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

N.B. Links to the latest version of 'Leafminers and plant galls of Europe' are being edited

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Phytomyza autumnalis Griffiths, 1959
[Diptera: Agromyzidae]


Phytomyza autumnalis Griffiths, 1959. Entomologist's Gaz. 10: 103
Phytomyza autumnalis Griffiths, 1959; Spencer, 1972b. Handbk ident. Br. Ins. 10(5g): 88, 112, 113
Phytomyza autumnalis Griffiths, 1959; Spencer, 1990. Host specialization in the World Agromyzidae (Diptera) : 251, 255.


Leaf-mine: Mine long, distinctly greenish. Pupation in mine (Spencer, 1972b: 88).

Branched, upper-surface corridor, with very irregular sides. Frass in isolared grains, maximally only 4 times their diameeter apart. Pupation within the mine (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Mine of Phytomyza autumnalis on Centaurea nigra,  ex Spencer Collection. Image: Brian Pitkin
Mine of Phytomyza autumnalis on Centaurea nigra (Spencer Collection)
Image: © Brian Pitkin

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.

Posterior spiracles with 19-25 bulbs on long horns with bases that are wide and touching each other (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).

White in early generations and black and shiny in autumn (Spencer, 1976: 504), posterior spiracles each with 20-25 bulbs (Griffiths, 1959: 103).

Opaque, metallic black, in a pupariuml chamber (Griffiths, 1959a); the anterior spiracles penetrate the epidermis (Hering, 1957a) (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Comments: Spencer (1972b: 88) suggested that the miner on Centaurea may be distinct from that on Cirsium even though the male genitalia appear to be identical.

Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:

Asteraceae        
Centaurea montana Perennial Cornflower British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Robbins, 1991: 122
Centaurea nigra Common Knapweed British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Mines in BMNH
Centaurea nigra Common Knapweed British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Robbins, 1991: 122
Centaurea nigra Common Knapweed British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Spencer, 1972b: 112
? Cirsium arvense Creeping Thistle British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Mines in BMNH
? Cirsium arvense Creeping Thistle British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Spencer, 1972b: 112
? Cirsium palustre Marsh Thistle British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Spencer, 1972b: 112
? Cirsium vulgare Spear Thistle British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Mines in BMNH
? Cirsium vulgare Spear Thistle   Spencer, 1972b: 113

Hosts elsewhere:

Asteraceae        
Centaurea montana Perennial Cornflower British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Centaurea nigra Common Knapweed British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Griffiths, 1959: 103
Centaurea nigra Common Knapweed British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Spencer, 1990: 251
Centaurea scabiosa Greater Knapweed British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Cirsium arvense Creeping Thistle British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Onopordum       Griffiths, 1959: 103
Onopordum acanthium Cotton thistle British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - mines: October-November (Spencer, 1990).

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: Common and widespread (Spencer, 1972b: 88) including Warwickshire (Robbins, 1991: 122). Shropshire and West Kent (NBN Atlas).

Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland: Co. Tipperary (Tipperary) (Spencer, 1972b: 88).

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Germany (Bladmineerders van Europa), Republic of Moldova and Poland (Martinez in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Centaurea montana, Centaurea nigra, Centaurea scabiosa, Cirsium arvense, ? Cirsium vulgare, Onopordum acanthium

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Ichneumonoidea  
Dacnusa maculipes Thomson, 1895 Braconidae: Alysiinae
Dacnusa sibirica Telenga, 1935 Braconidae: Alysiinae
Dacnusa tarsalis Thomson, 1895 Braconidae: Alysiinae
Dapsilarthra sylvia (Haliday, 1839) Braconidae: Alysiinae
Grammospila rufiventris (Nees, 1812) Braconidae: Alysiinae


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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