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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Ophiomyia simplex (Loew, 1869)
[Diptera: Agromyzidae]

Asparagus miner


Agromyza simplex Loew. 1869a. Berl. ent. Z. 13: 46
Agromyza simplex Loew. 1869a; Hendel, 1920. Fliegen palaearkt. Reg. 6(2): 128
Ophiomyia simplex Loew. 1869a; Spencer, 1966. Beitr. Ent. 16: 55
Ophiomyia simplex (Loew, 1869a); Spencer, 1972b. Handbk ident. Br. Ins. 10(5g): 10, 11, 20, 22, 125
Ophiomyia simplex (Loew, 1869a); Spencer, 1976. Fauna ent. Scand. 5(1): 77-8, figs 103-6.
Ophiomyia simplex (Loew, 1869a); Spencer, 1990. Host specialization in the World Agromyzidae (Diptera) : 325, 326 (figs 1136-7), 335.


Stem-mine: Oviposition normally takes place near the base of the stem. Larva forming external stem-mine, feeding first upwards for as much as 30 cm, then turning and continuing downwards. A number of larvae may feed in a single stem and young plants may turn yellow and die. Pupation immediately beneath the epidermis (Spencer, 1976: 78).

Oviposition in the rind of the stem, just above the ground. A corridor from there runs upwards for about 30 cm, then reverts and descends to about ground level. Pupation in the mine, just below the epidermis. Usually several mines on one plant; the plant can effectively be ringed and be killed (Bladmineerders van Europa, as Hexomyza simplex)).

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: 79).

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).

Pale or darker brown; posterior spiracles each having about 16 bulbs (Spencer, 1976: 78).

Comments: Recently simplex has been treated as a species of Hexomyza. It is a pest of Asparagus.

Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:

Liliaceae        
Asparagus       Robbins, 1991: 127
Asparagus officinalis Asparagus British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Barnes, 1937
Asparagus officinalis Asparagus British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Spencer, 1972b: 125

Hosts elsewhere:

Liliaceae        
Asparagus       Spencer, 1990: 335
Asparagus officinalis Asparagus British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Spencer, 1976: 77
Asparagus officinalis Asparagus British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Dempewolf, 2001: 79
Asparagus officinalis Asparagus British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa, as Hexomyza simplex

Time of year - mines: June-August (Hering, 1957).

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: Occuring wherever the host plant is regularly cultivated. Oxfordshire (Oxford), Lancaster (Formby), Kent (Godmersham), Surrey (Wisley), Dorset (Chickerell), Hertfordshire (Harpenden), Worcester (Evesham) and Suffolk (Newmarket) (Spencer, 1972b: 22).

Distribution elsewhere: Europe (Spencer, 1976: 77) including Germany (Dempewolf, 2001: 79), Denmark, French mainland, Hungary, Italian mainland and Poland (Martinez in Fauna Europaea).

Also recorded in the U.S.A. and eastern Canada (Spencer, 1976: 77).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Asparagus officinalis

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Ichneumonoidea  
Pediobius epigonus (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Chorebus bathyzonus (Marshall, 1895) Braconidae: Alysiinae
Chorebus rondanii (Giard, 1904) Braconidae: Alysiinae


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