Plant Parasites of Europe

leafminers, galls and fungi

Elachista subalbidella

Elachista subalbidella Schläger, 1847

buff dwarf


Mine fairly translucent. It starts as a narrow corridor, running towards the leaf tip, but this almost invariably is overrun be a later, broad, descending corridor. The centre of the mine contains a vertical tube made of loose silk, in which the larva can quickly move up or down, and in which also most frass gets trapped. The sides if the mine are smooth (contrary to E. gangabella). Mines are difficult to find, because the leaves are wilting already when larvae re present.

host plants

Cyperaceae, Poaceae; narrowly polyphagous

Arrhenatherum; Brachypodium pinnatum, sylvaticum; Calamagrostis arundinacea; Carex; Melica; Molinia caerulea; Poa.

According to Steuer (1973a, Germany) Brachypodium pinnatum is the only host plant; in Britain Molinia is the most important host (Bland, 1996a; Ford, 1943a; Robbins, 1991a).


Larvae in autumn; in October they are full grown, but they leave their mine only just before pupation, in early spring (Bland, 1996a; Buszko, 1990a).


BE recorded (Phegea, 2009).

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

LUX not recorded (Fauna Europaea, 2009).

distribution within Europe

From Fennoscandia and northern Russia to Italy and Greece, and from Ireland to Romania (Fauna Europaea, 2009).


Dark olive green (greyish black while hibernating). Head and prothoracic plate black. Each thorax segment dorsally with a pair of roundish or crescent shaped light spots (Steuer, 1973a).


See Patočka (1999a), Patočka & Turčáni (2005a).


Beiger (1979a), Bidzilya, Budashkin & Zhakov (2016a), Bland (1996a), Buszko (1990a), Buszko & Baraniak (1989b), Ford (1943a), Gielis, Huisman, Kuchlein, ao (1985a), Hering (1957a), Huemer (2012a), Kaila, Mutanen, Saarela, Siloaho, Sippola & Tabell (2008a), Kaila, Nupponen, Junnilainen ao (2003a), Kozlov & Kullberg (2006a), Kuchlein & Donner (1993a), Kuchlein & de Vos (1999a), Parenti & Varalda (1994a), Patočka (1999a), Patočka & Turčáni (2005a), De Prins (1998a), Robbins (1991a), Schmid (2019a), Schütze (1931a), Sønderup (1949a), Sruoga & Ivinskis (2005a, 2011a), Steurer (1973a), Szőcs (1977a), Traugott-Olsen & Nielsen (1977a), Wegner (2010a), Wörz (1957a).

Last modified 4.iii.2021