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 serricornis Stainton, 1854
[Lepidoptera: Elachistidae]

Dusky Dwarf


Elachista serricornis Stainton, 1854. Ins. Brit. Lep. Tin.: 260
Biselachista serricornis (Stainton, 1854).


Leaf-miner: In autumn the larva makes a long, brown corridor, and hibernates therein. In spring a new mine is made in another leaf. This one starts near the base of the blade, widens upwards, and finally forms an elongate yellowish irregular blotch of 3-5 cm in length. Pupation externa[; the pupa is attached to the mine without a cocoon.

According to Martini (1912a) a characteristic of this species is the extreme precision with which the mine joins up with the length venation of the leaf (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 of serricornis has body greyish green with a whitish dorsal line. Head and prothoracic plate light brown. Meso- and metanotum each with a lateral mark, connected by a whitish streak (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. The male genitalia, but not the female genitalia (check for update), are not illustrated by the Lepidoptera Dissection Group.

Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:

Cyperaceae        
Carex       Pitkin & Plant
Carex sylvatica Wood-sedge British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant

Hosts elsewhere:

Cyperaceae        
Carex elata Tufted-sedge British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Carex ericetorum Rare Spring-sedge British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Carex ferruginea     Bladmineerders van Europa
Carex sylvatica Wood-sedge British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Carex vesicaria Bladder-sedge British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Eriophorum angustifolium Common Cottongrass British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Eriophorum latifolium Broad-leaved Cottongrass   Bladmineerders van Europa
Eriophorum vaginatum Hare's-tail Cottongrass British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Scirpus sylvaticus Wood Club-rush British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: Larvae are found in the autumn until April in the next year (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: Britain including Cheshire, Cumberland, Dorset, East Cornwall, Kirkudbrightshire, North Essex, Northumberland South, Stafford, Stirling and West Perth (NBN Atlas).

Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea). See also Ireland's NBDC interactive map.

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Austria, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italian mainland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia - North and Northwest, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland and The Netherlands (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Carex elata, Carex ericetorum, Carex sylvatica, Carex vesicaria, Eriophorum angustifolium, Eriophorum latifolium, Eriophorum vaginatum, Scirpus sylvaticus

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Chalcidoidea  
Merismus megapterus Walker, 1833 Pteromalidae: Miscogastrinae


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 serricornis
UKMoths

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