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Elachista (Aphelosetia) argentella

(Clerck, 1759)

  • Subfamily: Elachistinae
  • Wingspan: 11-12 mm
  • Flight period: May - Jul
  • Spread: Common
  • Host plants: Poaceae


The Elachista argentella is a small moth of the Elachistidae family, with a wingspan of 11-12 mm.
In Europe it is present almost everywhere; absent in Slovenia, Bulgaria and Ukraine. In Italy it is absent from the islands. *

The front wings of the Elachista argentella are pure white with a silky appearance, strongly fringed. The hind wings are white, shiny strongly fringed. Palpi, head and thorax are white.

Adults are in flight in the period between the months of May and July, depending on the latitude and are attracted by artificial light. The privileged habitats are the grassy ones in which the larva can develop.

The larva is a foliar miner . The "mine" begins as a narrow corridor where the larva hibernates. Upon awakening, approximately in the month of March, it leaves its refuge to move to a new leaf and feed. Nymphosis occurs outside the leaf. The larvae are found from late summer to early May. They are gray-green with light brown heads. **

The larvae feed on Poaceae among the plants we find Agrostis, Avenula pratensis, Avenula pubescens, Brachypodium pinnatum, Brachypodium sylvaticum, Bromus erectus, Bromus sterilis, epigejos calamagrostis, Dactylis glomerata, Deschampsia coeritosa, Elymus hispidus, Elymus repens, Festuca ovina, Festuca rubra, Festuca trachyphylla, Festuca valesiaca, Holcus lanatus, mollis Holcus, Koeleria glauca, Koeleria grandis, Koeleria macrantha, Leymus arenarius, Phalaris arundinacea, Phleum and Poa pratensis.

* Lepidoptera mundi - Fauna Europea
** Plant Parasites of Europe leafminers, galls and fungi -

Elachista argentella
Elachista argentella
Elachista argentella