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

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Phytomyza spinaciae Hendel, 1928
[Diptera: Agromyzidae]


Phytomyza spinaciae Hendel, 1928. Blattminenkunde Europas. I. Die Dipterenminen. Wien: 68
Phytomyza spinaciae Hendel, 1928; Hendel, 1935. Fliegen palaearkt. Reg. 6(2): 484
Phytomyza spinaciae Hendel, 1928; Spencer, 1976. Fauna ent. Scand. 5(1): 502-4, figs 878-89.
Phytomyza spinaciae Hendel, 1928; Spencer, 1990. Host specialization in the World Agromyzidae (Diptera) : 251, 254 (figs 955-6), 255.


Leaf-mine: Long narrow interparenchymal mine, greenish. Pupation in leaf at end of mine (Spencer, 1976: 503 (fig. 880)).

Unusually long, interparenchymatous, therefore yellowish corridor that remains of equal width throughout its length. (In some plants with thin leaves, like Cirsium oleraceum the mines are not interparechymatous but either full-depth or alternating upper- and lower-surface). The mine makes few curves, and hardly any u-turn, causing the mine to usually occupy the entire length of a leaf. Frass in two rows of grains along the sides. Pupation within the mine, in a lower-surface pupariuml chamber; the anterior spiracles penetrate the epidermis (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Mines of Phytomyza spinaciae on Cirsium arvense. Image: Willem Ellis (Source: Bladmineerders van Europa)
Mines of Phytomyza spinaciae on Cirsium arvense
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 described by de Meijere (1928) 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).

White; posterior spiracles each with 18-20 minute bulbs on small conical protuberance (Spencer, 1976: 503). The puparium is illustrated in Bladmineerders van Europa.

Comments: All British records require confirmation.

Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:

Asteraceae        
Carduus       Robbins, 1991: 121
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. Robbins, 1989: 26
Cirsium       Robbins, 1991: 121
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. Robbins, 1989: 26
Cirsium dissectum Meadow Thistle British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Godfray
Cirsium palustre Marsh Thistle British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Mines in BMNH
Cirsium palustre Marsh Thistle British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Robbins, 1989: 26
Cirsium vulgare Spear Thistle British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Robbins, 1989: 26
Onopordum       Pitkin & Plant

Hosts elsewhere:

Asteraceae        
Carduus       Spencer, 1990: 251
Carduus       Spencer, 1976: 503
Carduus acanthoides     Bladmineerders van Europa
Carduus crispus Welted Thistle British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Carduus nutans Musk Thistle British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Centaurea cyanus Cornflower British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Cirsium       Spencer, 1990: 251
Cirsium       Spencer, 1976: 503
Cirsium acaule Dwarf Thistle 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
Cirsium arvense Creeping Thistle British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Spencer, 1976: 503
Cirsium dissectum Meadow Thistle British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Cirsium dissectum Meadow Thistle British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Godfray
Cirsium helenioides Melancholy Thistle British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Cirsium oleraceum Cabbage Thistle British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Cirsium palustre Marsh Thistle British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Cirsium tuberosum Tuberous Thistle   Bladmineerders van Europa
Cirsium vulgare Spear Thistle British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Cnicus benedictus Blessed Thistle   Spencer, 1990: 251
Onopordum       Spencer, 1976: 503
Onopordum acanthium Cotton thistle British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Serratula       Bladmineerders van Europa
Serratula       Spencer, 1976: 503
Serratula       Spencer, 1990: 251

Time of year - mines: July, October.

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: Warwickshire (Coventry) (Robbins, 1991: 121); Cambridgeshire, East Gloucestershire, East SUffolk, Pembrokeshire, SOuth-west Yorkshire and Stafford (NBN Atlas).

Also recorded on Meadow Thistle (Cirsium dissectum), 13.6.1985 at Lough Corrib, Co. Galway, Ireland (H.C.J. Godfray).

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Belgium (Scheirs et al., 1994; Scheirs, de Bruyn and von Tschirnhaus, 1996), Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden (Spencer, 1976: 503), The Netherlands (Bladmineerders van Europa), Germany (Spencer, 1976: 578), Czech Slovakia, French mainland, Latvia, Lithuania and Spanish mainland (Martinez in Fauna Europaea).

Range extending to the Kirghiz Republic of the [former] U.S.S.R. (Spencer, 1976: 503).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Carduus acanthoides, Carduus crispus, Carduus nutans, Centaurea cyanus, Centaurea montana, Centaurea nigra, Cirsium acaule, Cirsium arvense, Cirsium dissectum, Cirsium helenioides, Cirsium oleraceum, Cirsium palustre, Cirsium tuberosum, Cirsium vulgare, Onopordum acanthium

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Chalcidoidea   
Chrysocharis pubicornis (Zetterstedt, 1838) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Epiclerus panyas (Walker, 1839) Tetracampidae: Tetracampinae


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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