Larva makes a large whitish blotch and mines the leaf downwards.
The frass tends to be deposited in the upper part of the mine (British
usually not far from the leaf tip. From there descends an irregular
blotch mine. Hering (1957a) describes the mine as flat and quite
shallow, giving it a greenish, rather than whitish appearance. Frass
initially in the oldest, upper part of the mine, later in strings.
The larva can leave its mine and restart elsewhere. Normally only
one larva per mine, but sometimes two or even three mines in a leaf.
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).
Yellowish green, head and pronotum pale brown; see Steuer (1987a)
for a detailed description (Bladmineerders van Europa). The larva is illustrated in British
Pupa: The pupae of moths have visible head appendages, wings and legs which lie in sheaths (see examples).
Anchored externally on the foodplant by a silken girdle (UKMoths).
The pupa is illustrated in British
The adult is illustrated in UKMoths.
genitalia, but not the female genitalia (check for update), are illustrated by the Lepidoptera Dissection Group.
Festuca pratensis is treated
as Schedonorus pratensis (Meadow Fescue) by Stace (2010).
Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:
of year - larvae: October - June; July (British
of year - adults: Between May and August in one or two broods
depending on latitude (UKMoths).
in Great Britain & Ireland: Occurring widely in England
and southern Scotland, this species is relatively common in damp
habitats such as river and canal banks and marshes (UKMoths)
including Bedfordshire (VC30), Berkshire (VC22), Buckinghamshire (VC24), Caernarvonshire (VC49),
Cambridgeshire (VC29), Cheshire (VC58), Cheviotland, Denbighshire (VC50), Derbyshire (VC57),
East Kent (VC15), East Norfolk (VC27), East Suffolk (VC25), Flintshire (VC51), Glamorganshire (VC41), Huntingdonshire (VC31),
Kincardineshire (VC91), Middlesex (VC21), North Essex (VC19), North Hampshire (VC12), North Somerset (VC6),
North Wiltshire (VC7), Shropshire (VC40), South Essex (VC18), South Lancashire (VC59), South Wiltshire (VC8), Staffordshire (VC39), Surrey (VC17), Warwickshire (VC38), West Cornwall (VC1), West Norfolk (VC28),
West Suffolk (VC26), Westmorland (VC69) and Worcestershire (VC37) (NBN
See also British
leafminers distribution map.
recorded in the Republic of Ireland (Karsholt and van Nieukerken
in Fauna Europaea). See also Ireland's NBDC interactive map.
NBN Grid Map:
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elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Austria,
Belgium, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Estonia, European Turkey,
Finland, French mainland, Germany, Hungary, Italian mainland, Latvia,
Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Romania, Russia
- Central, East and North, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland and The
Netherlands (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).
NBN Interactive Grid Maps of known host species:
Festuca pratensis (= Schedonorus
pratensis ), Phalaris
British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere: Currently unknown.