Espanyol looked to be on their way to three points courtesy of a superb strike from their captain Sergio Garcia after 17 minutes.
Garcia collected a pass from Abraham and curled an unstoppable left-footed effort beyond Przemyslaw Tyton from 20 yards.
But Elche hung in there, and got their rewards 13 minutes from time when Herrera converted the rebound after Kiko Casilla had made a fine save.
The draw moves Elche three points clear of 18th-placed Almeria with nine games left to play, while Espanyol remain 12th.
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