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


CHONDRILLA. Skeletonweed. [Asteraceae]

Only one species of Chondrilla is recorded in Britain, the introduced Skeletonweed (C. juncea).

Three British miners are recorded on Chondrilla.

A key to the European miners recorded on Chondrilla is provided in Bladmineerders van Europa.

Key for the identification of the known mines of British
insects (Diptera and non-Diptera) recorded on Chondrilla

1a > 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.

A long whitish upper surface corridor, which eventually goes lower surface.

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 Chondrilla elsewhere, but not yet on Chondrilla in Britain.

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

1b > Leaf-miner: A whitish blotch-mine along the mid-rib, with lateral offshoots into the leaf blade. Pupation at base of leaf in petiole (Spencer, 1972b: 25).

Broad corridor overlying the midrib, with short excursion into the blade, mainly in its basal part. Frass concentrated in the basal part of the mine, corridors almost free from frass. Pupation in the mine, also in the basal part.

Mine of on Taraxacum officinale. Image: © Willem Ellis (Source: Bladmineerders en plantengallen van Europa)
Mine of Ophiomyia pulicaria on Taraxacum officinale
Image: © Willem Ellis (Bladmineerders van Europa)

On Crepis, Hieracium, Hypochaeris, Leontodon, Picris, Pilosella, Sonchus and Taraxacum, but not yet on Chondrilla, in Britain and additional genera of Asteraceae elsewhere. Widespread and common in Britain and continental Europe. Range extending east to Siberia. Also recorded from Canada.

Ophiomyia pulicaria (Meigen) [Diptera: Agromyzidae].

1c > Leaf-miner: The mine begins in the midrib, especially in a lower leaf, extending into the leaf disc, branching irregularly or pinnately, may also locally be blotch like. The mine is brown and very transparent. Sides very irregularly eaten out. Frass loosely dispersed or in a loose central line, buy may also be pressed against the sides of the corridor. The larva may also leave the mine and restart elsewhere.

Orthochaetes setiger larva,  dorsal
Orthochaetes setiger larva, dorsal
Image: © Jean-Yves Baugnée (Bladmineerders van Europa)

Polyphagous. On numerous genera and species in several plant families, but not yet on Chondrilla, in Britain. On numerous genera and species in several plant families, including Chondrilla. elsewhere. Widespread in England and continental Europe. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland.

Orthochaetes setiger (Beck, 1817) [Coleoptera: Curculionidae].

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