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

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Elachista gangabella Zeller, 1850
[Lepidoptera: Elachistidae]

Yellow-barred Dwarf


Elachista gangabella Zeller, 1850. Stett. ent. Zeits.: 202.


 

Leaf-miner: The larva mines downwards and forms an irregular mine with a silken tube in the centre, which is mixed with frass (British leafminers).

Mine transparent (therefore conspicuous), generally descending from the leaf tip. Over the entire length of the mine stretches a central silken tube, in which the larva can retreat and can move quickly up or down. The tube also contains the frass. The larva feeds laterally from the tube, which makes the sides of the mine very irregular (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).

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

Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:

Poaceae        
Brachypodium       UKMoths
Brachypodium sylvaticum False Brome British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Brachypodium sylvaticum False Brome British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Dactylis       UKMoths
Dactylis glomerata Cock's-foot British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Dactylis glomerata Cock's-foot British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Holcus       British leafminers
Holcus       Pitkin & Plant
Holcus       UKMoths

Hosts elsewhere:

Poaceae        
Brachypodium pinnatum Heath False-brome   Bladmineerders van Europa
Brachypodium sylvaticum False Brome 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
Melica nutans Mountain Melick British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

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

Time of year - adults: There is a single generation, adults flying during May and June (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: Distributed in southern England and Wales, and also occurring in parts of northern England and Ireland (UKMoths), including Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Denbighshire, Dorset, Durham, East Kent, East Norfolk, East Suffolk, Herefordshire, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Isle of Wight, North Devon, North Essex, North Hampshire, North Lincolnshire, North Somerset, North-east Yorkshire, Shropshire, South Wiltshire, West Kent, West Lancaster, West Norfolk, Westmorland and Worcestershire (NBN Atlas) and the Channel Is. (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).

See also British leafminers distribution map.

Also recorded in the Republic of 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, French mainland, Germany, Greek mainland, Hungary, Italian mainland, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Russia - Central, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland and The Netherlands (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Brachypodium pinnatum, Brachypodium sylvaticum, Dactylis glomerata, Melica nutans

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Ichneumonoidea  
Bracon abbreviator Nees, 1834 Braconidae: Braconinae
Chelonus exilis Marshall, 1885 Braconidae: Cheloninae
Pholetesor circumscriptus (Nees, 1834) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Pholetesor viminetorum (Wesmael, 1837) Braconidae: Microgastrinae


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 20-Jul-2017  Brian Pitkin Top of page