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 medicaginis Hering, 1925
[Diptera: Agromyzidae]


Phytomyza medicaginis Hering, 1925. Z. Morph. Okol. Tiere 4: 510.
Phytomyza symphyti
Hendel, 1935. Fliegen palaearkt. Reg. 6(2): 486. [Included as a synonym by Martinez in Fauna Europaea]
Phytomyza symphyti Hendel, 1935; Spencer, 1972b. Handbk ident. Br. Ins. 10(5g): 86 (fig. 294), 90, 109
Phytomyza symphyti Hendel, 1935; Spencer, 1990. Host specialization in the World Agromyzidae (Diptera) :198, 199, 200 (figs 746-7).


Leaf-mine: Mine initially linear, later developing into a whitish blotch, becoming blackish. Pupation in mine on lower surface.

The mine begins as an upper surface blotch in the centre of the leaf, from where corridors radiate, each with one larva. After a while these rays fuse, resulting in one large, brown, blotch. Frass in irregular strings. Pupation in principle outside the mine, exit slit in lower epidermis (always?). Often the puparium protrudes from the opening (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Mine of Phytomyza medicaginis on Symphytum officinale. Image: Willem Ellis (Source: Bladmineerders van Europa)
Mine of Phytomyza medicaginis on Symphytum officinale
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.

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).

Normally dark reddish-brown. The puparium is illustrated in Bladmineerders van Europa.

Comments: Martinez (2004 in Fauna Europaea) included symphyti Hendel (1935) as a junior synonym of medicaginis Hering (1925).

Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:

Boraginaceae        
Symphytum       Mines in BMNH
Symphytum       Robbins, 1991: 96
Symphytum officinale Common Comfrey British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Spencer, 1972b: 109
Symphytum officinale Common Comfrey British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bland, 1994c: 84

Hosts elsewhere:

Boraginaceae        
Brunnera macrophylla Great Forget-me-not British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Echium       Spencer, 1990: 199
Echium vulgare Viper's-bugloss British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Lithospermum officinale Common Gromwell British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Lithospermum purpurocaeruleum Purple Gromwell British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al.

Bladmineerders van Europa, as Buglossoides purpurocaerulea

Symphytum       Spencer, 1990: 198
Symphytum asperum Rough Comfrey British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Symphytum officinale Common Comfrey British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Symphytum tuberosum Tuberous Comfrey British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - mines: August, October.

Time of year - adults: September-October.

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: Local but widespread. Oxford (Oxford), Devon (Slapton), Huntingdonshire (Woodwalton Fen), Derby (Miller's Dale) (Spencer, 1972b: 90), Haddington (Longniddry) (Bland, 1994c: 84) and Warwickshire (Bedford) (Robbins, 1991: 96).

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe (Spencer, 1990: 198) including Belgium, Czech Republic, French mainland, Germany, Lithuania and Poland (Martinez in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Brunnera macrophylla, Echium vulgare, Lithospermum officinale, Lithospermum purpureocaeruleum, Symphytum asperum, Symphytum officinale, Symphytum tuberosum

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Chalcidoidea   
Chrysocharis amyite (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Chrysocharis orbicularis (Nees, 1834) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Chrysocharis liriomyzae Delucchi, 1954 Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Chrysocharis pubicornis (Zetterstedt, 1838) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Miscogaster elegans Walker, 1833 Pteromalidae: Miscogastrinae
Miscogaster maculata Walker, 1833 Pteromalidae: Miscogastrinae
Miscogaster rufipes Walker, 1833 Pteromalidae: Miscogastrinae


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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Find images using Google


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