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 bedellella (Sircom, 1848)
[Lepidoptera: Elachistidae]

Grey Dwarf

Microsetia bedellella Sircom, 1848. Zoologist 6: 2037.
Elachista bedellella
(Sircom, 1848).

Leaf-miner: Blotch in the leaf tip; the upper side is practically flat, the lower side can turn somewhat to purple. The larva may mine 2-3 leaves (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).

Larva young yellowish white, later grey green; head light brown; pronotum with two parallel length lines, slightly widening rearwards and divided by a narrow uncoloured stripe (Bladmineerders van Europa).

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

Adult: The adult is not illustrated in UKMoths (check for update). The male, but not the female genitalia (check for update), are illustrated by the Lepidoptera Dissection Group

Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:

Avenula pratense Meadow Oat-grass   Pitkin & Plant

Hosts elsewhere:

Arrhenatherum elatius False Oat-grass British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Avena       Bladmineerders van Europa
Avenula pratense Meadow Oat-grass  

Bladmineerders van Europa

Festuca ovina Sheep's-fescue British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Phleum       Bladmineerders van Europa
Poa nemoralis Wood Meadow-grass   Bladmineerders van Europa
Poa trivialis Rough Meadow-grass British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: June-July (Bland, 1996a).

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: Britain including Cambridgeshire, Derbyshire, Dorset, Durham, East Norfolk, Isle of Wight, North Somerset, Shropshire, Stafford, West Gloucestershire and West Norfolk (NBN Atlas).

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, French mainland, Germany, Hungary, Italian mainland, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Romania, Russia - East, Slovakia, Spanish mainland, Sweden and Switzerland (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Arrhenatherum elatius, Festuca ovina, Avenula pratensis, Poa nemoralis, Poa trivialis

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere: Currently unknown.

External links: Search the internet:

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

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