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


SMYRNIUM. Alexanders. [Apiaceae]

Two introduced species of Smyrnium are recorded in Britain, Alexanders (S. olusatrum) and Perfoliate Alexanders (S. perfoliatum).

Three British miners are recorded on Smyrnium.

A key to the European miners recorded on Smyrnium is provided in Bladmineerders van Europa.

Alexanders - Smyrnium olusatrum. Image: © Brian Pitkin
Smyrnium olusatrum

Key for the identification of the known mines of British
insects (Diptera and non-Diptera) recorded on Smyrnium

1a > Leaf-miner: A large blotch, yellow or brown, preceded by a short corridor that in the end mostly is completely overrun. Generally several larvae share a mine. Especially in fresh mines the green primary and secondary feeding lines are well visible. Pupation outside the mine. Puparium yellow.

Euleia heraclei puparia
Euleia heraclei
Image: © Willem Ellis (Bladmineerders van Europa)

Polyphagous. On numerous genera of Apiaceae and possibly some Asteraceae, including Smyrnium, in Britain and elsewhere. Throughout the British Isles. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland and most of the Palaearctic region, as far east as Afghanistan.

Euleia heraclei (Linnaeus, 1758) [Diptera: Tephritidae].

1b > Leaf-miner: Mine linear throughout, running first for a very short length on the lower surface, then remaining on the upper surface. A narrow early section is deeper than the rest; frass in black grains or lumps in two irregular rows, later one. Pupation external, exit slit through lower surface (Spencer, 1972b: 108).

Possibly on Smynium olusatrum in Britain. On Smynium olusatrum elsewhere. Distribution in Britain unknown. Only recorded from Portugal in continental Europe.

Phytomyza smyrnii Spencer, 1954 [Diptera: Agromyzidae].

1c > Leaf-miner: Rather narrow corridor, untidy and sometimes branched, starting from the base of the leaf, in particular the midrib. Sides of the corridor irregularly eaten out, not really parallel. Frass mostly present, and then in a central line. The larva is capable of leaving the mine and start a new one elsewhere. These later mines are much broader, and the frass is scattered irregularly..

Mine of Orthochaetes insignis on Prunella vulgaris
Mine of Orthochaetes insignis on Prunella vulgaris
Image: © Jean-Yves Baugnée (Bladmineerders van Europa)

Host plants unknown in Britain. On numerous genera and species in several plant families, including Smyrnium, elsewhere. Recorded in southern England. Widespread in continental Europe.

Orthochaetes insignis (Aube, 1863) [Coleoptera: Curculionidae].

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