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Elachista atricomella
Black-headed Dwarf Stainton, 1849
597 / 38.025
Photo © Neil Sherman,  Purdis Farm, Ipswich. May 2015.

Similar Suffolk Species
Marsh Dwarf
Elachista alpinella
Sweet-grass Dwarf
Elachista poae
Wingspan: 11-13mm.
Flight: May - September.
Foodplant:   Cock's-foot
Nat Status: Common
Verification Grade:  Adult: 2

Morley’s Final Catalogue: A common kind on the same food-plant. Aldeburgh after 1890 (Ctw); Monks Soham garden, in June 1933, and Barnby Broad in August (Mly).

Recent Status: One of the more commonly recorded Elachista species in Suffolk.

Life Style: A single brooded species that comes to light and can be found from May to September. The larvae mine Dactylis glomerata and probably Carex species also. The larvae hibernate.

Identification: This is a larger dark winged species with creamy white markings. The frons is ochreous and the palps cream. There is a fascia at one third that is weak or interrupted centrally, there is a tornal and larger costal spot a little beyond. The costal spot often subtends a fine fascia that at first is angled towards the termen before turning in to meet the tornal spot. The markings of the female are bolder. The markings are variable however and if the head markings are not evident then genitalia dissection is necessary to support a record. More Info
The larvae feed in a long narrow gallery from the leaf tip to the stalk and will change leaves. They are pale with a slightly darker head and prothoracic plate.

Recorded in 15 (26%) of 58 10k Squares.
First Recorded in 1890.
Last Recorded in 2020.

Latest 5 Records
Date#VC10k Area
15/09/2020125TM24 - Woodbridge/Martlesham
19/06/2020126TL88 - Thetford
09/06/2020325TM13 - Brantham/Holbrook
26/05/2020225TM13 - Brantham/Holbrook
26/05/2020125TM24 - Woodbridge/Martlesham
Further info: Elachista atricomella
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