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 astrantiae Hendel, 1924
[Diptera: Agromyzidae]

Phytomyza astrantiae Hendel, 1924.

Leaf-miner: Irregular corridor; the sides are so irregular that it becomes a secondary blotch locally. Pupation outside the mine (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Forms a gallery/blotch mine which is brown in colour, with a pale yellow margin.The mines variy in morphology, forming a gallery come blotch, brown in colour with a pale yellow margin. The overall shape of the mine reflects the form of the leaves; thus, the first generation in May/June on lower wide leaves tend to be broad in extent, whereas the late generation in July/August on the narrow flowering stem leaves tend to be more gallery-like (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).

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Astrantia major Astrantia British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers

Hosts elsewhere:

Astrantia       Spencer, 1990: 158
Astrantia major Astrantia British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - mines: May (British leafminers).

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Found first in 2005 by Robert Homan in Cheltenham, Glos. It has since been found in Cumbria, Northants, Kent, Yorkshire, Hampshire and in Ross & Cromarty and Moray in Scotland. It is likely to be more widespread and previously overlooked (British leafminers).

Distribution elsewhere: Germany and Poland (Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Astrantia major

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Ichneumonoidea - Links to species no longer available  
Dacnusa laevipectus Thomson, 1895 Braconidae: Alysiinae
Dacnusa maculipes Thomson, 1895 Braconidae: Alysiinae
Dapsilarthra sylvia (Haliday, 1839) Braconidae: Alysiinae
Apodesmia similis (Sz├ępligeti, 1898) Braconidae: Opiinae
Phaedrotoma rex (Fischer, 1958) 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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Last updated 10-Jul-2019 Brian Pitkin Top of page