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


PHYSALIS. Ground-cherries. [Solanaceae]

Twelve species of Physalis are recorded in Britain. All are introduced and include Cape-gooseberry (P. peruviana) and Cut-leaved Ground-cherry (P. angulata).

Two British miners are recorded on Physalis.

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

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

1a > Leaf-miner: The larvae forms large whitish or translucent blotches. Rather large, untidy blotch, full-depth for most of its surface, very transparent, without feeding lines and without association with midrib or leaf margin. The larva makes several mines. Often only its anterior part is inserted in the mine, that remains free of frass then. Pupation outside the mine in a silk cocoon.

On Atropa belladona and Solanum dulcamara, but not yet on Physalis, in Britain and Atropa belladona, Physalis alkekengi and Solanum dulcamara elsewhere. Distributed mainly in the southern half of England, with a few scattered records further north in Britain. Widespread in continental Europe.

Acrolepia autumnitella Curtis, 1838 [Lepidoptera: Acrolepiidae].

1b > 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 Physalis, 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].

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