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

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Agromyza pseudoreptans Nowakowski, 1964
[Diptera: Agromyzidae]

Agromyza urticae Nowakowski, 1964. Dt. ent. Z. [2] 11: 192. [Preoccupied by Agromyza urticae Watt, 1924: 685] Agromyza pseudoreptans Nowakowski, 1967. Polskie Pismo ent. 37: 658
Agromyza pseudoreptans Nowakowski, 1967; Spencer, 1972b. Handbk ident. Br. Ins. 10(5g): 34 (figs 92-3), 35, 121
Agromyza pseudoreptans Nowakowski, 1967; Spencer, 1976. Fauna ent. Scand. 5(1): 136, figs 241-3.
Agromyza pseudoreptans Nowakowski, 1967; Spencer, 1990. Host specialization in the world Agromyzidae (Diptera) : 54, 57, 58 (fig. 217), 93, 198, 299.

Leaf-mine: Larva forming an irregular elongate linear blotch mine, normally adjoining margin of leaf (Spencer, 1976: 137).

Forms a long blotch mine, which is usually adjacent to the edge of the leaf, which turns black (British leafminers).

Full depth corridor, mostly beginning at the leaf margin, and never starting with a closely set, intestine-like, number of curves. Further on the corridor considerably widens, mostly keeping close to the leaf margin. Often several larvae in a mine. Frass in lumps or short rods, never in long threads. Pupation outside the mine (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Larva: The larvae of flies 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 larva is described by Dempewolf (2001: 48). Posterior spiracles each with 3 bulbs, surrounded by four groups of hairs (Spencer, 1972b: 35, fig. 93).

Agromyza pseudoreptans puparium
Agromyza pseudoreptans puparium
Image: © Willem Ellis (Bladmineerders van Europa)

Puparium: The puparia of flies are 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).

Yellow-orange (Bladmineerders van Europa) to reddish-brown (Spencer, 1976: 137).

Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:

Urtica       Robbins, 1991: 71
Urtica dioica Common Nettle British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Mines in BMNH
Urtica dioica Common Nettle British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Spencer, 1972b: 121
Urtica dioica Common Nettle British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers

Hosts elsewhere:

? Humulus       Spencer, 1990: 53
Parietaria       Spencer, 1990: 54
Urtica       Spencer, 1990: 54
Urtica dioica Common Nettle British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Spencer, 1976: 137
Urtica dioica Common Nettle British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Dempewolf, 2001: 48
Urtica dioica Common Nettle British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Urtica pilulifera Roman Nettle   Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - mines: July; October (British leafminers).

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: Widespread and common in Britain including London (Hampstead), Surrey (Box Hill), Suffolk (Boyton), Dunbartonshire (Bonhill) (Spencer, 1972b: 35), Warwickshire (Exhall) (Robbins, 1991: 71), Breconshire, Caernarvonshire, Cambridgeshire, Cardiganshire, Carmarthenshire, Cuimberland, Denbighshire, Derbyshire, East Gloucestershire, East Kent, Elgin, Flintshire, Glamorgan, Herefordshire, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Leicestershire, Mid-west Yorkshire, North Essex, North Somerset, Northamptonshire, South Lancashire, South Somerset, South-west Yorkshire, Stafford and West Gloucestershire (NBN Atlas).

Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland: Co. Clare (Dunratty) (Spencer, 1972b: 35).

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Poland, Germany, Italy (Spencer, 1976: 137), The Netherlands, Luxembourg (Bladmineerders van Europa), Belgium (Scheirs, de Bruyn and von Tschirnhaus, 1996), Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, French mainland, Hungary, Lithuania, Slovakia (Martinez in Fauna Europaea).

Also widespread in Canada (Spencer, 1969a: 54-5) and the U.S.A. (Frick, 1952).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Urtica dioica, Urtica pilulifera

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Miscogaster rufipes Walker, 1833 Pteromalidae: Miscogastrinae
Chorebus lateralis (Haliday, 1839) Braconidae: Alysiinae
Dacnusa abdita (Haliday, 1839) Braconidae: Alysiinae
Exotela hera (Nixon, 1937) Braconidae: Alysiinae
Heterolexis balteata (Thomson, 1895) Braconidae: Alysiinae
Atormus victus (Haliday, 1837) Braconidae: Opiinae
Opius ambiguus Wesmael, 1835 Braconidae: Opiinae
Opius cingulatus Wesmael, 1835 Braconidae: Opiinae
Opius singularis Wesmael, 1835 Braconidae: Opiinae

External links: Search the internet:
Biodiversity Heritage Library
Bladmineerders van Europa
British leafminers
Encyclopedia of Life
Fauna Europaea
NBN Atlas
NHM UK Checklist
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