ELACHISTIDAE


38.004 Swan-feather Dwarf (Elachista argentella) disturbed by day at Hollas Lane Nature Reserve, May 19th 2019.

38.005 Meadow Dwarf (Elachista triatomea), a field observation at the old sewage works at West Vale, July 7th 06.  

38.005 Meadow Dwarf (Elachista triatomea) a field observation at Norland Bilberry Slopes, June 28th 2018.

38.016 Buff Dwarf (Elachista subalbidella) netted by day at Turgate Delph quarry, Norland on May 29th 2022. There was also a worn specimen in the Robinson trap the same morning.

38.024 Sweet-grass Dwarf (Elachista poae) mine and larva in Reed Sweet-grass, in the canal at Copley, Apr. 10th 2012. A typically long, narrow and rather inconspicuous corridor. Around half a dozen mines were found in total in a relatively small patch of reeds suggesting it could well be a common species within Calderdale. 

38.024 Sweet-grass Dwarf (Elachista poae) mine and larva, Apr.11th 2012. Details as above.

38.024 Sweet-grass Dwarf (Elachista poae) pupa, Apr.11th 2012. Found in Reed Sweet-grass in the canal at Copley. A blackish pupa which was originally enclosed in a whitish cocoon. 

38.024 Sweet-grass Dwarf (Elachista poae), a dead larva and parasitoid cocoon, Apr.14th 2012. I believe this genus is more susceptible than usual to falling victim to parasitic wasps, as this larva has done.

Two weeks later and I managed to rear this parasitic wasp from the above cocoon. It's a male Pholetesor viminetorum, which is a parasitoid of several Elachista species. Identification courtesy of Dick Askew.

38.024 Sweet-grass Dwarf (Elachista poae), Apr. 20th 2012. After 10 days this emerged from the pupa illustrated above. One of the most satisfying aspects of rearing leaf miners is being able to contribute to sites such as UK leaf miners and UK moths such as here: http://ukmoths.org.uk/show.php?id=6671

38.024 Sweet-grass Dwarf (Elachista poae), same moth as above. A few minutes after posing for its photo it began this strange behaviour of lifting all four wings in the air with the antennae going berserk. I assume this is to release pheromones which, in the case of females, is to attract a mate and in the case of males to show a potential mate how "suitable" they are.

38.025 Black-headed Dwarf (Elachista atricomella) to light at Cromwell Bottom, June 16th 2018.

30.037 Little Dwarf (Elachista canapennella) mine in a grass species to be identifieded, Hollas Lane Nature reserve, May 19th 2019. After realising the mine was tenanted I picked the blade along with some root so I could pot the plant up at home and keep it fresh for the larva to develop.

30.037 Little Dwarf (Elachista canapennella) mine and larva (details as above).

30.037 Little Dwarf (Elachista canapennella) pre-pupa, May 20th. Surprisingly the next day the larva exited the mine and spun a pad of silk to the grass blade at its rear end and a silk girdle around it's middle (arrowed) like some butterflies do.

30.037 Little Dwarf (Elachista canapennella) pupa, May 21st. A day later and the larva has pupated.

30.037 Little Dwarf (Elachista canapennella). A close-up of the pupa.

30.037 Little Dwarf (Elachista canapennella) female drying off, May 31st. Bang on time, 10 days later and the tiny female emerges with a forewing of 3.6mm.
Just 12 days from larva to adult - I suppose there's the added threat of being grazed or trampled on living in a grass blade so time is of the essence!

30.037 Little Dwarf (Elachista canapennella) female, side-on shot of the moth above.

30.037 Little Dwarf (Elachista canapennella) male at Copley meadow, Apr. 21st 2019. It was captured flying in the early morning sun, forewing 4mm.

30.037 Little Dwarf (Elachista canapennella) female in the garden, July 22nd 09. Captured by day. 

Me at Cromwell Bottom collecting a couple of Elachista maculicerusella mines on Mar. 31st 2020. It was at the start of the first lockdown of the Covid-19 pandemic and I had the entire reserve to myself.

38.039 Triple-spot Dwarf (Elachista maculicerusella), a field observation of a tenanted mine in Reed Canary Grass at Cromwell Bottom on Mar. 31st 2020. The dark markings on the thorax denotes an immature larva.

38.039 Triple-spot Dwarf (Elachista maculicerusella), a tenanted mine in Reed Canary Grass, from Tag meadow, Apr. 8th. 2020.

38.039 Triple-spot Dwarf (Elachista maculicerusella)a pre-pupal larva, Apr. 6th 2012. Reared from a larva found in Reed Canary Grass at Cromwell Bottom three days earlier. Now fully grown the larva has vacated the mine and spun itself to the outside of the reed. It's now just hours from pupating.

38.039 Triple-spot Dwarf (Elachista maculicerusella), Apr.7th 2012. Pupation successful, I  just hope it's not parasitized as members of this family often are.

38.039 Triple-spot Dwarf (Elachista maculicerusella)Apr.18th 2012. Reared from the larva and pupa illustrated above. Emergence 11 days after pupation.

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