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 bipunctata Loew, 1858
[Diptera: Agromyzidae]

Phytomyza bipunctata Loew, 1858. Wien. ent. Mschr. 2: 77
Phytomyza bipunctata Loew, 1858; Hendel, 1934. Fliegen palaearkt. Reg. 6(2): 361
Phytomyza bipunctata Loew, 1858; Spencer, 1972b. Handbk ident. Br. Ins. 10(5g): 72 (figs 237-8), 79, 113
Phytomyza bipunctata Loew, 1858; Spencer, 1976. Fauna ent. Scand. 5 (1): 391-2, figs 681-3
Phytomyza bipunctata Loew, 1858; Spencer, 1990. Host specialization in the World Agromyzidae (Diptera) : 249, 250 (fig. 933), 320.

Leaf-miner: A narrow, whitish linear mine with frass in a conspicuous, almost unbroken line at alternate sides of the channel (Spencer, 1972b: 72 (fig. 238); Spencer, 1976: 381 (fig. 682), 392).

Long narrow corridor, upper-surface for most of its length, but with lower-surface segments. Over large distances the corridor follows a heavy vein. Frass in strikingly long threads, alternating along the sides of the mine. Sometimes the frass thread is quite coarse and thick, at other times it is hair thin. Pupation outside the mine, exit slit in the upper epidermis. Occasionally pupation takes place within the mine, but then the exit slit has already been cut (moreover, the anterior spiracles do not penetrate the epidermis) (Bladmineerders van Europa).

The mine is illustrated in 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.

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).

Black; posterior spiracles each with an ellipse of up to 12 bulbs (Spencer, 1976: 392).

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

? Echinops       Mines in BMNH
Echinops       British leafminers
Echinops bannaticus Blue Globe-thistle British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Mines in BMNH
Echinops bannaticus Blue Globe-thistle British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Spencer, 1972b: 113
Echinops exaltatus Globe-thistle   Spencer, 1972b: 113, as Echinops commutatus

Hosts elsewhere:

Echinops       Spencer, 1976: 291
Echinops       Spencer, 1990: 249
Echinops sphaerocephalus Glandular Globe-thistle   Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - mines: June-September.

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: London (Hampstead), Surrey (Kew Gardens) (Spencer, 1972b: 79) and Berkshire (Maidehead) (British leafminers). South-west Yorkshire (NBN Atlas).

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe, particularly in gardens, including Sweden (Spencer, 1976: 391), The Netherlands, Belgium (Bladmineerders van Europa), Germany (Spencer, 1976: 570), European Turkey, Hungary, Lithuania and Poland (Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Echinops bannaticus, Echinops commutatus, Echinops sphaerocephalus

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere: Currently unknown.

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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