-chestnut tree is affected by its unwelcome guest.

  • Cameraria ohridella eggs

    Get reference material for Cameraria ohridella.

Distribution map

A world map showing the distribution of Cameraria ohridella

Distribution of Cameraria ohridella

Distribution of Cameraria ohridella © Sylvie Augustin


Cameraria ohridella adults

Cameraria ohridella adults.

Cameraria ohridella cocoon

Cameraria ohridella cocoon.

Cameraria ohridella eggs

Cameraria ohridella eggs.

Cameraria ohridella larva

Cameraria ohridella larva.

Cameraria ohridella larva

Cameraria ohridella larva.

Cameraria ohridella leaf damage

Cameraria ohridella leaf damage.

Cameraria ohridella pupa

Cameraria ohridella pupa.


Dariv Lees


Dr David Lees
Scientific Associate,
Department of Entomology.

A word from the author

"Cameraria ohridella is one of the most rapidly expanding invasive species in Europe and one that is highly visible for its damage to white-flowering horse chestnut trees in the summer and early autumn. Yet, the moth was only discovered at Lake Ohrid in Macedonia, in 1984. I have recently been working on molecular aspects of the colonisation history of this species, which, just like its host plant, proves to be a relict species from the Balkans."

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Cremastral hooks

Curved hooks which secure the tail end of the pupa to a silken support or cocoon.


A mechanism used by many arthropods to survive predictable, unfavourable environmental conditions, such as temperature extremes, drought or reduced food availability.

Spinoid setae

Particularly stout-based bristle-like projections.