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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STACHYS. Woundworts. [Lamiaceae]


Fourteen species of Stachys are recorded in Britain. These include the native Field Woundwort (S. arvensis), Downy Woundwort (S. germanica), Marsh Woundwort (S. palustris), Limestone Woundwort (S. alpina), Betony (S. officinalis), Hedge Woundwort (S. sylvatica) and Hybrid Woundwort (S. x ambigua).

Stachys officinalis is treated as Betonica officinalis by Stace (2010).

Limestone Woundwort (S. alpina) and Downy Woundwort (S. germanica) are protected under Schedule 8 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981.

Betony (S. officinalis) is protected in Northern Ireland under Schedule 8 of the Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order, 1985.

Twelve British miners are recorded on Stachys.

Betony - Stachys officinalis. Image: © Brian Pitkin
Betony
Stachys officinalis

 



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


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 > Stem miner: A shallow, inconspicuous external stem mine. Pupation in stem near a node (Spencer, 1972b: 29).

On Clinopodium, Galeopsis, Lamium, and Stachys in Britain and Calamintha, Galeopsis, Lamium, Nepeta, Prunella, Satureja and Stachys elsewhere. Widespread in Britain including Surrey, Oxford, Hunts, Warwick, Suffolk and Perth. Widespread in continental Europe. Also recorded from the East Palaearctic.

Ophiomyia labiatarum Hering, 1937 [Diptera: Agromyzidae].

1b > Stem-miner: A narrow, inconspicuous stem mine. Pupation at the end of the mine (Spencer, 1976: 64).

Fine, upper- or lower-surface corridor, ending in a thick vein. From there the mine extends finally to the rind of the stem. There also the pupation takes place, usually not far from the root collar. Mines in the stem rind often are conspicuous through a red discoloration (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Achillea, Achillea millefolium and possibly Anthemis, Matricaria and Medicago sativa, but not yet on Stachys, in Britain. In Britain widespread in south, not uncommon. On Anthemis, Achillea, Artemisia, Aster, Centaurea, Clinopodium, Crepis, Hieracium, Matricaria, Reichardia, Solidago, Tanacetum, Tripleurospermum, Medicago, Satureja and Stachys elsewhere. Widespread in continental Europe.

Ophiomyia curvipalpis (Zetterstedt, 1848) [Diptera: Agromyzidae].

1c > Leaf-miner

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2a > 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 (Bladmineerders van Europa).

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

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

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

2b > Leaf-miner: An initially linear mine, which at second instar develops into a large whitish blotch with conspicuous black frass. The early linear mine is frequently entirely enveloped by the blotch but is detectable by the alternate irregular strips of frass. Pupation external (Spencer, 1976: 158).

The first part of the mine consists of a long, slender upper-surface corridor. After the first moult this changes into a large primary blotch without feeding lines. Frass in the corridor in short, somewhat angular thread fragments, towards the end even in grains. Frass arranged less closely along the sides than in A. lamii. Pupation outside the mine (Bladmineerders van Europa).

The frass is conspicuous in the mine and the mine is initially linear, then develops into a white blotch, often enveloping this early mine (British leafminers).

On Ajuga, Ballota, Glechoma, Lamium, Marrubium and Stachys in Britain and additional Lamiaceae elsewhere. In southern England and continental Europe.

Amauromyza morionella (Zetterstedt, 1848) [Diptera: Agromyzidae].

2c > Leaf-miner: A linear-blotch mine, first instar mine is linear, later developing into a conspicuous white blotch. Frass greenish diffused (Spencer, 1972b: 46, 47 (fig. 138); Spencer, 1976: 166).

The mine begins with a long, upper-surface, slender corridor. After a moult the larva changes its behaviour, and makes a large, upper-surface primary blotch without apparent feeding lines. Often the blotch overruns more or less the initial corridor. Frass in the corridor liquified to form a wide green band, with a few tiny black granules along the sides. Pupation outside the mine (Bladmineerders van Europa).

A narrow gallery leading to a largish blotch on the upper surface. Frass is green and indistinct in the gallery - small grains may be seen at the gallery edge (British leafminers).

Amauromyza labiatarum puparium
Amauromyza labiatarum puparium
Image: © Willem Ellis (Bladmineerders van Europa)

On numerous genera of Lamiaceae, including Stachys, in Britain and elsewhere. Widespread and locally common in south of England. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland and widespread and frequently common in continental Europe.

Amauromyza labiatarum (Hendel, 1920) [Diptera: Agromyzidae].

2d > Leaf-miner: Initially a long, slim corridor, the frass alternating on either the side of the corridor. After moulting, the larva broadens the mine and the frass is less regular. Pupation external (Bladmineerders van Europa).
Mine of Amauromyza lamii on Stachys sylvatica. Image: © Willem Ellis (Source: Bladmineerders en plantengallen van Europa)
Mine of Amauromyza lamii on Stachys sylvatica
Image: © Willem Ellis (Bladmineerders van Europa)

Hosts in Britain unknown. The record on Glechoma from Warwick (Kingsbury Wood) (Robbins, 1991: 103) is considered unlikely to be correct (Henshaw in Chandler, 1998). On Ajuga, Ballota, Galeopsis, Glechoma, Lamiastrum, Lamium, Leonurus, Marrubium, Mellitis, Mentha, Scutellaria and Stachys elsewhere. Widespread in continental Europe.

Amauromyza lamii (Kaltenbach, 1858) [Diptera: Agromyzidae].

2e > Leaf-miner: Full depth, initially a much branched corridor, irregular in width, in the end almost a blotch. The mine has openings by which part of the frass is ejected. The larvae frequently leave the mine to restart elsewhere. Older larva live free and cause window feeding, often erasing their old mines. In Coltsfoot also pseudo-mines are made, when the larva eats away the lower epidermis with the leaf tissue, but spares the dense hair cover (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Ranunculus, but not yet on Stachys, in Britain. On numerous genera and species in several families elsewhere, including Adoxa. Distribution in Britain unknown. Widespread in continental Europe.

Phytosciara halterata Lengersdorf, 1926 [Diptera: Sciaridae].



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


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: Blotch mines reaching the edge of the leaf, initially pale green turning brownish white, are caused by the larva feeding on the underside of a leaf (UKMoths). The fully developed case is slender, shining black brown, about 9 mm long. Towards the end a narrow, transparent yellowish ventral keel. Mouth angle 50-60°. Cases on the leaf underside (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Calamintha, Clinopodium, Glechoma, ? Lycopus, Mentha, Nepeta, Origanum, Prunella, Salvia, Stachys and Thymus in Britain plus Melissa, Melittis and Satureja but not Calamintha elsewhere. Throughout England and Wales and a few places in Scotland. Widespread in continental Europe.

Coleophora albitarsella Zeller, 1849 [Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae].

2b > Leaf-miner and case-bearer: The mines are large and obvious on the upper side of the leaf, betraying the larva or larvae on the lower side (UKMoths). Cases are broad and flat - being very hairy from the texture of the leaf (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 in a blotch of 2 x 5 mm, from which the young case is cut. The fully developed case is a hairy, greyish brown to silver grey lobe case 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).

Coleophora lineolea larva,  dorsal
Coleophora lineolea larva, dorsal
Image: © Willem Ellis (Bladmineerders van Europa)

On Ballota, Lamium, Marrubium and Stachys in Britain and Ballota, Lamiun, Marrubium, Phlomis and Stachys elsewhere. Widespread in England in Britain. Widespread in continental Europe.

Coleophora lineolea (Haworth, 1828) [Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae].

2c > Leaf-miner and case-bearer: The larva constructs a distinctive dark brown case from fragments of leaf (UKMoths). The case is illustrated in British leafminers. Dark brown, bivalved, composite leaf case, about 10 mm long, and composed of 6-8 ringlets (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Stachys in Britain and elsewhere. Now a very local species in Britain, it was formerly more widespread but generally is restricted to a few localities in southern England. Widespread in continental Europe.

Coleophora wockeella Zeller, 1849 [Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae].

3a > Leaf-miner: Rather long corridor winding through the leaf, regularly crossing itself. The corridor later widens considerably. Frass normally in a narrow central line, but may also lie along the side, or be absent. The larva regularly leaves a mine and restarts elsewhere (Bladmineerders van Europa).

On Lamiastrum galeobdolon and Lamium album, but not yet on Stachys, in Britain plus Ajuga reptans, Clinopodium vulgare, Lamium, Prunella, Stachys, Teucrium, Plantago major, Veronica, chamaedrys and Veronica longifolia elsewhere. Widespread in England and continental Europe.

Apteropeda globosa (Illiger, 1794) [Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae].

3b > Leaf-miner: Rather long full depth corridor that winds freely through the leaf and may cross itself. In the end the corridor widens considerably. Frass mostly in a narrow central line, but may also be deposited along the sides or be missing. The larvae regular leave a mine to restart elsewhere. Pupation outside the mine. Neither larva or mine can be distinguished from that of related species (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Polyphagous. On numerous genera and species in several plant families, including Stachys, in Britain and elsewhere. Widespread in Britain and continental Europe.

Apteropeda orbiculata (Marsham, 1802) [Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae].

3c > Leaf-miner: In the first instar the larva mines the leaves, forming short, irregular, blotch-like mines, but in later instars it lives externally, feeding in spun leaves and often twisting those of tender shoots. Larval head light-brown or yellowish brown, edged with black postero-laterally, ocellar area blackish; prothoracic plate black edged with whitish anteriorly; abdomen dull dark green; pinacula distinct, black, sometimes brownish but with black bases to setae; anal plate large, black (Bradley et al., 1973). Small, full depth mine without a definite shape; little frass. Some silk is deposited in the mine. The larva soon leaves the mine and continues feeding among spun leaves (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Polyphagous. On numerous genera and species of several plant families, but not yet on Stachys, in Britain. On numerous genera and species of several plant families, including Stachys, elsewhere. Widespread in Britain and continental Europe. Also recorded from the Channel Is.

Cnephasia incertana (Treitschke, 1835) [Lepidoptera: Tortricidae].



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