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


Pegomya cunicularia (Rondani, 1866)
[Diptera: Anthomyiidae]

Chorthophila cunicularia Rondani, 1866
Pegomya tristriata Stein, 1908
Pegomya mixta Villeneuve, 1922
Pegomya cunicularia (Rondani, 1866).

Leaf-miner: The larva makes several full depth blotch mines (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.

Steyskal (1970a, as P. mixta) gives a detailed description. The most remarkable detail is the strongly enlarged basal tooth of the mandible (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Puparia: 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).

Comments: A serious pest on spinach and beet crops (Michelsen and Baez, 1985a). Pegomya exilis and Pegomya cunicularia were distinguished from Pegomya betae and Pegomya hyoscyami by Michelsen (1980). Material of both [the former species] had previously been assigned to those [two latter] species (Chandler, pers. comm.).

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland: Unknown.

Hosts elsewhere:

Atriplex glauca     Bladmineerders van Europa
Beta vulgaris Beet Beta vulgaris Bladmineerders van Europa
Chenopodium album Fat-hen British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Chenopodium filicium Fig-leaved Goosefoot British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Chenopodium glauca Oak-leaved Goosefoot British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Spinacia oleracea Spinach   Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - mines: Unknown.

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Recorded from Cambridgeshire, Clyde Isles, East Kent, Edinburgh, Glamorgan, Huntingdonshire, Merionethshire, North Somerset, West Cornwall, Westmorland and Shetland (NBN Atlas).

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Balearic Is., Canary Is., Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Finland, Greek mainland, Hungary, Italian mainland, Malta, Norwegian mainland, Russia (Central), Sweden, East Palaearctic, Near East, North Africa (Michelsen in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Atriplex glauca, Beta vulgaris, Chenopodium album, Chenopodium glaucum, Spinacia oleracea

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere: Currently unknown.

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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Last updated 28-Mar-2018 Brian Pitkin Top of page