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 obliquella Stainton, 1854
[Lepidoptera: Elachistidae]

Wood Dwarf

Elachista obliquella Stainton, 1854.
Elachista megerlella sensu auctt. nec
Hübner, [1810]

Leaf-miner: Initially a narrow brownish mine with blackish frass at its base, then moves to another leaf, forming a broader mine. Both mines can pucker the blade (British leafminers).

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).

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

Attached to leaf or stem with silken girdle (British leafminers).

Adult: The adult is not illustrated in UKMoths. The genitalia are not illustrated by the Lepidoptera Dissction Group.

Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:

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
Bromopsis erecta Upright Brome  

British leafminers, as Bromus erectus

Hosts elsewhere: Currently unknown.

Time of year - larvae: October-April, July (British leafminers).

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: Britain including Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Denbighshire, Derbyshire, Dorset, Durham, East Cornwall, East Norfolk, Glamorgan, Herefordshire, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, North Hampshire, North Somerset, South Wiltshire, Stafford, Surrey, West Cornwall, West Kent, West Lancaster, West Suffolk and Westmorland (NBN Atlas).

See also British leafminers distribution map.

Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea, as obliquella). See NDBC interactive map.

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

NBN interactive distribution map(s) of known host species in Great Britain & Ireland:

Brachypodium sylvaticum, Bromopsis erecta

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Dolichogenidea sicaria (Marshall, 1885) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
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
British leafminers
NBN Atlas
NHM UK Checklist

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Last updated 20-Jul-2017  Brian Pitkin Top of page