Diagnosis. E. spinosella is externally similar to the angulifasciella complex, but is smaller, has a fuscous collar and the male has a brown hair-pencil surrounded by some brown lamellar scales. The female can be separated from atricollis by shorter signa with smoother, more uniformly curved outline. See for separation from mahalebella under that species.
Description. Male. Forewing length 1.44 — 2.20 mm (1.87 ± 0.15, 29), wingspan 3.2—4.9 mm. Head: frontal tuft orange to orange fuscous, sometimes completely fuscous; collar fuscous. Antenna with 24—30 segments (26.8 ± 1.7, 18). Thorax and forewings blackish fuscous with medial silvery fascia, slightly concave at inner margin. Hindwing with brown hair-pencil, surrounded by a small patch of brown, lamellar scales. Underside of forewing with a tuft of long grey or white hairscales, arising near costal retinaculum. Female. Forewing length 1.52 — 2.24 mm (1.85 ± 0.16, 34), wingspan 3.4 — 5.0. Antennae with 21—26 segments (22.5 ± 1.1, 29). Hindwing without brown patch, forewing without tuft. Male genitalia. Capsule length 193—219 µm (207.9 ± 8.9, 8). Tegumen produced into broad and truncate pseuduncus. Gnathos divided, with short, rounded distal element, and basal part with serrate margin. Valva length 133—150 µm (142.5 ± 5.5, 8), inner margin slightly sinuous to almost straight, tip pointed. Aedeagus 231—253 µm (242.1 ± 7.6, 8), with single, or bifid, pointed carinae. Female genitalia. T7 without a row of setae. T8 with two lateral patches of scales and several setae (at least 4). Anal papillae with 6 — 11 setae. Vestibulum with incomplete vaginal sclerite, a spiculate pouch with indistinct spines. Corpus bursae 440 — 550 μm, completely covered with small pectinations or minute spines; signa slightly dissimilar, ovoid, with smooth, uniformly curved outline, longest 249—373 µm (312.4 ± 44.6, 9) shortest 227—330 µm (283.3± 35.4, 9), 2.4—3.5 X as long as wide. Ductus spermathecae with 2 — 2½ convolutions. Larva. Greenish white, with distinct brown ganglia. Head light brown. Ventral plates absent.
Hostplants: Prunus spp., P. spinosa L., P. domestica L., P. cerasifera Ehrh., P. fruticosa Pallas, P. dulcis (Miller), P. webbii (Spach) Fritsch. (new record). In most of Europe P. spinosa is the main host, in Greece the almonds P. dulcis and P. webbii. On most other hosts confusion with mines of E. mahalebella is possible.
Widespread in central Europe, but more localised northwards, occurring mainly on sunexposed hills, or near coast (in England). Probably widespread in mediterranean area, but not yet recorded from Iberian Peninsula, the mediterranean islands, and most of the Balkan. Borkowski (1975) did not mention E. spinosella from Poland, but the specimens cited below, collected by Hering, indicate its presence in Poland. Recently Buszko (in litt.) found it also in Poland. Russia: Van Nieukerken et al. 2004b; Belgium: Van Nieukerken 2006; Switzerland: Sauter 1983. Also recorded from Turkmenistan: Kopet Dag (Puplesis et al. 1996). A former record from Lithuania was a mistake. The record from France (26): Les Prés (Van Nieukerken et al. 2006) was a misidentification for Ectoedemia mahalebella.
Life history. Univoltine in much of its area, in Greece bivoltine. Larvae in June (Greece) and again July to November, depending on latitude and season. Adults fly in May-July.
This taxonomic description is based on Van Nieukerken (1985) and Van Nieukerken et al (2010).