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


Elachista biatomella (Stainton, 1848)
[Lepidoptera: Elachistidae]

Two-dotted Dwarf

Aphelosetia biatomella Stainton, 1848. Zoologist: 2165.
Elachista biatomella
(Stainton, 1848).

Leaf-miner: Oviposition in a leaf axil. From there ascends a narrow corridor with a thin frass line. When the mine is 2-3 cm long the direction reverses. The result is an elongate, whitish, lightly inflated blotch with dispersed frass. Pupation external (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).

Described by Steuer (1980a). The larva is yellowish with a dark brown head and a light brown prothoracic plate (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, although it may not be that sepcies and is more likely to be Elachista triatomea. The species is included in

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Carex       Pitkin & Plant

Hosts elsewhere:

Carex x prolixa Acute Tufted-sedge  

Bladmineerders van Europa, as acuta subsp. prolixa

Carex flacca Glaucous sedge British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: September-April (Bland, 1996a).

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Britain including Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Caernarvonshire, Cambridgeshire, Dorset, Durham, East Norfolk, East Suffolk, East Sussex, Glamorgan, Hertfordshire, Isle of Wight, Shropshire, Stafford, Surrey, West Gloucestershire, West Kent, West Norfolk and Westmorland (NBN Atlas).

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, French mainland, Germany, Hungary, Italian mainland, Portuguese mainland, Romania, Sardinia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Ukraine (Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Carex flacca, Carex x prolixa

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Ichneumonoidea - Links to species no longer available  
Gelis anthracinus (Förster, 1850) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae

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

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Last updated 17-Oct-2019  Brian Pitkin Top of page