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


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 species is included in

Hosts in Great Britain and 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 and 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 (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 17-Oct-2019  Brian Pitkin Top of page