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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Phytomyza petoei Hering, 1924
[Diptera: Agromyzidae]

Phytomyza petoei Hering, 1924a. Z. wiss. InsektBiol. 19: 39, as petöi
Phytomyza petoei Hering, 1924a; Hendel, 1935. Fliegen palaearkt. Reg. 6(2): 453
Phytomyza petoei Hering, 1924a; Spencer, 1972b. Handbk ident. Br. Ins. 10(5g): 86 (fig. 289), 88, 116
Phytomyza petoei Hering, 1924a; Spencer, 1976. Fauna ent. Scand. 5(1): 467-8, figs 819-822.
Phytomyza petoei Hering, 1924a; Spencer, 1990. Host specialization in the World Agromyzidae (Diptera) : 205, 207, 208 (figs 774-5).

Leaf-mine: An irregularly linear mine which may become a secondary blotch. Pupation normally external, but not infrequently the puparium remains in the leaf at the prepared exit slit (Spencer, 1972b: 86 (fig. 289), 88; Spencer, 1976: 467 (fig. 822, 468).

Upper-surface corridor, often branched and crossing itself, but not forming a secondary blotch. Frass mainly in thread fragments. Pupaption generally outside the mine. Sometimes pupation occurs within the mine, near the lower epidermis, but then already an exit slit has been made, and the spiracula do not penetrate the epidermis (Hering, 1924a, 1957a) - see Bladmineerders van Europa.

An irregular linear mine formed, commonly on garden mints. A secondary blotch may be formed (British leafminers).

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 de Meijere (1937) and Spencer (1973a). The posterior spiracles each with approx. 25 bulbs.

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).

Yellowish-brown; posterior spiracles each with an ellipse of some 25 bulbs (Spencer, 1976: 468).

Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:

Mentha       Robbins, 1991: 99
Mentha       British leafminers
Mentha       Spencer, 1972b: 88
Mentha longifolia Horse Mint   Mines in BMNH
Mentha spicata Spear Mint British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Robbins, 1989: 25
Mentha spicata Spear Mint British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Spencer, 1972b: 116
Mentha x villosa Apple-mint British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Robbins, 1989: 25, as villosa var. alopecuroides

Hosts elsewhere:

Melissa       Spencer, 1990: 207
Mentha       Hering, 1957
Mentha       Mines in BMNH
Mentha       Spencer, 1976: 467
Mentha       Spencer, 1990: 207
Mentha aquatica Water Mint British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Mentha longifolia Horse Mint   Mines in BMNH
Mentha longifolia Horse Mint   Bladmineerders van Europa
Mentha spicata Spear Mint British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - mines: June.

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: Probably not uncommon. London (Hamsptead), Surrey (Epsom), Gloucester (Kilcot) (Spencer, 1972b: 88), Bedford (Lower Stondon) and Hampshire (Fleet) (British leafminers) and Warwickshire (Coventry) (Robbins, 1991: 99); East Suffolk and Hertfordshire (NBN Atlas).

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe from Britain to the Balkans, including Denmark (Spencer, 1976: 468), Germany (Spencer, 1976: 574), Switzerland (Mines in BMNH), Corsica, European Turkey, French mainland, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Spanish mainland and Yugoslavia (Martinez in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Mentha aquatica, Mentha longifolia, Mentha spicata, Mentha x villosa

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Chrysocharis pubicornis (Zetterstedt, 1838) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Halticoptera circulus (Walker, 1833) Pteromalidae: Miscogastrinae
Miscogaster maculata Walker, 1833 Pteromalidae: Miscogastrinae
Chorebus nanus (Nixon, 1943) Braconidae: Alysiinae
Dacnusa maculipes Thomson, 1895 Braconidae: Alysiinae

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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