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


PILOSELLA. Mouse-ear-hawkweeds. [Asteraceae]

Twenty species and subspecies of Pilosella are recorded in Britain.

Six British miners are recorded on Pilosella.

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

Fox-and-cubs - Pilosella aurantiaca. Image: © Linda Pitkin
Pilosella aurantiaca

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

1# > ? Leaf-miner: Details unknown.

On Pilosella officinarum in Britain. Hosts elsewhere unknown. Widespread in continental Europe.

Oxyptilus pilosellae (Zeller, 1841) [Lepidoptera: Pterophoridae].

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 Pilosella, 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: 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 Pilosella, in Britain. On numerous genera and species in several plant families, including Pilosella (as Hieracium pilosella), elsewhere. Widespread in England and continental Europe. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland.

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

1c > 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 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, 1830) [Diptera: Agromyzidae].

1d > Leaf-miner: Larva mining both lower and upper surface, unusually long, linear, conspicuously broad, frequently largely on the underside of the leaf. Pupation external (Spencer, 1972b: 76 (fig. 251); Spencer, 1976: 445 (fig. 780), 446).

Corridor mine. The first part consists of a very long and narrow lower-surface corridor; the mine is quite shollow here, and often inconspicuous. The second part is upper-surface, uusally much shorter, and widens abruptly. Pupation outside the mine.

On Crepis, Hieracium, Lapsana, Picris, Pilosella, Senecio, Sonchus and Taraxacum in Britain and additionally other genera of Asteraceae elsewhere. Widespread in southern Britain, also Sutherland, Inner Hebrides and Warwick. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland and Widespread in much of Europe.

Phytomyza marginella Fallén, 1823 [Diptera: Agromyzidae].

1e > Leaf-miner: Mine mainly in basal leaves, running along mid-rib, with short lateral offshoots into leaf blade (Spencer, 1972b: 71). Pupation takes place within the petiole or mid-rib (Spencer, 1976: 489).

Upper-surface corridor in the leaf base, radiating from the base of the midrib. Frass in long strings along the sides of the mine. Primary feeding lines quite conspicuous. Pupation within the mine, in the leaf base or even deeper in the plant.

On Hieracium and Pilosella in Britain and elsewhere. Uncommon in Britain - Argyll, York and Warwick. Widespread in continental Europe.

Phytomyza rufescens von Roser, 1840 [Diptera: Agromyzidae].

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