The leaf and stem mines of British flies and other insects
 

(Coleoptera, Diptera, Hymenoptera and Lepidoptera)

by Brian Pitkin, Willem Ellis, Colin Plant and Rob Edmunds

N.B. Links to the latest version of 'Leafminers and plant galls of Europe' are being edited

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Elachista albifrontella (Hübner, 1817)
[Lepidoptera: Elachistidae]

White-headed Dwarf


Tinea albifrontella Hübner, 1817
Elachista albifrontella
(Hübner, 1817).


Leaf-miner: The larva mines from the grass tip downwards and the mine occupies half or the whole of the leaf blade width. A whitish blotch is formed with characteristic narrow streaks of frass (British leafminers).

Full depth blotch, slightly inflated, descending from the leaf tip, occupying half or the entire width of the blade. The larva may move and make a new mine elsewhere. In the latter case the mines are fairly short; otherwise an entire blade may be mined out. Frass in a some narrow greyish brown streaks. Pupation outside the mine (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Larva: The larvae of moths have a head capsule and chewing mouthparts with opposable mandibles (see video of a gracillarid larva feeding), six thoracic legs and abdominal legs (see examples).

The larva is illustrated in British leafminers, UKMoths and ? Bladmineerders van Europa.

Pupa: The pupae of moths have visible head appendages, wings and legs which lie in sheaths (see examples).

The pupa is illustrated in UKMoths.

Adult: The adult is illustrated in UKMoths. The male and female genitalia are illustrated by the Lepidoptera Dissection Group.

Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:

Poaceae        
Dactylis glomerata Cock's-foot British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Deschampsia cespitosa Tufted Hair-grass British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Holcus lanatus Yorkshire-fog British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Holcus mollis Creeping Soft-grass   British leafminers

Hosts elsewhere:

Juncaceae        
Luzula pilosa Hairy Wood-rush British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Poaceae        
Agrostis canina Velvet Bent British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Alopecurus pratensis Meadow Foxtail British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Arrhenatherum elatius False Oat-grass British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Avena       Bladmineerders van Europa
Avenula pubescens Downy Oat-grass  

Bladmineerders van Europa

Brachypodium sylvaticum False Brome British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Bromus       Bladmineerders van Europa
Calamagrostis arundinacea     Bladmineerders van Europa
Calamagrostis epigejos Wood Small-reed British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Dactylis glomerata Cock's-foot British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Deschampsia cespitosa Tufted Hair-grass British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Elymus repens Common Couch British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Festuca rubra Red Fescue British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Holcus lanatus Yorkshire-fog British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Holcus mollis Creeping Soft-grass   Bladmineerders van Europa
Koeleria macrantha Crested Hair-grass British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Milium effusum Wood Millet British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Phalaris arundinacea Reed Canary-grass British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Phleum       Bladmineerders van Europa
Poa pratensis Smooth Meadow-grass British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Poa trivialis Rough Meadow-grass British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Trisetum       Bladmineerders van Europa
Triticum       Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: September - May (British leafminers).

Time of year - adults: The adults fly in a single generation during June and July (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: A common miner of grasslands throughout the UK (British leafminers; UKMoths) including Anglesey, Banffshire, Bedfordshire, Brecon, Caernarvonshire, Cambridgeshire, Carmarthenshire, Cheviotland, Denbighshire, Derbyshire, Dorset, Dumfrieshire, Dunbarton, Durham, East Cornwall, East Kent, East Norfolk, East Ross, East Suffolk, Easterness, Elgin, Fife, Flintshire, Glamorgan, Haddington, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Isel of WIght, Kincardineshire, Kirkudbrightshire, Leicestershire, LInlithgow, Merionethshire, Mid-west Yorkshire, Middlesex, North Aberdeen, North Ebudes, North Hampshire, North Somerset, Northumberland South, Outer Hebrides, Pembrokeshire, Shropshire, South Aberdeen, South Hampshire, South Lancaster, South Wiltshire, Sout5h-east Yorkshire, South-west Yorkshire, Stafford, Stirling, Warwickshire, West Cornwall, West Gloucestershire, West Kent, West Lancaster, West Norfolk, West Suffolk, Westmorland and Worcestershire (NBN Atlas).

See also British leafminers distribution map.

Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea). See also Ireland's NBDC interactive map.

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Estonia, Finland, French mainland, Italian mainland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Romania, Russia - Central, East, North and Northwest, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland and The Netherlands (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Agrostis canina, Alopecurus pratensis, Arrhenatherum elatius, Avenula pubescens, Brachypodium sylvaticum, Calamagrostis epigejos, Dactylis glomerata, Deschampsia cespitosa, Elymus repens, Festuca rubra, Holcus lanatus, Holcus mollis, Koeleria macrantha, Luzula pilosa, Milium effusum, Phalaris arundinacea, Poa pratensis, Poa trivialis

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Ichneumonoidea  
Pholetesor phaetusa (Nixon, 1973) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Pholetesor viminetorum (Wesmael, 1837) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Meloboris cingulata Horstmann, 2004 Ichneumonidae: Campopleginae


External links: Search the internet:

Belgian Lepidoptera
Biodiversity Heritage Library
Bladmineerders van Europa
British leafminers
Encyclopedia of Life
Fauna Europaea
NBN Atlas
NHM UK Checklist
UKMoths

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Last updated 06-Aug-2017  Brian Pitkin Top of page