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 heracleana Hering, 1937
[Diptera: Agromyzidae]


Phytomyza heracleana Hering, 1937c. Blattminen Mittel- Nordeuropas Lief 5, 6: 582
Phytomyza heracleana Hering, 1937c; Spencer, 1972b. Handbk ident. Br. Ins. 10(5g): 78 (figs 258-9), 80, 81, 121
Phytomyza heracleana Hering, 1937c; Spencer, 1976. Fauna ent. Scand. 5(1): 428, figs 747-8
Phytomyza heracleana Hering, 1937c; Spencer, 1990. Host specialization in the World Agromyzidae (Diptera) : 160, 169, 173, 175, 176 (fig. 659), 177.


Leaf-mine: A regular greenish inter-parenchymal blotch mine, frequently delimited by two veins, appearing somewhat mottled as a result of small deeper areas of feeding through the upper parenchyma (Spencer, 1972b: 78 (fig. 259); Spencer, 1976: 428, 429 (fig. 748).

The mine starts with a quite inconspicuous lower-surface corridor that soon changes into an extensive interparenchymatous blotch. The upper cell layer of the palisade parenchyma is eaten away in many places, giving the mine in transparency a perforated appearance. Fresh mines are pale green, later they turn brown; they give the leaves a strikingly diseased impression. Feeding lines absent, frass grains strikingly few. Larvae solitary. Pupation outside the mine, exit slit in lower epidermis (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Forms a blotch mine between two veins, having a characteristic sieve-like appearance (where the larva has fed through the upper parenchyma). Pupation outside the mine. (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 described Griffiths (1973c), de Meijere (1937) and 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).

Black; posterior spiracles each with 14-20 bulbs (Spencer, 1976: 428). The puparium is illustrated in Bladmineerders van Europa.

Phytomyza heracleana puparium
Phytomyza heracleana puparium
Image: © Willem Ellis (Bladmineerders van Europa)

Comments: Hering (1957a) includes Angelica and Seseli as host plants, but Griffiths (1973c) and Spencer (1973a) regard these records as doubtful. The species can only be distinguished from related species by characters of the male genitalia.

Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:

Ranunculaceae        
Heracleum       Robbins, 1991: 67
Heracleum sphondylium Hogweed British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bland, 1992
Heracleum sphondylium Hogweed British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Mines in BMNH
Heracleum sphondylium Hogweed British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Spencer, 1972b: 121
Heracleum sphondylium Hogweed British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers

Hosts elsewhere:

Ranunculaceae        
? Angelica       Spencer, 1990: 160
? Caucalis       Spencer, 1990: 160
Heracleum       Spencer, 1990: 160
Heracleum mantegazzianum Giant Hogweed British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Spencer, 1976: 428
? Heracleum mantegazzianum Giant Hogweed   Bladmineerders van Europa
Heracleum sibiricum     Spencer, 1976: 428
Heracleum sphondylium Hogweed British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Spencer, 1976: 428
Heracleum sphondylium Hogweed British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Heracleum sphondylium subsp. verticillatum     Bladmineerders van Europa
Laser       Spencer, 1990: 160
? Laserpitium       Spencer, 1990: 160
Pastinaca       Spencer, 1990: 160
Peucedanum       Spencer, 1990: 160
Pimpinella       Spencer, 1990: 160
? Seseli       Spencer, 1990: 160

Time of year - mines: June-August.

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: Widespread in Britain including Cornwall (Portleven), Derby (Miller's Dale), Denbighshire (Cefn-y-bedd), Perth (Killin) (Spencer, 1972b: 80), Inner Hebrides (Isle of Coll) (Bland, 1992), Warwickshire (Astley) (Robbins, 1991: 67); Cambridgeshire, Derbyshire, East Glooucestershire, East Suffolk, Easterness, Glamorgan, Main Argylll, Mid-west Yorkshire, North-west Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Shropshire, South Lancaster, South-east Yorkshire and South-west Yorkshire (NBN Atlas).

Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland: Co. Clare (Burren), Co. Cork (Bantry) and Co. Kilkenny (Kilkenny) (Spencer, 1972b: 80).

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Denmark, Norway, Sweden (Spencer, 1976: 428), The Netherlands (Bladmineerders van Europa), Germany (Spencer, 1976: 570), Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, French mainland, Hungary, Italian mainland, Lithuania and Poland (Martinez in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Heracleum mantegazzianum, Heracleum sibiricum, Heracleum sphondylium

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Dacnusa aquilegiae Marshall, 1896 Braconidae: Alysiinae
Dacnusa maculipes Thomson, 1895 Braconidae: Alysiinae
Exotela cyclogaster Förster, 1862 Braconidae: Alysiinae
Apodesmia curvata Fischer, 1957 Braconidae: Opiinae
Atormus victus (Haliday, 1837) Braconidae: Opiinae
Opius singularis Wesmael, 1835 Braconidae: Opiinae
Phaedrotoma curvata (Fischer, 1957) 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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