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


PASTINACA. Wild parsnip. [Apiaceae]

Three species of Pastinaca are recorded in Britain. These include the native Wild Parsnip (P. sativa).

Eight or nine British miners are recorded on Pastinaca.

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

Wild Parsnip - Pastinaca sativa. Image: © Brian Pitkin
Wild Parsnip
Pastinaca sativa

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

1a > Leaf-miner: A large blotch, yellow or brown, preceded by a short corridor that in the end mostly is completely overrun. Generally several larvae share a mine. Especially in fresh mines the green primary and secondary feeding lines are well visible. Pupation outside the mine. Puparium yellow.

Euleia heraclei puparia
Euleia heraclei pupariria
Image: © Willem Ellis (Bladmineerders van Europa)

Polyphagous. On numerous genera of Apiaceae and possibly some Asteraceae, including Pastinaca, in Britain and elsewhere. Throughout the British Isles. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland and most of the Palaearctic region, as far east as Afghanistan.

Euleia heraclei (Linnaeus, 1758) [Diptera: Tephritidae].

1b > 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 Pastinaca, in Britain.

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

1c > Leaf-miner: A short linear mine which considerably widens towards the end, normally starting in the centre of the leaf (Spencer, 1972b: 86 (fig. 288); Spencer, 1976: 447).

A short, narrow, upper-surface corridor, starting the in the centre of the leaf, that suddenly widens strongly. The widened corridor loosely follows the leaf margin. Frass in irregularly scattered black granules. Primary feeding lines conspicuous. Pupation outside the mine; according to Allen (1956a) the exit slit is in the upper epidermis.

On Pastinaca sativa and Pimpinella saxifraga in Britain and elsewhere. Only recorded from Surrey, Warwick and Surrey in Britain and Austria, Germany, the [former] U.S.S.R and Poland in continental Europe.

Phytomyza melana Hendel, 1920 [Diptera: Agromyzidae].

1d > Leaf-miner: A conspicuous, whitish linear mine. Pupation external (Spencer, 1976: 506, 507 (fig. 886)).

Long, upper-surface, frequently branched, little widening corridor; sides somehwat irregular. Often several mines in a leaf. Frass in grains that are placed close together, rarely forming short pearl chains. Pupation outside the mine, exit slit in lower epidermis. Sometime the puparium sticks to the leaf. Feeding punctures in lower epidermis.

Larva forms a conspicuous, whitish linear mine. Larva leaves the mine through the lower surface and falls from the leaf on pupation.

Orchestes fagi larva,  dorsal
Phytomyza pastinacae / spondyli puparium
Image: © Willem Ellis (Bladmineerders van Europa)

Most records require confirmation, since the two names have been treated as synonyms and distinct species. On ? Astrantia, ? Heracleum and ? Pastinaca in Britain and Heracleum, Levisticum and Pastinaca elsewhere. Widespread and common throughout the British Isles. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland. Widespread in continental Europe.

Phytomyza spondylii Robineau-Desvoidy, 1851 [Diptera: Agromyzidae]
Phytomyza pastinacae Hendel, 1923 [Diptera: Agromyzidae].

1e > Leaf-miner: Larva forming an irregular upper surface linear mine, which can widen and become almost blotch like at end (Spencer, 1972b: 78 (fig. 262), 81; Spencer, 1976: 378, 379 (fig. 657)).

Upper-surface blotch, often following the leaf margin for some length, finally strongly widened. The real start of the mine, however, is a long narrow epidermal corridor in the lower surface of the leaf, made by the first instar larva (Allen, 1956a). Pupation outside the mine, exit slit generally in the leaf lower epidermis.

An upper surface mine, which can widen and form a blotch.

On Aegopodium, Angelica and Pastinaca in Britain and Aegopodium and Angelica elsewhere. Widespread throughout Britain. Also recorded in Ireland and continental Europe.

Phytomyza angelicastri Hering, 1923 [Diptera: Agromyzidae].

1f > Leaf miner: A regular greenish inter-parenchymal blotch mine, frequently delimited by two veins, appearing somewhat mottled as a result of small deeper areas of feeding through the upper parenchyma (Spencer, 1972b: 78 (fig. 259); Spencer, 1976: 428, 429 (fig. 748).

The mine starts with a quite inconspicuous lower-surface corridor that soon changes into an extensive interparenchymatous blotch. The upper cell layer of the palisade parenchyma is eaten away in many places, giving the mine in transparency a perforated appearance. Fresh mines are pale green, later they turn brown; they give the leaves a strikingly diseased impression. Feeding lines absent, frass grains strikingly few. Larvae solitary. Pupation outside the mine, exit slit in lower epidermis.

Forms a blotch mine between two veins, having a characteristic sieve-like appearance (where the larva has fed through the upper parenchyma). Pupation outside the mine..

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

On Heracleum, but not yet on Pastinaca, in Britain and this and other Apiaceae elsewhere including Psstinaca. Widespread in Britain and continental Europe. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland.

Phytomyza heracleana Hering, 1937 [Diptera: Agromyzidae].

1g > Leaf-miner: A short, irregular, linear upper surface mine on any part of the leaf. Also recorded from young pods (Bland, 1997a).

Long corridor mine. As a rule the first part of the mine is lower-surface, the later part upper-surface. Often the loops are so dense that a secondary blotch is the result. Because upper- and lower-surface corridor segments often cross, the mine obtains a strange array of transparant patches. There is no association with the midrib. Frass in strings and thread fragments. Pupation outside the mine; exit slit in upper epidermis.

Mine not associated with the veins or midrib of the leaf (It is this character which enables distinction from another Agromyzid pest species - Liriomyza huidobriensis). The larvae may leave one leaf (if not large enough) and enter another leaf, via the petiole). It exits the leaf to pupate through a semi-circular slit in the upper surface of the leaf.

Polyphagous. On 119 plant genera in 31 plant families of which only 4 plant genera in 2 plant families, but not yet on Pastinaca, 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].

1h > Leaf-miner: The larvae are often gregarious and feed on the underside of the leaf causing a 'windowing' effect as they eat the mesophyll and lower epidermis. This effect can be seen from the top of the leaf as it discolours. Short, small, irregular, sometimes widened corridor. Mostly a number in a leaf, concentrated in the axils of the midrib and the primary side veins. Each larva makes a number of mines. Often the larva protrudes with its rear end out of the mine, causing most frass to be ejected. While moving, at the leaf underside, silken threads are produced, in wich grains of frass may be trapped. Older larvae live free and cause window feeding, often in a group under a light spinning.

Polyphagous. On Angelica sylvestris, Anthriscus sylvestris, Daucus carota, Heracleum sphondylium and Heracleum sativa, but not yet on Pastinaca, in Britain and Aegopodium podagraria, Angelica archangelica subsp. litoralis, Angelica sylvestris, Anthriscus caucalis, Anthriscus cerefolium, Anthriscus sylvestris, Apium graveolens, Berula erecta, Carum carvi, Chaerophyllum hirsutum, Chaerophyllum temulum, Cicuta virosa, Conium maculatum, Daucus carota, Heracleum sphondylium, Levisticum officinale, Oenanthe, Pastinaca sativa, Peucedanum, Pimpinella saxifraga, Seseli libanotis, Silaum, Sium latifolium, Sison amomum and Torilis elsewhere. Widespread in Britain and continental Europe.

Epermenia chaerophyllella (Goeze, 1783) [Lepidoptera: Epermeniidae].

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