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 maculicerusella (Bruand, 1859)
[Lepidoptera: Elachistidae]

Triple-spot Dwarf


Lita maculicerusella Bruand, 1859
Tinea cerusella Hübner, 1796. Samml. Europ. Schmett.: pl. 27 fig. 183.
Elachista monosemiella
Râssler, 1881.
Elachista maculicerusella
(Bruand, 1859).



Leaf-miner:
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 leafminers).

Oviposition 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 leafminers.

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 leafminers.

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

Comments: Festuca pratensis is treated as Schedonorus pratensis (Meadow Fescue) by Stace (2010).

Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:

Poaceae        
Dactylis glomerata Cock's-foot British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Phalaris arundinacea Reed Canary-grass British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Phalaris arundinacea Reed Canary-grass British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Phalaris arundinacea Reed Canary-grass British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. UKMoths
Phragmites australis Common Reed British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Phragmites australis Common Reed British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Phragmites australis Common Reed British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. UKMoths
Poa       British leafminers

Hosts elsewhere:

Poaceae        
Agrostis       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
Brachypodium       Bladmineerders van Europa
Bromus inermis Hungarian Brome   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
Elymus repens Common Couch British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Festuca pratensis Meadow Fescue   Bladmineerders van Europa
Holcus       Bladmineerders van Europa
Phalaris arundinacea Reed Canary-grass British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Phalaris canariensis Canary-grass British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Phragmites australis Common Reed British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Poa compressa Flattened 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: October - June; July (British leafminers).

Time of year - adults: Between May and August in one or two broods depending on latitude (UKMoths).

Distribution 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 Anglesey, Bedfordshire, Caernarvonshire, Cambridgeshire, Cheviotland, Denbighshire, Derbyshire, Dorset, East Kent, East Norfolk, East Suffolk, Flintshire, Glamorgan, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Kincardineshire, Leicestershire, Middlesex, North Essex, North Hampshire, North Somerset, Northumberland South, Nottinghamshire, Shropshire, South Hampshire, South Lancaster, South-east Yorkshire, South-west Yorkshire, Stafford, Surrey, Warwickshire, West Gloucestshire, , West Norfolk, West Suffolk, Westmorland and Wigtownshire (NBN Atlas).

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, 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 Atlas links to known host species:

Alopecurus pratensis, Arrhenatherum elatius, Bromus inermis, Calamagrostis epigejos, Dactylis glomerata, Elymus repens, Festuca pratensis (= Schedonorus pratensis), Phalaris arundinacea, Phalaris canariensis, Phragmites australis, Poa compressa

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



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 07-Aug-2017  Brian Pitkin Top of page