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


Phytomyza albiceps Meigen, 1830
[Diptera: Agromyzidae]

Phytomyza albicepsMeigen, 1830. Syst. Beschr. 6: 194
Phytomyza rydeniana Hering, 1949a. Opusc. ent. 14: 159. [Synonymised by Spencer, 1976: 372]
Phytomyza rydeniana Hering, 1949a; Spencer, 1972b. Handbk ident. Br. Ins. 10(5g): 95, 96, 112, fig. 233B
Phytomyza albiceps Meigen, 1830; Spencer, 1976. Fauna ent. Scand. 5(1): 372, figs 646, 647A.
Phytomyza albiceps Meigen, 1830; Spencer, 1990. Host specialization in the World Agromyzidae (Diptera) : 163, 251, 255, 256 (fig. 958), 305.

Leaf-miner: Long, irregular, whitish linear mine which turns brown when older and has conspicuous frass in large widely-spaced black lumps. Pupation external (Spencer, 1976: 371 (fig. 647A), 372).

Very long, initially whitish, later brownish, upper-surface corridor, frequently starting near the leaf tip, often crossing itself. Frass in strikingly large black lumps, more widely spaced than their own diameter. Pupation outside the mine; exit slit in upper epidermis (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.

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).

Posterior spiracles each with 25 or more bulbs (Spencer, 1976: 372).

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Cirsium heterophyllum Melancholy Thistle British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Spencer, 1972b: 112, as rydeniana

Hosts elsewhere:

Cirsium       Spencer, 1990: 251
Cirsium heterophyllum Melancholy Thistle British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Spencer, 1976: 372
Cirsium heterophyllum Melancholy Thistle British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al.

Bladmineerders van Europa, as Cirsium helenioides

Time of year - mines: June-October.

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: A boreal alpine species not known to occur south of Yorkshire. Britain including Yorkshire (Malham Tarn), Northumberland (Bamburgh) and Perth (Killin) (Spencer, 1972b).

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden (Spencer, 1976: 372), Belgium (de Bruyn and von Tschirnhaus, 1991), Germany (Spencer, 1976: 566), Austria, Czech Republic, French mainland, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Spanish mainland (Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Cirsium helenioides, Cirsium heterophyllum

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Chrysocharis gemma (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Cyrtogaster vulgaris Walker, 1833 Pteromalidae: Pteromalinae
Pachyneuron muscarum (Linnaeus, 1758) Pteromalidae: Pteromalinae
Stenomalina gracilis (Walker, 1834) Pteromalidae: Pteromalinae
Sphegigaster stepicola Boucek, 1965 Pteromalidae: Pteromalinae
Ichneumonoidea - Links to species no longer available  
Chorebus alecto (Morley, 1924) Braconidae: Alysiinae
Chorebus didas (Nixon, 1944) Braconidae: Alysiinae
Chorebus ovalis (Marshall, 1896) Braconidae: Alysiinae
Chorebus senilis (Nees, 1812) Braconidae: Alysiinae
Coloneura stylata Förster, 1862 Braconidae: Alysiinae
Dacnusa areolaris (Nees, 1811) Braconidae: Alysiinae
Dacnusa maculipes Thomson, 1895 Braconidae: Alysiinae
Dacnusa ocyroe Nixon, 1937 Braconidae: Alysiinae
Dacnusa temula (Haliday, 1839) Braconidae: Alysiinae
Exotela cyclogaster Förster, 1862 Braconidae: Alysiinae
Bracon caudatus Ratzeburg, 1848 Braconidae: Braconinae
Colastes braconius Haliday, 1833 Braconidae: Exothecinae
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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