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 tengstromi Bengtsson, Sulcs & Junnilainen, 2001
[Lepidoptera: Elachistidae]

Elachista tengstromi Bengtsson, Sulcs & Junnilainen, 2001.

A strongly contracted upper-surface tentiform mine, generally in the lower third of the leaf, beginning at the leaf base. Often a second or third mine is made, starting from the leaf tip. These secondary mines begin as a narrow, almost completely frass-filled corridor, that continues down to the leaf the while widening into a tentiform mine. Pupation outside the mine (Steuer, 1980a) (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Mines found in plants in open or semi-shade (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).

Head pale honey coloured, mouth-parts dark brown; prothoracic and anal plates and thoracic legs translucent yellowish green; body dull green, tinged yellowish ventrally (Langmaid, 2007a). Steuer (1980a) gives a detailed description, but it is not quite certain that this indeed refers to tengstromi (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 species is included in

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Luzula pilosa Hairy Wood-rush British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers

Hosts elsewhere:

Luzula pilosa Hairy Wood-rush British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: Larvae overwinter in mines, which slowly develop to June (British leafminers).

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Britain including Kent, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Monmouthshire and Elgin (British leafminers).

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Austria, Danish mainland, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Russia - North and Northwest, Sweden and Switzerland (Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Luzula pilosa

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

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Last updated 18-Oct-2019  Brian Pitkin Top of page