Plant Parasites of Europe

leafminers, galls and fungi

Elachista maculicerusella

Elachista maculicerusella (Bruand, 1859)

triple-spot dwarf

on Poaceae

Elachista maculicerusella: mine on Holcus spec.

Holcus spec., België, prov. Limbourg © Carina Van Steenwinkel

Elachista maculicerusella: mine on Holcus spec.

another image

Elachista maculicerusella: mine on Holcus spec.

mine lighted from behind

Elachista maculicerusella: larva on Holcus spec.

larva about to pupate

Elachista maculicerusella: mine on Holcus spec.

Phalaroides arundinacea, Belgium, prov. Limbourg © Carina Van Steenwinkel

Elachista maculicerusella: mine on Phallaroides arundincea

occasionally two larvae in a mine

Elachista maculicerusella: pupa on Phallaroides arundincea

pupa in a leaf axil

Cosmopterix scribaiella: mine on Phragmites australis

Phragmites australis, Belgium, prov. West-Flanders, Poperinge, Watou: Helleketelbos © Maarten Willems

Cosmopterix scribaiella: mine on Phragmites australis (detail)

detail, last section of the mine

Cosmopterix scribaiella: larva, ventral

larva, ventral view


The first section of the mine is a long and very narrow gallery running in the direction of the leaf tip. At a given moment the galley switches direction and simultaneously becomes broader, ultimately becoming as wide as the leaf itself. Hering (1957a) describes the mine as flat and quite shallow, giving it a greenish, rather than whitish appearance. Frass initially in the oldest, upper part of the mine, later in strings. The larva can leave its mine and restart elsewhere. Normally only one larva per mine, but sometimes two or even three mines in a leaf. Pupation outside the mine (Bland, 1996a; Traugott-Olsen & Schmidt Nielsen, 1977a).

host plants

Poaceae, oligophagous

Agrostis; Alopecurus pratensis; Arrhenatherum elatius; Brachypodium; Bromopsis inermis; Calamagrostis epigeios; Dactylis glomerata; Elytrugia repens; Holcus; Phalaris canariensis; Phalaroides arundinacea; Phragmites australis; Poa compressa; Schedonorus pratensis; Triseum; Triticum.

Steuer (1987a) mentions the species from Phalaroides arundinacea and Phragmites australis, and only occasionally from Schedonorus pratensis.


Larvae in April – May and July (Traugott-Olsen & Schmidt Nielsen, 1977a).


BE recorded (Phegea, 2009).

NE recorded (Kuchlein & de Vos, 1999a;, 2009).

LUX recorded (Fauna Europaea, 2009).

distribution within Europe

Entire Europe, excepted the Iberian Peninsula and perhaps also the Balkan Peninsula (Fauna Europaea, 2009).


Yellowish green, head and pronotum pale brown; see Steuer (1987a) for a detailed description.


Described by Patočka & Turčáni (2005a).


Elachista cerusella (Hübner, 1796); E. monosemiella Rössler, 1881.


Baran, Mazurkiewicz & Pałka (2007a), Bidzilya, Budashkin & Zhakov (2016a), Biesenbaum (1995b), Bland (1996a), Diškus & Stonis (2012a), Ford (1943a), Hering (1957a, 1963a), Kaila, Nupponen, Junnilainen ao (2003a), Kuchlein & de Vos (1999a), Leutsch (2011a), Parenti & Varalda (1994a), Patočka & Turčáni (2005a), Robbins (1991a), Schmid (2019a), Schütze (1931a), Sønderup (1949a), Sruoga & Ivinskis (2005a, 2011a), Sruoga, StunþënaV & Paulavièiûte (2009a), Steuer (1987a), Szőcs (1977a, 1981a), Traugott-Olsen & Schmidt Nielsen, 1977a), Wieser (2018a).

Last modified 4.iii.2021