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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JUNCUS. Rushes. [Juncaceae]


Forty-eight species of Juncus are recorded in Britain, twenty-four of which are native, including Soft rush (Juncus effusus). The BSBI provide a downloadable plant crib for Juncus.

Five British miners are recorded on Juncus.

The coleophorids Coleophora adjunctella, Coleophora alticolella, Coleophora caespititiella, Coleophora lassella, Coleophora maritimella and Coleophora taeniipennella are recorded as seed-feeders on Juncus in Britain.

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

Sharp-flowered Rush - Juncus acutiflorus. Image: © Linda Pitkin
Sharp-flowered Rush
Juncus acutiflorus



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


1a > Leaf-miner and case-bearer: The full grown larval case is very similar to that of C. alticolella, but the larvae can be differentiated (UKMoths).

On Juncus in Britain. Host elsewhere unknown. Widespread in Britain and continental Europe. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland.

Coleophora glaucicolella Wood, 1892 [Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae].

1b> Miner, but not a case-bearer

2

2a > Leaf miner: The mine begins as a narrow corridor, somewhere halfway along the leaf; it ascends towards the tip, doubles, and descends to about the starting point. Meanwhile the corridor has widened to about half the width of the leaf. Most frass is accumulated as an elongate dark mass in the oldest part of the mine. According to Traugott-Olsen and Nielsen part of the frass can be ejected through an opening in the lowest part of the mine. The mine is greenish white and quite conspicuous. Pupation external; pupa in a loose spinning (Bland, 1996a; Traugott-Olsen and Nielsen, 1977a) (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Juncus in Britain and Juncus and Scirpus elsewhere. Britain including South Hants (and the Channel Is. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland. Widespread in continental Europe.

Elachista scirpi Stainton, 1887 [Lepidoptera: Elachistidae].

2b > Leaf miner: The mine begins somewhere halfway the blade as an upwards running corridor. After a while the direction reverses, and an elongate blotch develops occupying half the width of the leaf. Frass, light green at first, grey later, concentrated in the lowest part of the mine. Pupation external (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Carex, but not yet on Juncus, in Britain and Carex, Festuca, Juncus and Scirpus elsewhere. Britain including East Kent, North Hants and South Devon. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland. Widespread in continental Europe.

Elachista utonella Frey, 1856 [Lepidoptera: Elachistidae].

2c > Leaf miner: Elongated, mainly interparenchymal mine in the part of the stem above the flower stalk. Frass in one large mass. Pupation internal (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Juncus effusus in Britain and this and other Juncus species elsewhere. Widespread in Britain. Widespread and frequently common in much of Europe. Also recorded in the U.S.A. and Canada.

Cerodontha luctuosa (Meigen) [Diptera: Agromyzidae].

2d > Leaf-miner: Pale coloured corridor (here and there with even paler segments). Pupation within the mine (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On ? Juncus in Britain. On Juncus and Phragmites elsewhere. Widespread in Britain and continental Europe

Thrypticus bellus Loew, 1869 [Diptera: Dolichopodidae]



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