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

N.B. Links to the latest version of 'Leafminers and plant galls of Europe' are being edited

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Agromyza anthracina Meigen, 1830
[Diptera: Agromyzidae]

Agromyza anthracina Meigen, 1830. Syst. Beschr. 6: 173
Agromyza freyi Hendel, 1931. Fliegen palaearkt. Reg. 6(2): 131 [Synonymised by Spencer, 1976: 98]
Agromyza anthracina Meigen, 1830; Spencer, 1972b. Handbk ident. Br. Ins. 10(5g): 37 (figs 110-111), 39, 121
Agromyza anthracina Meigen, 1830; Spencer, 1976. Fauna ent. Scand. 5(1): 98-9, figs 145-6.
Agromyza anthracina Meigen, 1830; Spencer, 1990. Host specialization in the world Agromyzidae (Diptera) : 54, 57, 58 (fig. 216), 313.


Leaf-mine: Larva forming linear-blotch mine between two veins, not adjoining margin of leaf, frass in distinct black strips or pellets (Spencer, 1972b: 37 (fig. 111), 39; Spencer, 1976: 100 (fig. 146)).

Full depth mine with indistinct primary and secondary feeding lines. Generally the mines lie in the centre of the leaf. The mine starts as a narrow corridor, strongly, 'intestine-like', wound (unless the mine lies near the leaf margin, in which case the first part of the corridor follows the leaf margin). Further on the corridor widens into an elongated blotch. Part of the frass in a long fine thread. In comparision with the other two Agromyza's on Nettle the mine is much clearer, less green-cloudy. Pupation outside the mine (Bladmineerders van Europa).

The mine starts away from the leaf edge usually and has a coiled intestine-like start; it has frass in long threads in the broader part of the mine (British leafminers).

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 Dempewolf (2001) and illustrated in Bladmineerders van Europa. Mandibles with three teeth (Bladmineerders van Europa); posterior spiracles each with 3 bulbs on a conspicuous protuberance (Spencer, 1972b: 39).

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).

The puparium is illustrated in Bladmineerders van Europa.

Agromyza anthracina puparium
Agromyza anthracina puparium
Image: © Willem Ellis (Bladmineerders van Europa)

Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:

Urticaceae        
Urtica       Robbins, 1991: 71
Urtica dioica Common Nettle British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Mines in BMNH
Urtica dioica Common Nettle British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Urtica dioica Common Nettle British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Spencer, 1972b: 121
Urtica dioica Common Nettle British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bland, 1992

Hosts elsewhere:

Urticaceae        
Parietaria       Spencer, 1990: 54
Parietaria officinalis Eastern Pellitory-of-the-wall   Bladmineerders van Europa
Urtica       Spencer, 1990: 54
Urtica dioica Common Nettle British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Spencer, 1976: 99
Urtica dioica Common Nettle British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Dempewolf, 2001: 45
Urtica dioica Common Nettle British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Urtica pilulifera Roman Nettle   Bladmineerders van Europa
Urtica radicans     Bladmineerders van Europa
Urtica urens Small Nettle British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - mines: June-July, October-November.

Time of year - adults: July-August.

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: Widespread, but local. including London (Hampstead), Surrey (Godalming), Cambridge (Chippenham Fen), Dorset (West Bay), Dunbarton (Bonhill), Sutherland (Golspie) (Spencer, 1972b: 39); Inner Hebrides (Isle of Coll, Arinagour) (Bland, 1992), Warwickshire (Print Wood) (Robbins, 1991: 71), Hampshire (Fleet) (British leafminers), Caernarvonshire, Cambridge, Carmarthenshire, Denbighshire, East Gloucestershire, East Ross, East Suffolk, Easterness, Edinburgh, Leicestershire, Main Argyll, Merionethshire, North Hampshire, North Somerset, Orkney, Shropshire, South Hampshire, South Lancaster, South-east Yorkshire, South-west Yorkshire, Stafford, Surrey, West Kent, Westmorland and Worcestershire (NBN Atlas).

Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland (Martinez in Fauna Europaea). See NDBC interactive map.

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden (Spencer, 1976: 99), The Netherlands (Bladmineerders van Europa), Belgium (Scheirs, de Bruyn and von Tschirnhaus, 1996), Germany (Spencer, 1976: 546; Dempewolf (2001), Czech Republic, French mainland, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Switzerland (Martinez in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Parietaria officinalis, Urtica dioica, Urtica pilulifera, Urtica urens

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Chalcidoidea  
Miscogaster elegans Walker, 1833 Pteromalidae: Miscogastrinae
Ichneumonoidea  
Chorebus lateralis (Haliday, 1839) Braconidae: Alysiinae
Dacnusa abdita (Haliday, 1839) Braconidae: Alysiinae
Exotela hera (Nixon, 1937) Braconidae: Alysiinae
Apodesmia similis (Szépligeti, 1898) Braconidae: Opiinae
Atormus victus (Haliday, 1837) Braconidae: Opiinae
Opius ambiguus Wesmael, 1835 Braconidae: Opiinae


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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