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

N.B. Links to the latest version of 'Leafminers and plant galls of Europe' are being edited

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SANGUISORBA. Burnets. [Rosaceae]


Three species of Sanguisorba are recorded in Britain. These include the native Salad Burnet (S. minor) and Great Burnet (S. officinalis) and the introduced White Burnet (S. canadensis). The BSBI provide a downloadable plant crib for Sanguisorba.

Sanguisorba minor is treated as Poterium sanguisorba by Stace (2010).

Ninel British miners are recorded on Sanguisorba.

Great Burnet - Sanguisorba officnalis. Image: © Brian Pitkin
Great Burnet
Sanguisorba officnalis


Key for the identification of the known mines of British
Diptera recorded on Sanguisorba


Note: Diptera larvae may live in a corridor mine, a corridor-blotch mine, or a blotch mine, but never in a case, a rolled or folded leaf, a tentiform mine or sandwiched between two more or less circular leaf sections in later instars. Pupation never in a cocoon. All mining Diptera larvae are leg-less maggots without a head capsule (see examples). They never have thoracic or abdominal legs. They do not have chewing mouthparts, although they do have a characteristic cephalo-pharyngeal skeleton (see examples), usually visible internally through the body wall. The larvae lie on their sides within the mine and use their pick-like mouthparts to feed on plant tissue. In some corridor miners frass may lie in two rows on alternate sides of the mine. In order to vacate the mine the fully grown larva cuts an exit slit, which is usually semi-circular (see Liriomyza huidobrensis video). The pupa is formed within the hardened last larval skin or puparium and as a result sheaths enclosing head appendages, wings and legs are not visible externally (see examples).

See Key to non-Diptera.


1a > Leaf-miner: Initially a linear mine which later develops into a conspicuous blotch; frass in two rows in linear section, scattered irregularly in the blotch (Spencer, 1976: 134-5, fig. 237, as potentillae).

Corridor, gradually and considerably widening towards the end. Frass in two rows in the corridor part, further up dispersed irregularly. Pupation outside the mine (Bladmineerders van Europa).

A short broad upper surface corridor leading to a long blotch between veins (British leafminers).

On Agrimonia, Filipendula, Fragaria, Geum, Potentilla, Rubus and Sanguisorba in Britain. On additional Rosaceae elsewhere. Common and widespread throughout Britain. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland, Europe, Japan, U.S.A. and Canada.

Agromyza idaeiana (Hardy, 1853) [Diptera: Agromyzidae].

1b > Leaf-miner: A long linear mine, never widening into a blotch at end (Spencer, 1976: 107-8, fig. 167).

Long upper-surface corridor. Many straight stretches, often along the midrib. Frass in discrete grains, here and there in thread fragments, but never in pearl strings. Pupation outside the mine (Bladmineerders van Europa).

A long straight mine, which is sometimes branched. Found in the upper leaf surface (British leafminers).

On Filipendula, Potentilla, Rubus and Sanguisorba in Britain and Filipendula, Potentilla, Rubus and Sanguisorba elsewhere. Currently known in Britain only from Warwick and Mid-west York. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland and continental Europe.

Agromyza filipendulae Spencer, 1976 [Diptera: Agromyzidae].

1c > Leaf-miner: Mine frequently starting along leaf margin, initially linear, later developing into an elongate blotch, frass in two distinct rows, even at end (Spencer, 1972b: 30, fig. 74; Spencer, 1976: 144, fig. 263A).

First a long corridor, its initial part often along the leaf margin or a thick vein. Rather suddenly the corridor widens into a broad blotch. The corridor contains much, amorphous frass that sometimes seems to fill the entire corridor (lower picture). In the blotch the frass is in black strings and coarse lumps. (In rainy weather they liquify and loose their shape). Pupation outside the mine (Bladmineerders van Europa).

A narrow upper surface gallery to start, then broadening and zigzagging to create a false blotch (British leafminers).

On Filipendula, Potentilla, Rosa, Rubus and Sanguisorba in Britain. On Filipendula, Potentilla, Rubus and Sanguisorba elsewhere. Widespread in Britain. Also recorded in continental Europe and Canada.

Agromyza sulfuriceps Strobl, 1898 [Diptera: Agromyzidae].



Key for the identification of the known mines of British
non-Diptera recorded on Sanguisorba


Note: The larvae of mining Coleoptera, Hymenoptera and Lepidoptera may live in a corridor mine, a corridor-blotch mine, a blotch mine, a case, a rolled or folded leaf, a tentiform mine or sandwiched between two more or less circular leaf sections in later instars. Larva may pupate in a silk cocoon. The larva may have six legs (although they may be reduced or absent), a head capsule and chewing mouthparts with opposable mandibles (see video of a gracillarid larva feeding). Larvae of Hymenoptera and Lepidoptera usually also have abdominal legs (see examples). Frass, if present, never in two rows. Unless feeding externally from within a case the larva usually vacates the mine by chewing an exit hole. Pupa with visible head appendages, wings and legs which lie in sheaths (see examples).


1a > Leaf-miner and case-bearer: The larva lives outside the mine, protected by a case, and feeds on the underlying plant tissues via a hole cut in the epidermis. From that point it eats away as much leaf tissue as it can reach without fully entering the mine. Mine does not contain frass (Coleophora species)

2

1b > Leaf-miner, but not a case-bearer: The larva lives mainly inside the mine. Mine usually contains frass. In later instars the larva may live sandwiched between two more or less circular sections cut from the leaf.
3
2a > Leaf-miner and case-bearer: The case resembles that of C. violacea, but does not lie so flat again the leaf as this species (having a mouth angle of 30 to 50°). C. violacea also has a case which bulges in the middle, whereas in C. potentillae the case tapers towards the posterior (British leafminers). Immediately after emergence the larva makes a full depth, quickly widening, corridor, with frass as small grains in a broad central band. Finally results a blotch of 2 x 5 mm, from which the youth case is cut. The fully developed case is a hairy, greyish brown to silver grey lobe case of about 1 cm long, with a clearly laterally compressed end; the mouth angle is about 90°. The case is difficult to separate from that of C. ochripennella (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Betula, Agrimonia, Crataegus, Filipendula ulmaria, Fragaria vesca, Geum, Helianthemum nummularium, Potentilla, Prunus spinosa, Rosa, Rubus caesius, Rosa fruticosus and Salix cinerea, but not yet on Sanguisorba, in Britain plus Malus sylvestris, Ribes, Sanguisorba and Spiraea elsewhere. Widespread in Britain and in continental Europe.

Coleophora potentillae (Elisha, 1885) [Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae].

2b > Leaf-miner and case-bearer: The larva feeds on a wide range of trees, shrubs and herbs, favouring Rosaceae, but not exclusively. The fully developed cased larva may be found active in October and again, after winter diapause, in April. Cases, about 6 mm, of diapausing larvae may be found through winter, fixed to a tree or fence post. The dorsal surface of the case is usually covered in leaf fragments, but they can sometimes be worn off almost smooth. The ventral surface is swollen at the middle and has a keel, which usually bends upwards at the posterior. The cases of C. ahenella (on Rhamnus, Frangula, Viburnum and Cornus) and C. potentillae (case less swollen, keel not bent up, resting position less prone) are very similar (UKMoths). Brownish lobe case that lies almost flat on the leaf, either on the upper or on the lower side. Case widest about the middle. Ventrally there is a distinct keel. Mouth angle 0°. Full depth mines rather large. The flaps of cuticular tissue that serve to enlarge the case are cut out of the upper epidermis. (contrary to C. ahenella and C. potentillae, that use tissue from the lower epidermis). The removal of these tissue flaps creates holes that are much larger than those that serve as the entrance to the mine (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Coleophora violacea larva,  lateral
Coleophora violacea larva, lateral
Image: © Willem Ellis (Bladmineerders van Europa)

Polyphagous. On numerous genera and species in several plant families, but not yet on Sanguisorba, in Britain. On numerous genera and species in several plant families, including Sanguisorba, elsewhere. Widespread in Britain and continental Europe.

Coleophora violaceae (Ström 1783) [Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae].

3a > Leaf-miner: A contorted gallery leading to blotch. Larva greenish-white with dark ventral spots (British leafminers). Oviposition at the underside of the leaf, usually not far from the midrib. The mine is a corridor; its first part is strongly contorted, intestine-like, containing brown, coiled, frass. The last part may follow the leaf margin for some distance. In the end the corridor widens into an elongate blotch with dispersed frass. The larva mines venter upwards. Pupation external (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Rosa and Sanguisorba in Britain and Filipendula, Rosa and Sanguisorba elsewhere. Widespread in Britain, Ireland and continental Europe.

Ectoedemia angulifasciella (Stainton, 1849) [Lepidoptera: Nepticulidae].

3b > Leaf-miner: An early gallery filled with greenish frass, later leaving clear margins (British leafminers). Egg at the underside of the leaf, near a vein. The mine is a clear corridor, often with a hairpin turn, the section before the turn often following the leaf margin. The first section of the mine is entirely filled with greyish green frass. Further on the frass line is quite variable, black, sometimes coiled, always leaving a clear zone at either side. The shift in the frass pattern usually is quite sharp (probably coincides with a moult). The frass is deposited on the ceiling of the mine. Pupation external; exit slit in upper epidermis (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Rosa, but not yet on Sanguisorba, in Britain and Potentilla, Rosa and Sanguisorba elsewhere. Widespread throughout the British isles. Widespread in continental Europe.

Stigmella anomalella (Goeze, 1783) [Lepidoptera: Nepticulidae].

3c > Leaf-miner: A short gallery with linear frass (British leafminers). Egg usually at the underside of the leaf. The mine is a long sinuous gallery, often with a hairpin turn. Frass in a central line, leaving a clear zone at either side; this applies also to the first part of the corridor. Borkowski (1969a) stresses that the frass never is coiled (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Rosa, but not yet on Sanguisorba, in Britain and Rosa and Sanguisorba elsewhere. Southern England and Wales. Widespread in continental Europe.

Stigmella centifoliella (Zeller, 1848) [Lepidoptera: Nepticulidae].

3d > Leaf-miner: A gallery following the leaf-edge (British leafminers). Egg generally at the upperside of the leaf, on a vein. The mine is a short corridor, no longer than 3 cm. Its first part is narrow and tends to follow a vein. The second part is rather tortuous and considerably widened, and often forms a secondary blotch. Generally only one mine in a leaf. Mines cannot reliably been distinguished from those of anomalella and centifoliella (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Potentilla, Rubus and Sanguisorba in Britain and Filipendula, Potentilla, Rubus and Sanguisorba elsewhere. Widespread in England and Scotland. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland. Widespread in continental Europe.

Stigmella poterii (Stainton, 1857) [Lepidoptera: Nepticulidae].



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