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


LYCOPERSICON. Tomato. [Solanaceae]

Two species of Lycopersicon are recorded in Britain, the introduced Tomato (L. esculentum) and Currant Tomato (L. pimpinellifolium).

Lycopersicon esculentum is treated as Solanum lycopersicum by Stace (2010).

Four British miners are recorded on Lycopersicon.

A key to the European miners recorded on Solanum including Lycopersicon is provided in Bladmineerders van Europa.

Tomato - Lycopersicon esculentum. Image: © Brian Pitkin
Lycopersicon esculentum

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

1a > 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.

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

Polyphagous. On more than 40 host genera in 15 families, but not yet on Lycopersicon, in Britain,. Widespread throughout Britain. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland. Widespread in continental Europe.

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

1b > Leaf-miner: A short, irregular, linear upper surface mine on any part of the leaf. Puparium pale yellowish brown

Polyphagous. On 119 plant genera in 31 plant families of which only 4 plant genera in 2 plant families are records, including Lycopersicon, in Britain. Local, probably introduced to Britain. Widespread in continental Europe particularly in Botanical Gardens and glasshouses. Also recorded in Egypt.

Liriomyza bryoniae (Kaltenbach, 1858) [Diptera: Agromyzidae].

1c > 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 horticola is recorded on 160 plant genera in 31 families, of which 55 plant genera in 19 families, including Lycopersicon, in Britain.

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

1d > Leaf-miner: Large, glassy, irregular blotches without a recognisable preceding corridor. Frass in a black mass, mainly in the oldest part of the mine. The larvae move several times, and can also bore in the stem and underground parts.

Mine of Phthorimaea operculella on Solanum nigrum Image: © Willem Ellis (Bladmineerders en plantengallen van Europa)
Mine of Phthorimaea operculella on Solanum nigrum
Image: © Willem Ellis (Bladmineerders van Europa)

On Solanum, but not yet on Lycopersicon, in Britain and Hyoscyamus, Lycopersicon, Nicotiana and Solanum elsewhere. Distribution in Britain unknown. Widespread in continental Europe.

Phthorimaea operculella (Zeller, 1873) [Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae].

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