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


Agromyza nigrella (Rondani, 1875)
[Diptera: Agromyzidae]

Cereal Leaf-miner

Domomyza nigrella Rondani, 1875. Bull. Soc. ent. ital. 7: 176
Domomyza nigrella Rondani, 1875 ; Hendel, 1931. Fliegen palaearkt. Reg. 6(2): 103 (as ambigua)
Agromyza nigrella (Rondani, 1875); Spencer, 1972b. Handbk ident. Br. Ins. 10(5g): 10, 30 (figs 79-80), 33, 123, 124, 125
Agromyza nigrella (Rondani, 1875); Spencer, 1976. Fauna ent. Scand. 5(1): 126-7, figs 214-8.
Agromyza nigrella (Rondani, 1875); Spencer, 1990. Host specialization in the world Agromyzidae (Diptera) : 354, 355, 356, 358 (figs 1343-4), 359, 361, 364.

Leaf-miner: Larval leaf-mine starts as a narrow channel running towards apex of leaf but later develops into a broad blotch running downwards. Frass largely diffused, giving the mine a characteristic greenish appearance. Pupation external (Spencer, 1976: 126).

Corridor, usually several in one leaf, running from close to the leaf base up to near the tip, then reversing direction and widening, resulting in one communal mine in which the larvae descend in a common front . Frass somewhat deliquescent, mine therefore strikingly green. Pupation outside the mine. Neither mine nor larva distinguishable from those of mobilis (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 de Meijere (1925), Spencer (1966c: 288) and 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).

Iillustrated by d'Aguilar, Chambon and Touber (1976a) (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Comments: A potentially serious pest of wheat.

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Dactylis glomerata Cock's-foot British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Spencer, 1972b: 123
Festuca       Spencer, 1972b: 123
Glyceria fluitans Floating Sweet-grass British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Spencer, 1972b: 123
Holcus lanatus Yorkshire-fog British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Spencer, 1972b: 123
Lolium perenne Perennial Rye-grass British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Spencer, 1972b: 124
Phleum       Spencer, 1972b: 124
Poa       Spencer, 1972b: 124
Secale cereale Rye   Spencer, 1972b: 124
Setaria       Spencer, 1972b: 124
Trisetum flavescens Yellow Oat-grass British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Spencer, 1972b: 125
Triticum aestivum Bread Wheat   Spencer, 1972b: 125

Hosts elsewhere:

Alopecurus pratensis Meadow Foxtail British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Arrhenatherum elatius False Oat-grass British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Avena       Bladmineerders van Europa
Avena       Spencer, 1976: 126
Avena       Spencer, 1990: 354
Avenula       Bladmineerders van Europa
Briza       Bladmineerders van Europa
Bromopsis ramosa Hairy-brome British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa, as Bromus ramosus
Calamagrostis       Bladmineerders van Europa
Dactylis       Spencer, 1976: 126
Dactylis       Spencer, 1990: 355
Dactylis       Bladmineerders van Europa
Festuca       Spencer, 1976: 126
Festuca       Spencer, 1990: 355
Festuca       Bladmineerders van Europa
Glyceria       Spencer, 1976: 126
Glyceria       Spencer, 1990: 355
Glyceria       Bladmineerders van Europa
Holcus       Spencer, 1976: 126
Holcus       Spencer, 1990: 354
Holcus       Bladmineerders van Europa
Hordeum       Spencer, 1976: 126
Hordeum       Spencer, 1990: 356
Hordeum       Bladmineerders van Europa
Lolium       Spencer, 1976: 126
Lolium       Spencer, 1990: 355
Lolium       Bladmineerders van Europa
Milium effusum Wood Millet British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Phalaris       Bladmineerders van Europa
Phleum       Spencer, 1976: 126
Phleum       Spencer, 1990: 355
Phleum       Bladmineerders van Europa
Poa       Spencer, 1976: 126
Poa       Spencer, 1990: 355
Poa       Bladmineerders van Europa
Secale       Spencer, 1976: 126
Secale       Spencer, 1990: 356
Secale       Bladmineerders van Europa
Setaria       Spencer, 1976: 126
Setaria       Spencer, 1990: 357
Setaria       Bladmineerders van Europa
Trisetum       Spencer, 1976: 126
Trisetum       Spencer, 1990: 355
Trisetum       Bladmineerders van Europa
Triticum       Spencer, 1976: 126
Triticum       Spencer, 1990: 356
Triticum       Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - mines: One generation, in July (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Time of year - adults: August-September.

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Widespread in Britain including Essex (Flatford), London, Surrey (Chobham), Northumb (Wooler), Aberdeen (Braemar) and Dunbartonshire (Bonhill) (Spencer, 1972b: 33), Cambridgeshire, Carmarthenshire, East Norfolk, East Ross, Easterness, Glamorgan, Huntingdonshire, North Hampshire, South-west Yorkshire, West Gloucestershire and West Suffolk (NBN Atlas).

Distribution elsewhere: Common and widespread thoughout much of Europe including Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden (Spencer, 1976: 126), The Netherlands (Bladmineerders van Europa), Germany (Spencer, 1976: 546), Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, French mainland, Hungary, Italian mainland, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Yugoslavia (Fauna Europaea). Also recorded in the U.S.A. (Spencer, 1990).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Alopecurus pratensis, Arrhenatherum elatius, Bromopsis ramosa, Dactylis glomerata, Glyceria fluitans, Holcus lanatus, Lolium perenne, Milium effusum, Secale cereale, Trisetum flavescens, Triticum aestivum

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Ichneumonoidea - Links to species no longer available  
Heterolexis balteata (Thomson, 1895) Braconidae: Alysiinae
Protodacnusa tristis (Nees, 1834) Braconidae: Alysiinae
Desmiostoma parvulum (Wesmael, 1835) Braconidae: Opiinae
Eurytenes maculipes Wesmael, 1835 Braconidae: Opiinae
Opius cingulatus Wesmael, 1835 Braconidae: Opiinae
Rhogadopsis reconditor 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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