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


Phytoliriomyza hilarella (Zetterstedt, 1848)
[Diptera: Agromyzidae]

Agromyza hilarella Zetterstedt, 1848. Dipt. Scand. 7: 2776
Pteridomyza hilarella (Zetterstedt, 1848); Spencer, 1972b. Handbk ident. Br. Ins. 10(5g): 58 (figs 195-6), 59
Phytoliriomyza hilarella (Zetterstedt, 1848); Spencer, 1976. Fauna ent. Scand. 5(1): 296-8, figs 531-2.
Phytoliriomyza hilarella (Zetterstedt, 1848); Spencer, 1990. Host specialization in the World Agromyzidae (Diptera) : 5, 9 (fig. 14), 131, 338.

Leaf-miner: Larva forming short linear mine in single section of a frond. Pupation external (Spencer, 1972b: 58).

Large, very transparant blotch, with primary and secondary feeding lines. In the centre a concentration of black frass. Mines can coalesce, and then contain several larvae. At the start of the mine, at the leaf underside, a white egg shell. However, the larva can leave its mine and restart elsewehere, therefore mines without an egg shell may occur as well (Bladmineerders van Europa).

A small marginal upper surface gallery in a single section of frond (British leafminers).

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 illustrated 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).

Comments: The record from Polypodium vulgare (Spencer, 1972b: 109) requires confirmation.

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Pteridium aquilinum Bracken Bracken - Pteridium aquilinum British leafminers
Pteridium aquilinum Bracken Bracken - Pteridium aquilinum Mines in BMNH
Pteridium aquilinum Bracken Bracken - Pteridium aquilinum Robbins, 1991: 20
Pteridium aquilinum Bracken Bracken - Pteridium aquilinum Spencer, 1972b: 109
Polypodium vulgare Polypody British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
? Polypodium vulgare Polypody British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Spencer, 1972b: 109

Hosts elsewhere:

Asplenium       Bladmineerders van Europa
Pteridium       Spencer, 1990: 5
Pteridium aquilinum Bracken Bracken - Pteridium aquilinum Spencer, 1976: 296
Pteridium aquilinum Bracken Bracken - Pteridium aquilinum Bladmineerders van Europa
Polypodium       Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - mines: August.

Time of year - adults: June, August.

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Widespread in Britain including Dunbartonshire (Bonhill) (Spencer, 1972b: 58); Caernarvonshire, East Ross, Glamorgan, Huntingdonshire, Main Argyll, Merionethshire, Monmouthshire, South Hampshire, South-west Yorkshire and Stafford (NBN Atlas).

Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland: Co. Clare (Spencer, 1972b: 58).

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread throughout Europe (Spencer, 1990: 9) including Austria, Germany, Sweden (Spencer, 1973b), Finland (Spencer, 1976: 296), Denmark (Soenderup, 1949, although this requires confirmation - see Spencer, 1976: 296), The Netherlands (Bladmineerders van Europa), Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia (Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Pteridium aquilinum, Polypodium vulgare

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Chrysocharis viridis (Nees, 1934) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Stictomischus scaposus Thomson, 1876 Pteromalidae: Miscogastrinae
Ichneumonoidea - Links to species no longer available  
Opius phytobiae Fischer, 1959 Braconidae: Opiinae
Opius pulchriceps (Sz├ępligeti, 1898) 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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