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 scirpi Stainton, 1887
[Lepidoptera: Elachistidae]

Saltern Dwarf


Elachista scirpi Stainton, 1887. Ent. mon. Mag. 23: 253
Biselachista margaretae Traugott-Olsen, 1994.


Leaf-miner: The mine begins as a narrow corridor, somewhere halfway along the leaf; it ascends towards the tip, doubles, and descends to about the starting point. Meanwhile the corridor has widened to about half the width of the leaf. Most frass is accumulated as an elongate dark mass in the oldest part of the mine. According to Traugott-Olsen and Nielsen part of the frass can be ejected through an opening in the lowest part of the mine. The mine is greenish white and quite conspicuous. Pupation external; pupa in a loose spinning (Bland, 1996a; Traugott-Olsen and Nielsen, 1977a) (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).Pale greenish yellow with an indistinct dorsal line; head pale yellow, mouth parts darker. The eye patch consist of several facets (contrary to Eutomostethus luteiventris) (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 male and female genitalia are illustrated by the Lepidoptera Dissection Group.

Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:

Juncaceae        
Juncus compressus Round-fruited Rush British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant (as Biselachista)
Juncus gerardii Saltmarsh Rush British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant (as Biselachista)

Hosts elsewhere:

Cyperaceae        
Scirpus maritimus Sea Club-rush   Bladmineerders van Europa
Juncaceae        
Juncus compressus Round-fruited Rush British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Juncus gerardii Saltmarsh Rush British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: March-May (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: Britain including Anglesey, Berkshire, Denbighshire, Dorset, East Suffolk, Flintshire, Kirkudbrightshire, Pembrokeshire, South Hampshire, South-east Yorkshire, West Cornwall and West Norfolk (NBN Atlas) and the Channel Is. (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).

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, Danish mainland, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italian mainland, Norwegian mainland, Portuguese mainland, Romania, Sardinia, Sicily, Sweden and The Netherlands (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Juncus compressus, Juncus gerardii, Scirpus maritimus

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, as Biselachista scirpi
UKMoths

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Last updated 07-Aug-2017  Brian Pitkin Top of page