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 vitalbae Kaltenbach, 1872
[Diptera: Agromyzidae]

Phytomyza vitalbae Kaltenbach, 1872. Pflanzen-Feinde : 4
Phytomyza vitalbae Kaltenbach, 1872; Hendel, 1935. Fliegen palaearkt. Reg. 6(2): 498
Phytomyza vitalbae Kaltenbach, 1872; Spencer, 1972b. Handbk ident. Br. Ins. 10(5g): 70 (fig. 227), 73, 118
Phytomyza vitalbae Kaltenbach, 1872; Spencer, 1976. Fauna ent. Scand. 5(1): 525, figs 919-20.
Phytomyza vitalbae Kaltenbach, 1872; Spencer, 1990. Host specialization in the World Agromyzidae (Diptera) : 21, 32, 33, 190.

Leaf-mine: A long narrow upper surface mine. Pupation external (Spencer, 1972b: 70 (fig. 227), 73; Spencer, 1976: 525, 526 (fig. 920)).

Oviposition in the leaf lower surface. After a short initial corridor of a few mm length the larva makes an upper-surface corridor that mostly begins with a dense knot in the leaf tip. Frass in long pearl chains along the sides. In fresh material primary feeding lines are apparent. Pupation outside the mine; exit slit in the lower epidermis. The mine often causes the leaf to be malformed and wrinkled. Feeding punctures in the lower surface (Bladmineerders van Europa).

The larva forms a long narrow upper surface mine. Most mines start close to the leaf tip. The larva exits through a slit. Pupation is external (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 by de Meijere (1926). 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).

Pale brown; posterior spiracles each with an ellipse of 10 bulbs (Spencer, 1976: 525). The puparium is illustrated in (Bladmineerders van Europa).

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

Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:

Clematis       Robbins, 1991: 26
Clematis       British leafminers
Clematis vitalba Traveller's-joy British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Clematis vitalba Traveller's-joy British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Mines in BMNH
Clematis vitalba Traveller's-joy British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Spencer, 1972b: 118

Hosts elsewhere:

Clematis       Spencer, 1976: 525
Clematis       Spencer, 1990: 33
Clematis alpina     Spencer, 1976: 525
Clematis alpina     Bladmineerders van Europa
Clematis flammula Virgin's-bower   Bladmineerders van Europa
Clematis heracleifolia     Bladmineerders van Europa
Clematis pubescens     Spencer, 1990: 33
Clematis recta     Bladmineerders van Europa
Clematis vitalba Traveller's-joy British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Spencer, 1976: 525
Clematis vitalba Traveller's-joy British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - mines: June-September.

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: Widespread in S.E. England, also in S. Wales, Glamorgan (Gower peninsula) (Spencer, 1972b: 73), Hampshire (Noar Hill, Selbourne), Hertfordshire (British leafminers), Warwickshire (Coventry) (Robbins, 1991: 26); Caernarvonshire, Cambridgeshire, Glamorgan, Leicestershire, Merionethshire, North Essex, North SOmerset, Shropshire, SOuth-west Yorkshire, West Gloucestershire and West Kent (NBN Atlas).

Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland: Co. Cork (Glengariff), Dublin (Spencer, 1972b: 73). See NDBC interactive map.

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Belgium (de Bruyn and von Tschirnhaus, 1991), Denmark, Sweden (Spencer, 1976: 525), The Netherlands (Bladmineerders van Europa), Germany (Spencer, 1976: 582), Corsica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, French mainland, Hungary, Italian mainland, Poland, Romania, Spanish mainland, Switzerland and Yugoslavia (Martinez in Fauna Europaea).

Also recorded in W. Australia (Spencer, 1990: 33).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Clematis flammula, Clematis vitalba

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Chrysocharis pubicornis (Zetterstedt, 1838) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Chrysocharis viridis (Nees, 1934) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Diglyphus isaea (Walker, 1838) Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Diglyphus minoeus (Walker, 1838) Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Dacnusa laevipectus Thomson, 1895 Braconidae: Alysiinae

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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