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 pseudoreptans Nowakowski, 1964
[Diptera: Agromyzidae]

Agromyza urticae Nowakowski, 1964. Dt. ent. Z. [2] 11: 192. [Preoccupied by Agromyza urticae Watt, 1924: 685] Agromyza pseudoreptans Nowakowski, 1967. Polskie Pismo ent. 37: 658
Agromyza pseudoreptans Nowakowski, 1967; Spencer, 1972b. Handbk ident. Br. Ins. 10(5g): 34 (figs 92-3), 35, 121
Agromyza pseudoreptans Nowakowski, 1967; Spencer, 1976. Fauna ent. Scand. 5(1): 136, figs 241-3.
Agromyza pseudoreptans Nowakowski, 1967; Spencer, 1990. Host specialization in the world Agromyzidae (Diptera) : 54, 57, 58 (fig. 217), 93, 198, 299.

Leaf-miner: Larva forming an irregular elongate linear blotch mine, normally adjoining margin of leaf (Spencer, 1976: 137).

Forms a long blotch mine, which is usually adjacent to the edge of the leaf, which turns black (British leafminers).

Full depth corridor, mostly beginning at the leaf margin, and never starting with a closely set, intestine-like, number of curves. Further on the corridor considerably widens, mostly keeping close to the leaf margin. Often several larvae in a mine. Frass in lumps or short rods, never in long threads. Pupation outside the mine (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 Dempewolf (2001: 48). Posterior spiracles each with 3 bulbs, surrounded by four groups of hairs (Spencer, 1972b: 35, fig. 93).

Agromyza pseudoreptans 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. It varies in colour from black to almost yellow; posterior spiracular processes separated by their own diameter, each with 3 bulbs (Spencer, 1976: 132).

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

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Phragmites       Robbins, 1991: 141
Phragmites australis Common Reed British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Mines in BMNH
Phragmites australis Common Reed British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Spencer, 1972b: 124

Hosts elsewhere:

Phragmites       Spencer, 1990: 356
Phragmites australis Common Reed British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Spencer, 1976: 132
Phragmites australis Common Reed British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - mines: August-September.

Time of year - adults: April-August the following year.

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Widespread in Britain (Spencer, 1972b: 38) including Huntingdonshire and Oxford (Robbins, 1991: 141), East Perth (Ardblair Moss), Haddington (Luffness) (Bland, 1994c: 81) and Cambridgeshire, East Cornwall, East Suffolk (NBN Atlas).

Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland (Fauna Europaea).

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Poland (Spencer, 1976: 132), The Netherlands (Bladmineerders van Europa), Belgium (Scheirs and de Bruyn, 1992), Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia (Fauna Europaea).

Also recorded in Japan (Spencer, 1990).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Phragmites australis

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Ichneumonoidea - Links to species no longer available  
Chorebus coxator (Thomson, 1895) Braconidae: Alysiinae
Chorebus nydia (Nixon, 1937) Braconidae: Alysiinae
Chorebus pione (Nixon, 1944) Braconidae: Alysiinae
Chorebus spenceri Griffiths, 1964 Braconidae: Alysiinae
Opius ochrogaster Wesmael, 1835 Braconidae: Opiinae
Phaedrotoma rex (Fischer, 1958) Braconidae: Opiinae
Phaedrotoma variegata (Szépligeti, 1896) Braconidae: Opiinae
Eurytenes polyzonius 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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