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


Scaptomyza pallida (Zetterstedt, 1847)
[Diptera: Drosophilidae]

Drosophila pallida Zetterstedt, 1847. Dipt. Scand. 6: 2571
Drosophila disticha Duda, 1921. Jh. Ver. schles. Insektenk. Breslau 13: 64.
Scaptomyza pallida (Zetterstedt, 1847).

Leaf-miner: Corridor-blotch mine. Mine either upper or underside, whitish. Frass in small black clumps.

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.

Watch a video of a scaptomyzid fly larva on Arabidopsis on YouTube by mash92587.

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).

Adult: The adult is illustrated in the Encyclopedia of Life.

Comments: The species has been recorded feeding on decaying vegetation, particularly giant hogweed, Heracleum mantegazzianum and Cirsium. Chandler (1978) did not indicate whether his host record was British or Foreign and is therefore included under 'Hosts in Britain' and 'Hosts elsewhere'.

Robbins (1991) recorded Scaptomyza pallida on Polygonatum. This is not correct (Willem Ellis, pers. comm.).

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:


? Allium

      Chandler, 1978: 225

Hosts elsewhere:


? Allium

      Chandler, 1978: 225
Allium       Hering, 1957
Allium cepa Onion   Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - mines: Currently unknown.

Time of year - adults: There are at least two generations a year, with adults most abundant in July and September.

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Widespread, from the Orkney Islands in the north to the Channel Islands in the south including Anglesey, Bedfordshire, Breconshire, Buckinghamshire, Caernarvonshire, Cambridgeshire, Cardiganshire, Carmarthenshire, Cheshire, Cumberland, Denbighshire, Derbyshire, Dorset, East Cornwall, East Kent, East Norfolk, East Suffolk, East Suffolk, East Sussex, East Sutherland, Elgin, Fife, Flintshire, Glamorgan, Herefordshire, Huntingdonshire, Leicestershire, Merionethshire, Mid-west Yorkshire, Middlesex, Monmouthshire, Montgomeryshire, North Ebudes, North Essex, North Hampshire, North Northumberland, North Somerset, North-east Yorkshire, North-west Yorkshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Pembrokeshire, Radnorshire, Renfrewshire, Shropshire, South Aberdeenshire, South Devon, South Essex, South Hampshire, South Lancashire, South Lincolnshire, South Northumberland, South Somerset, South-east Yorkshire, South-west Yorkshire, Stafford, West Cornwall, West Gloucestershire, West Kent, West Lancashire, West Norfolk, West Suffolk, West Sussex, Westmorland and Worcestershire (NBN Atlas). Also recorded in the Channel Islands (Pape and Bächli in Fauna Europaea).

Distribution elsewhere: Occurs worldwide and is Widespread in continental Europe, Asia and north Africa (Bächli and Roche Pite, 1984) including Albania, Andorra, Austria, Azores, Balearic Is., Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canary Is., Corsica, Crete, Croatia, Cyclades Is., Cyprus, Czech Republic, Danish mainlan, Dodecanese Is, European Turkey, Faroe Is., Finland, French mainland, Germany, Greek mainland, Hungary, Iceland, Italian mainland, Kaliningrad Region, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Macedonia, Madeira, Malta, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Portuguese mainland, Romania, Russia - Central, North, Northwest and South, Sardinia, Sicily, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spanish mainland, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Ukraine and Yugoslavia (Pape and Bächli in Fauna Europaea).

Also recorded from the Afro-tropical region, Australian region, East Palaearctic, Near East, Nearctic region, Neotropical region, North Africa and North Africa (Pape and Bächli in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Allium cepa

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Ichneumonoidea - Links to species no longer available  
Chasmodon apterus (Nees, 1812) Braconidae: Alysiinae
Dinotrema dimidiatum (Thomson, 1895) Braconidae: Alysiinae
Dinotrema microcera (Thomson, 1895) Braconidae: Alysiinae
Orthostigma cratospilum (Thompson, 1895) Braconidae: Alysiinae
Pentapleura angustula (Haliday, 1838) Braconidae: Alysiinae
Pentapleura fuliginosa (Haliday, 1838) Braconidae: Alysiinae
Tanycarpa bicolor (Nees, 1812) 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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