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


Phytobia cambii (Hendel, 1931)
[Diptera: Agromyzidae]

Dizygomyza (Dendromyza) cambii Hendel, 1931. Fliegen palaearkt. Reg. 6(2): 24
Dizygomyza barnesi (Hendel, 1933). Ann. appl. Biol. 20: 509
Dendromyza betulae Kangas, 1935. Commentat. Inst. for. fenn. 22: 11. [Synonymised by von Tschirnhaus, 1992]
Dendromyza tremulae Kangas, 1949. Annls ent. fenn. 14(1948) (Suppl.): 113. [Synonymised by Spencer, 1976: 151]
Phytobia cambii (Hendel, 1931); Spencer, 1972b. Handbk ident. Br. Ins. 10(5g): 10, 40 (fig. 129), 44, 120
Phytobia cambii (Hendel, 1931); Spencer, 1976. Fauna ent. Scand. 5(1): 151-3, figs 273-7.
Phytobia cambii (Hendel, 1931); Spencer, 1990. Host specialization in the World Agromyzidae (Diptera) : 61, 79, 80 (figs 293-4), 93.

Stem borer: Larva boring in cambium of stem, pupation in the ground (Spencer, 1972b: 44).

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: 95). The larva is unusually long and slender and can attain a length of 188 mm when feeding but on removal from the confinements of its boring it contracts and becomes more cylindrical. The mouth hooks have one large tooth and on the opposite side a single smaller one (Spencer, 1976: 152 (figs 276-7)). The posterior spiracles have 3 well-defined bulbs.

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).

Dark reddish-brown and up to 5 mm long (Spencer, 1976: 152).

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Populus tremula Aspen British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Spencer, 1972b: 120
Salix       Spencer, 1972b: 120

Hosts elsewhere:

Alnus       von Tschirnhaus, 1992
Betula       von Tschirnhaus, 1992
Betula pendula Silver Birch British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Dempewolf, 2001: 95
Carpinus       von Tschirnhaus, 1992
Populus       Spencer, 1976: 131
Populus       Spencer, 1990: 93
Salix       Spencer, 1976: 131
Salix       Spencer, 1990: 93

Time of year - larvae: February-March.

Time of year - adults: May-July.

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Widespread in Britain including Kent (Dartford), Hampshire (Beaulieu and New Forest), Hertfordshire (Batford, Harpenden (Barnes), Suffolk (Barton Mills), Inverness (Nethy Bridge and Loch Eilich), Nairn (Spencer, 1972b: 44); Peebleshire (Craigdilly) (Bland, 1994c: 82; as betulae); East Ross, Glamorgan, Stafford and Westmorland (NBN Atlas).

Also recorded in Ireland (Spencer, 1972b: 44).

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Austria, Finland, France and The Netherlands (Spencer, 1976: 131), Germany (Dempewolf, 2001: 95; von Tschirnhaus, 1992), Belgium, Denmark, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden (Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Populus tremula, Betula pendula

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Ichneumonoidea - Links to species no longer available  
Trachionus hians (Nees, 1816) Braconidae: Alysiinae
Trachionus ringens (Haliday, 1839) Braconidae: Alysiinae
Cremnodes atricapillus (Gravenhorst, 1815) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae

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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