The leaf and stem mines of British flies and other insects
 

(Coleoptera, Diptera, Hymenoptera and Lepidoptera)

by Brian Pitkin, Willem Ellis, Colin Plant and Rob Edmunds

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Agromyza albipennis Meigen, 1830
[Diptera: Agromyzidae]

Black wheat leaf miner


Agromyza albipennis Meigen, 1830. Syst. Beschr. 6: 171
Agromyza albohyalinata Zetterstedt, 1848. Diptera Scandinaviae. 7: 2742
Agromyza albipennis Meigen, 1830; Hendel, 1931. Fliegen palaearkt. Reg. 6(2): 98
Agromyza albohyalinata Zetterstedt, 1848; Griffiths, 1963b. Tijdschr. Ent. 106: 124
Agromyza albipennis Meigen, 1830; Spencer, 1972b. Handbk ident. Br. Ins. 10(5g): 34 (figs 85-6), 38, 122, 124
Agromyza albipennis Meigen, 1830; Spencer, 1976. Fauna ent. Scand. 5(1): 90-1, figs 122-125.
Agromyza albipennis Meigen, 1830; Spencer, 1990. Host specialization in the world Agromyzidae (Diptera) : 354, 355, 356, 357, 361, 364.


Leaf-mine: Larvae feed singly, forming an upper surface linear-blotch mine. Pupation either internal or external, with the puparium loosely glued to the leaf (Spencer, 1976: 91).

Oviposition near the leaf margin, at some distance from the leaf tip. From there develops an upper-surface corridor-blotch. At first the mine ascends as a narrow corridor towards the leaf tip, then the direction turns and the mine, steadily widening, descends in the direction of the leaf base. Frass irregular, in rather coarse grains. Larva solitary. Pupation mostly outside the mine; in that case the puparium often sticks to the leaf (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Mine of Agromyza albipennis on Phalaris arundinacea. Image: Willem Ellis (Source: Bladmineerders van Europa)
Mine of Agromyza albipennis on Phalaris arundinacea
Image: Willem ellis (Bladmineerders van Europa)

Larva: The larvae of flies are leg-less maggots without a head capsule (see examples). They never have thoracic or abdominal legs. They do not have chewing mouthparts, although they do have a characteristic cephalo-pharyngeal skeleton (see examples), usually visible internally through the body wall.

The larva is described by Sasakawa (1961), Griffiths (1963b), Dempewolf (2001 :52) and illustrated in Bladmineerders van Europa.

Puparium: The puparia of flies are formed within the hardened last larval skin or puparium and as a result sheaths enclosing head appendages, wings and legs are not visible externally (see examples).

Reddish, brown or black, posterior spiracles each with 3 bulbs, the two processes adjoining. The puparium is illustrated in Bladmineerders van Europa.

Comments: The species is known as a serious pest of wheat and barley in Japan (Spencer, 1973a).

Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:

Poaceae        
Arrhenatherum elatius False Oat-grass British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Spencer, 1972b: 122
Brachypodium       Robbins, 1989: 18
Brachypodium sylvaticum False Brome British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Robbins, 1991: 135
Bromus       Robbins, 1991: 135
Bromus villosus     Pitkin & Plant
Dactylis       Robbins, 1991: 135
Glyceria       Robbins, 1989: 18
Glyceria maxima Reed Sweet-grass British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Robbins, 1991: 135
Holcus       Pitkin & Plant
Holcus mollis Creeping Soft-grass   Robbins, 1991: 135
Hordeum murinum Wall Barley British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Spencer, 1972b: 124
Hordeum vulgare Six-rowed Barley   Spencer, 1972b: 124
Milium       Robbins, 1989: 18
Phalaris       Robbins, 1989: 18
Phalaris arundinacea Reed Canary-grass British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Spencer, 1972b: 124
Phalaris arundinacea Reed Canary-grass British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Robbins, 1991: 135
Poa       Spencer, 1972b: 124

Hosts elsewhere:

Poaceae        
Agrostis       Spencer, 1990: 354
Agrostis stolonifera Creeping Bent British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Arrhenatherum       Spencer, 1990: 354
Arrhenatherum elatius False Oat-grass British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Brachypodium sylvaticum False Brome British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Deschampsia       Spencer, 1990: 354
Deschampsia cespitosa Tufted Hair-grass British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Festuca       Spencer, 1990: 355
Hordeum       Spencer, 1976: 90
Hordeum       Spencer, 1990: 356
Hordeum murinum Wall Barley British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Hordeum vulgare Six-rowed Barley   Bladmineerders van Europa
Phalaris       Spencer, 1990: 355
Phalaris arundinacea Reed Canary-grass British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Spencer, 1976: 90
Phalaris arundinacea Reed Canary-grass British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Dempewolf, 2001: 53
Phalaris arundinacea Reed Canary-grass British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Phleum       Spencer, 1990: 355
Phleum pratense Timothy   Bladmineerders van Europa
Poa       Spencer, 1976: 124
Poa       Spencer, 1990: 355
Poa trivialis Rough Meadow-grass British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Secale       Spencer, 1990: 356
Secale cereale Rye   Bladmineerders van Europa
Setaria       Spencer, 1990: 357
Setaria viridis Green Bristle-grass British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Triticum       Spencer, 1990: 356

Time of year - mines: Larvae in several generations between June and October (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: Widespread and common in Britain. Surrey (Ash Vale), Hertfordshire (Rickmansworth), Middlesex (Finchley), Oxford (Oxford), Huntingdonshire (Woodwalton Fen), Stafford (Newcastle-under-Lyme), Dunbartonshire (Bonhill) (Spencer, 1972b: 38) and Warwickshire (Hawkesbury) (Robbins, 1991: 135). Cambridgeshire, East Norfolk, Glamorgan, South-west Yorkshire, West Gloucestershire and West Norfolk (NBN Atlas)

Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland: Co. Clare (Dunratty) (Spencer, 1972b: 38).

Distribution elsewhere: Very common in western Europe including Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden (Spencer, 1976), The Netherlands, Luxembourg (Bladmineerders van Europa), Belgium (Scheirs, de Bruyn and Verdyck, 1993), Germany (Spencer, 1976: 546; Dempewolf, 2001), Austria, Belarus, Corsica, Czech Republic, Estonia, European Turkey, Finland, Hungary, Italian mainland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Spanish mainland and Switzerland (Martinez in Fauna Europaea). Also recorded in Canada, Japan and China (Spencer, 1990), although the Japanese and Chinese records may represent a different related species.

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Agrostis stolonifera, Arrhenatherum elatius, Brachypodium sylvaticum, Deschampsia cespitosa, Glyceria maxima, Holcus mollis, Hordeum murinum, Hordeum vulgare, Phalaris arundinacea, Phleum pratense, Poa trivialis, Secale cereale, Setaria viridis

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Chalcidoidea  
Chrysocharis pentheus (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Cirrospilus vittatus Walker, 1838 Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Diglyphus isaea (Walker, 1838) Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Diglyphus pusztensis (Erdös and Novicky, 1951) Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Merismus splendens Graham, 1969 Pteromalidae: Miscogastrinae
Ichneumonoidea  
Chorebus nydia (Nixon, 1937) Braconidae: Alysiinae
Exotela flavicoxa (Thomson, 1895) Braconidae: Alysiinae
Exotela melanocera (Thomson, 1895) Braconidae: Alysiinae
Heterolexis balteata (Thomson, 1895) Braconidae: Alysiinae
Opius celsus Haliday, 1837 Braconidae: Opiinae
Phaedrotoma reptantis (Fischer, 1957) Braconidae: Opiinae
Phaedrotoma rex (Fischer, 1958) Braconidae: Opiinae
Rhogadopsis reconditor Wesmael, 1835 Braconidae: Opiinae

Adult:

Wing of Agromyza albipennis
Wing of Agromyza albipennis


External links: Search the internet:
Biodiversity Heritage Library
Bladmineerders van Europa
British leafminers
Encyclopedia of Life
Fauna Europaea
NBN Atlas
NHM UK Checklist
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