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 stabilella Stainton, 1858
[Lepidoptera: Elachistidae]

Southern Dwarf


Elachista stabilella Stainton, 1858. Trans. ent. Soc. Lond. n.s. 4: 303
Cosmiotes stabilella (Stainton, 1858).


Leaf-miner: Mines downwards from leaf tip to stem. Makes a long narrow yellowish mine. May be up to four larvae in one leaf (British leafminers).

Long narrow yellowish corridor, descending from the leaf tip to its base; at times 3-4 larvae in a leaf. Often several larvae in a communal mine. 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).

Body yellowish; head and prothoracic shield pale brown; prothoracic shield divided (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 illustrated by the Lepidoptera Dissection Group.

Comments: Festuca arundinacea is treated as Schedonorus arundinacea (Tall Fescue) by Stace (2010).

Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:

Cyperaceae        
Carex       Bland, 1996a
Poaceae        
Agrostis       British leafminers
Brachypodium pinnatum Heath False-brome   British leafminers
Deschampsia cespitosa Tufted Hair-grass British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Festuca arundinacea Tall Fescue British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers

Hosts elsewhere:

Poaceae        
Agrostis       Bladmineerders van Europa
Avena fatua Wild-oat   Bladmineerders van Europa
Brachypodium pinnatum Perennial Tor-grass   Bladmineerders van Europa
Brachypodium sylvaticum False Brome   Bladmineerders van Europa
Calamagrostis       Bladmineerders van Europa
Deschampsia cespitosa Tufted Hair-grass British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Festuca arundinacea Tall Fescue British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Milium effusum Wood Millet British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Poa badensis     Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: February-May; June-July (British leafminers).

Time of year - adults: There are two generations with flight periods in May and June and again from July to August (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: Distributed mainly in southern England and south Wales (UKMoths) including Bedfordshire, Berkshire, East Gloucestershire, East Suffolk, Glamorgan, North Essex, North Somerset, South Devon, South Wiltshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire (NBN Atlas, as Cosmiotes stabilella).

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Germany, Hungary, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Portuguese mainland, Romania, Slovakia, Spanish mainland, Sweden, Switzerland and The Netherlands (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Avena fatua, Brachypodium pinnatum, Brachypodium sylvaticum, Deschampsia cespitosa, Festuca arundinacea (= Schedonorus arundinacea), Milium effusum

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, as Cosmiotes stabilella
Encyclopedia of Life
Fauna Europaea
NBN Atlas, as Cosmiotes stabilella

NHM UK Checklist, as Cosmiotes stabilella
UKMoths

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Last updated 04-May-2017  Brian Pitkin Top of page