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 griffithsi Spencer, 1963
[Diptera: Agromyzidae]

Phytomyza griffithsi Spencer, 1963d. Stuttg. Beitr. Naturk. No. 103: 1-2, figs 1a-1d
Phytomyza griffithsi Spencer, 1963d; Spencer, 1972b. Handbk ident. Br. Ins. 10(5g): 84, 85 (fig. 275A, 118
Phytomyza griffithsi Spencer, 1963d; Spencer, 1990. Host specialization in the World Agromyzidae (Diptera) : 212.

Leaf-mine: Mine initially lower surface, but largely on upper surface, irregularly linear, finally almost filling the petiole and ending at the base. Pupation within the petiole (Spencer, 1972b: 84, 85 (fig. 275A)).

Several eggs are deposited on the blade. From there narrow corridors descend in the direction of the petiole. Once they have arrived there, the larvae start making broad lobate corridors that fan out over the basal half of the leaf. Later parts of the mine are party upper-surface, partly interparenchymatous, looking pale green. In the shallow parts primary feeding lines often visible. Frass in widely dispersed grains. According to Buhr (1964a) older mines often turn black. Pupation within the mine, often in the petiole. Puparium generally at the lower surface; the anterior spiracles penetrate the epidermis (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Mine of Phytomyza griffithsi on Plantago major. Image: Willem Ellis (Source: Bladmineerders van Europa)
Mine of Phytomyza griffithsi on Plantago major
Image: © Willem Ellis (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 spiracular process only slightly raised (Spencer, 1972b: 84). White (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:

Plantago media Hoary Plantain British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Spencer, 1972b: 118

Hosts elsewhere:

Plantago major Greater Plantain British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Plantago media Hoary Plantain British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Spencer, 1990: 212
Plantago media Hoary Plantain British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - mines: June.

Time of year - adults: July.

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: Uncommon. Surrey (Box Hill) (Spencer, 1963d: 1-2).

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Germany (Spencer, 1963d: 1-2; Spencer, 1990: 212), The Netherlands (Bladmineerders van Europa), Czech Republic, Lithuania and Poland (Martinez in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Plantago major, Plantago media

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Dacnusa maculipes Thomson, 1895 Braconidae: Alysiinae
Dacnusa plantaginis Griffiths, 1967 Braconidae: Alysiinae
Phaedrotoma exigua Wesmael, 1835 Braconidae: Opiinae
Phaedrotoma depeculator (Förster, 1862) 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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