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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ACHILLEA. Sneezeworts and Yarrow. [Asteraceae]


More than seventeen species of Achillea are recorded in Britain. These include the native Yarrow (A. millefolium) and Sneezewort (A. ptarmica) and the introduced Fern-leaf Yarrow (A. filipendulina).

Twenty British miners (DIptera and non-DIptera) are recorded on Achillea.

Spencer (1990) suggested that the host of the agromyzid Liriomyza hampsteadensis was Achillea millefolium, but its life-style is unknown.

Sneezewort - Achillea ptarmica. Image: © Brian Pitkin
Sneezewort
Achillea ptarmica


Key for the identification of the known mines of British
Diptera recorded on Achillea


Note: Diptera larvae may live in a corridor mine, a corridor-blotch mine, or a blotch mine, but never in a case, a rolled or folded leaf, a tentiform mine or sandwiched between two more or less circular leaf sections in later instars. Pupation never in a cocoon. All mining Diptera larvae 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 larvae lie on their sides within the mine and use their pick-like mouthparts to feed on plant tissue. In some corridor miners frass may lie in two rows on alternate sides of the mine. In order to vacate the mine the fully grown larva cuts an exit slit, which is usually semi-circular (see Liriomyza huidobrensis video). The pupa is 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).

See Key to non-Diptera.


1a > Stem miner

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1b > Leaf miner

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2a > Stem-miner: A narrow external stem mine on upper part of stem below flower head. Pupation external (Spencer, 1976: 246). Details of puparium unknown.

Only on Achillea millefolium in Britain and elsewhere. In Britain only known from mines collected in Middlesex.

Liriomyza flavopicta Hendel, 1931 [Diptera: Agromyzidae].

2b >Stem-miner: A narrow, inconspicuous stem mine. Pupation at the end of the mine (Spencer, 1976: 64).

Fine, upper- or lower-surface corridor, ending in a thick vein. From there the mine extends finally to the rind of the stem. There also the pupation takes place, usually not far from the root collar. Mines in the stem rind often are conspicuous through a red discoloration (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Achillea, Achillea millefolium and possibly Anthemis, Matricaria and Medicago sativa in Britain. In Britain widespread in south, not uncommon. On Anthemis, Achillea, Artemisia, Aster, Centaurea, Clinopodium, Crepis, Hieracium, Matricaria, Reichardia, Solidago, Tanacetum, Tripleurospermum, Medicago, Satureja and Stachys elsewhere. Widespread in continental Europe.

Ophiomyia curvipalpis (Zetterstedt, 1848) [Diptera: Agromyzidae].

3a > Leaf-miner: The mine begins as an elongated blotch overlying a strong vein; from there broad tunnels radiate that coalesce in the end. All frass is concentrated at a central point in the floor of the mine. As a result the mine has a brownish-black centre and a paler brownish green seam. The larva often (perhaps always at daylight) rests in the centre of the mine. Primary and secondary feeding lines as a rule quite clear. Pupation outside the mine (Bladmineerders van Europa).

An elongated blotch centred over a vein. There are two types: greenish with a blackish centre and entirely reddish-black (British leafminers).

Trypeta artemisiae puparia
Trypeta artemisiae pupariria
Image: © Willem Ellis (Bladmineerders van Europa)

On numerous genera of Asteraceae, including Achillea, in Britain and elsewhere. In Britain more common in the north than in the south. Also throughout the Palaearctic Region except the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern areas.

Trypeta artemisiae (Fabricius, 1794) [Diptera: Tephritidae].

3b > Leaf-miner: A whitish-greenish blotch. Pupation external, on the ground (Spencer, 1972b: 43, fig. 140; Spencer, 1976: 306-7, fig. 552).

A chacteristically pale whitish, usually upper-surface, primary blotch. There is an initial corridor, but traces of it are almost always overrun by the later blotch. The mine is quite opaque; only by opening it can it be ascertained if the mine is still occupied. No feeding lines are apparent. Unlike other blotch mines thay may occur here, Calycomyza mines are totally flat. Pupation outside the mine (Bladmineerders van Europa).

A whitish blotch mine occuring on the upper leaf surface. Starts with a short corridor and does not show feeding lines. Superficially similar to the lepidopterous mine made by Leucospilapteryx omissella, but the latter mine turns purple as it ages (British leafminers).

On Artemisia and Eupatorium, but not yet on Achillea, in Britain; on Achillea, Ageratina, Artemisia, Chromolaena and Eupatorium elsewhere. Widespread in England and continental Europe.

Calycomyza artemisiae (Kaltenbach, 1856) [Diptera: Agromyzidae].

3c > Leaf-miner: Linear mine

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4a > Leaf-miner: A distinctive mine primarily above mid-rib, with irregular short lateral offshoots into leaf blade. Pupation external (Spencer, 1972: 51 (fig. 172), 55; Spencer, 1976: 270, 271 (fig. 486)).

Branched, whitish, upper-surface corridor; main axis overlying the midrib; side branches overlying the main lateral veins. (In Campanula and Phyteuma the mine is much less branched, sometimes nothing more than a corridor on top of the midrib). Frass in rather long strings. Usually the mines begins as a long and narrow, shallow, tortuous lower-surface corridor that ends upon the midrib but otherwise is not associated with the leaf venation. Often this initial corridor is filled with callus, and then even less conspicuous. Pupation outside the mine (Bladmineerders van Europa).

A linear mine on the upper surface, usually following the midrib and showing side branches along the veins. The frass is in strings (British leafminers).

Polyphagous. On more than 40 host genera in 15 families, including Achillea, in Britain and elsewhere. Widespread throughout Britain. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland. Widespread in continental Europe.

Liriomyza strigata (Meigen, 1830) [Diptera: Agromyzidae].

4b > Leaf-miner: Mine linear, but not primarily above the midrib.

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5a > Leaf-miner: Mine linear, frequently adjoining mid-rib (Spencer, 1972b: 73).

Upper-surface corridor; the start may be lower-surface. Pupation outside the mine (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Only on Achillea ptarmica in Britain and elsewhere. Widespread in Britain. Also occurs in west and central Europe.

Phytomyza corvimontana Hering, 1930 [Diptera: Agromyzidae].

5b > Leaf-miner: Mine linear, whitish, both upper and lower surface. Pupation internal, at the end of the mine with the anterior spiracles projecting through the epidermis (Spencer, 1976: 433).

Upper-surface, less often lower-surface corridor. Frass in isolated grains. Pupation within the mine, usually in a lower-surface puparial chamber (Bladmineerders van Europa).

A long whitish upper surface corridor, which eventually goes lower surface (British leafminers).

Two highly polyphagous species of Chromatomyia, with indistinguishable mines, have been recorded in Britain. These are syngenesiae (Hardy) and horticola (Goureau) which can only be distinguished by the male genitalia. Both species are widespread in Britain and elsewhere, although syngenesiae is almost entirely restricted to Asteraceae. Records on Asteraceae not based on examination of male genitalia are treated in this account as Chromatomyia 'atricornis'.

Chromatomyia 'atricornis' has been recorded on Achillea in Britain.

Chromatomyia syngenesiae and Chromatomyia horticola are recorded on Achillea elsewhere but not yet on Achillea in Britain.

Chromatomyia horticola (Goureau, 1851) [Diptera: Agromyzidae]
OR
Chromatomyia syngenesiae Hardy, 1849 [Diptera: Agromyzidae].

5c > Leaf-miner: A narrow linear mine commencing on lower surface (Spencer, 1972b: 57; Spencer, 1976: 264).

Narrow brownish corridor, either upper- or lower-surface. Frass in strings or pearl chains. Pupation outside the mine. In small leaves the mine can be full-depth and occupy the entire leaf. At least in Achillea millefolium mines are generally found in the top half of the leaf (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Achillea ptarmica and Achillea millefolium in Britain and elsewhere and other species of Achillea elsewhere. Probably widespread in Britain, at least in south. Widespread in continental Europe and also recorded from Canada.

Liriomyza ptarmicae Meijere, 1925 [Diptera: Agromyzidae].

5d > Leaf-miner: A narrow linear mine, even in the finest subdivisions of the leaves (Spencer, 1972b: 77, as matricariae ; Spencer, 1976: 478).

Very fine corridor, upper- or lower-surface, even in the narrowest leaf segments. The corridor may be up to 14 cm long (Sehgal, 1971a). Generally the corridor descends towards the leaf base. Frass in pearl chains of loose grains, hardly in strings. Pupation outside the mine (Bladmineerders van Europa). Very fine corridor, upper- or lower-surface, even in the narrowest leaf segments. The corridor may be up to 14 cm long (Sehgal, 1971a). Generally the corridor descends towards the leaf base. Frass in pearl chains of loose grains, hardly in strings. Pupation outside the mine (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Achillea millefolium, Anacyclus pyrethrum, Anthemis, Tanacetum vulgare, Tripleurospermum, Tripleurospermum maritimum and Tripleurospermum maritimum x inodora in Britain and other Asteraceae elsewhere. Widespread in Britain and continental Europe. Also recorded in Canada.

Phytomyza pullula Zetterstedt, 1848 [Diptera: Agromyzidae].

5e > Leaf-miner: A linear mine, frequently on lower surface at beginning; frass with closely adjoining grains.

Upper-surface, often brownish, corridor, in the end often occupying the width of a leaf segment. Older segments of the mine are much less conspicuous, lower-surface and quite shallow. Where upper- and lower-surface stretches overlap transparent patches occur, when the leaf is illuminated from behind. Frass in isolated grains, sometimes locally pearl chains. Pupation outside the mine (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Tanacetum, but not yet on Achillea, in Britain; recorded on Achillea, Leucanthemum, Pyrethrum and Tanacetum elsewhere. Probably widespread in England. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland: Co. Clare (the Burren) (Spencer, 1972: 79). Widespread in continental Europe

Phytomyza tanaceti Hendel, 1923 [Diptera: Agromyzidae].

4f > Leaf-miner: The mine begins as a long, quite narrow corridor, usually not far from the tip of a leaf segment. Usually this corridor follows the leaf margin for some distance, but it may also run freely through the blade and may then be stongly contorted. In the end the corridor is directed towards the midrib, where an elongated blotch is formed, overlying the midrib and some of the larger lateral veins. Frass in a nearly continuous line in the initial corridor, in scattered lumps in the later part of the mine. Primary and secondary feeding lines very conspicuous when seen in transparancy. Pupation outside the mine (Bladmineerders van Europa).

The mine starts as a very narrow corridor, usually close to the tip of a leaf segment and following the leaf margin. The later section of the corridor approaches the main vein, where an elongated blotch is made with long broad finger like extensions that lay over the secondary veins. In the initial corridor the frass forms an almost continuous line, in the blotch it is distributed in large scattered lumps. In fresh mines the secondary feeding lines are clearly visible (British leafminers).

On numerous genera of Asteraceae, including Achillea, in Britain, Throughout the British Isles, more common in the south than the north. Also continental Europe.

Trypeta zoe Meigen, 1826 [Diptera: Tephritidae].



Key for the identification of the known mines of British
non-Diptera recorded on Achillea


Note: The larvae of mining Coleoptera, Hymenoptera and Lepidoptera may live in a corridor mine, a corridor-blotch mine, a blotch mine, a case, a rolled or folded leaf, a tentiform mine or sandwiched between two more or less circular leaf sections in later instars. Larva may pupate in a silk cocoon. The larva may have six legs (although they may be reduced or absent), a head capsule and chewing mouthparts with opposable mandibles (see video of a gracillarid larva feeding). Larvae of Hymenoptera and Lepidoptera usually also have abdominal legs (see examples). Frass, if present, never in two rows. Unless feeding externally from within a case the larva usually vacates the mine by chewing an exit hole. Pupa with visible head appendages, wings and legs which lie in sheaths (see examples).


1a > Leaf-miner and case-bearer: The larva lives outside the mine, protected by a case, and feeds on the underlying plant tissues via a hole cut in the epidermis. From that point it eats away as much leaf tissue as it can reach without fully entering the mine. Mine does not contain frass (Coleophora species)

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1b > Leaf-miner, but not a case-bearer: The larva lives mainly inside the mine. Mine usually contains frass. In later instars the larva may live sandwiched between two more or less circular sections cut from the leaf.

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2a > Leaf miner and case-bearer: A slender straw coloured, three valved tubular silken case, about 10 mm long. Mouth angle about 30° (British leafminers). A slender tubular silken case, about 10 mm long, straw coloured, three valved. Mouth angle about 30° (Bladmineerders van Europa). Feeding traces are illustrated in the Encyclopedia of Life.

Coleophora folicularis larva,  dorsal
Coleophora folicularis larva, dorsal
Image: © Willem Ellis (Bladmineerders van Europa)

On Cirsium, Eupatorium, Inula and Pulicaria, but not yet on Achillea, in Britain and Achillea, Anthemis, Carduus, Cirsium, Eupatorium, Inula, Leucanthemum, Pulicaria and Tanacetum elsewhere. Widespread in England, Wales and continental Europe. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland.

Coleophora follicularis (Vallot, 1802) [Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae].

2b > Leaf miner and case-bearer: A straw-coloured to grey, slender, three valved tubular silken case. Mouth angle 45° to 60°. The case resembles that of Coleophora trochilella, but the case is more slender, the mouth is narrower and the constriction behind the mouth less deep. (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Achillea millefolium, Achillea ptarmica, Artemisia maritima, Leucanthemum vulgare and Tanacetum vulgare elsewhere. Southern England and Widespread in continental Europe and elsewhere.

Coleophora gardesanella Toll, 1954 [Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae].

2c > Leaf miner and case-bearer: A straw-coloured, slender, three-valved tubular silken case, about 10 mm long. Mouth angle 45° to 60°. Perhaps because of the plant's dense felt cover, the case is attached with much silk, giving the holes a conspicuous white margin (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Achillea millefolium, Artemisia absinthium, Artemisia vulgaris, Aster, Leucanthemum vulgare, Tanacetum vulgare and ? Hieracium in Britain and Achillea millefolium, Artemisia absinthium, Artemisia vulgaris, Leucanthemum vulgare, Tanacetum vulgare elsewhere. Widespread in Britain and continental Europe. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland.

Coleophora trochilella (Duponchel, 1843) [Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae].

2d > Leaf miner and case-bearer: Laterally strongly compressed, two-valved, black silken case, narrowed behind the mouth. Rear end narrowed, strong ventral keel. Mouth angle c. 0° (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Artemisia maritima, but not yet on Achillea, in Britain and Achillea millefolium and Artemisia campestris elsewhere. Britain including South Essex. Widespread in continental Europe.

Coleophora vibicigerella Zeller, 1839 [Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae].

3a > Leaf-miner: The larva feeds in a leaf-mine to begin with, then later feeds externally on the leaves, shrivelling and blanching or browning them (UKMoths). Initially an extremely fine corridor along the leaf margin; these mines mainly in the lower leaves. Frass in a narrow central line. The larva can leave its mine and restart elsewhere. Older larvae live free, and feed by slicing open the margin of a leaf segment near its tip and eating away as much tissue as it can reach (to about one third of its body length). The result is a number of full depth blotch mines. When the larva has become too large even for this strategy, its starts to feed freely on the leaf (Bladmineerders van Europa). The larva pupates in a distinctive whitish ribbed cocoon (UKMoths).

On Achillea millefolium in Britain and also Anthemis tinctoria, Chrysanthemum and Leucanthemopsis alpina elsewhere. Fairly widespread in England. Widespread in continental Europe. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland.

Bucculatrix cristatella (Zeller, 1839) [Lepidoptera: Bucculatricidae].

3b > Leaf-miner: Initially the larva mines the leaflet, leaving a central line of black frass, then grazes the leaflet tips externally, causing withering (British leafminers). The young larva mines a fine leaf segment completely out, leaving a black, central frass line. Older larvae live free on the the upperside of the leaves, causing window feeding (Bladmineerders van Europa). Larva pupates in an white ribbed cocoon (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Achillea millefolium and Tanacetim vulgare in Britain and Achillea millefolium elsewhere. Widespread in Britain and widespread in continental Europe.

Bucculatrix humiliella Herrich-Schäffer, 1855 [Lepidoptera: Bucculatricidae].

3c > Leaf-miner: In the first instar the larva mines the leaves, forming short, irregular, blotch-like mines, but in later instars it lives externally, feeding in spun leaves and often twisting those of tender shoots. Larval head light-brown or yellowish brown, edged with black postero-laterally, ocellar area blackish; prothoracic plate black edged with whitish anteriorly; abdomen dull dark green; pinacula distinct, black, sometimes brownish but with black bases to setae; anal plate large, black (Bradley et al., 1973). Small, full depth mine without a definite shape; little frass. Some silk is deposited in the mine. The larva soon leaves the mine and continues feeding among spun leaves (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Polyphagous. On numerous genera and species in several plant families, but not yet on Achillea, in Britain. Widespread in Britain and continental Europe. Also recorded from the Channel Is.

Cnephasia incertana (Treitschke, 1835) [Lepidoptera: Tortricidae].

3d > Leaf-miner: Small (less than 1 cm), full depth blotch, transparent when fresh, starting at the leaf margin, usually near the leaf tip; frass in scattered grains. The larva makes an elliptic double sided excision to form a case. Subsequently, it continues feeding within the case (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Agrimonia, Alchemilla, Filipendula, Fragaria, Geum and Rubus, but not yet on Achillea, in Britain. On Achillea, Agrimonia, Alchemilla, Filipendula, Fragaria, Geum, Potentilla, Rubus and Spiraea elsewhere. Widespread in Britain and continental Europe. Also recorded in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland

Incurvaria praelatella (Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775) [Lepidoptera: Incurvariidae].

 

Galls recorded on Achillea (British Plant Gall Society, January 2012) with links to Leafminers and plant galls of Europe
Eriophyes kiefferi Nalepa Acari: Eriophyoidea
Lasioptera francoisi (Kieffer, 1902) Diptera: Cecidomyiidae
Ozirhincus millefolii (Wachtl, 1884) Diptera: Cecidomyiidae
Rhopalomyia millefolii (Loew, 1850) Diptera: Cecidomyiidae
Rhopalomyia palearum (Kieffer, 1890) Diptera: Cecidomyiidae
Rhopalomyia ptarmicae (Vallot, 1849) Diptera: Cecidomyiidae
Campiglossa argyrocephala (Loew, 1844) Diptera: Tephritidae
Dithryca guttularis (Meigen, 1826) Diptera: Tephritidae
Oxyna flavipennis (Loew, 1844) Diptera: Tephritidae
Entyloma achilleae P. Magnus, 1900 Entylomatales: Entylomataceae
Macrosiphoniella millefolii (De Geer) Hemiptera: Aphididae
Planchonia arabidis (Signoret, 1876) Hemiptera: Asterolecanidae
Craspedolepta nervosa (Förster, 1848) Hemiptera: Psylloidea
Subanguina millefolii (Löew, 1874) Nematoda: Anguinidae


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