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


Zeugophora subspinosa (Fabricius, 1781)
[Coleoptera : Chrysomelidae]

Crioceris subspinosa Fabricius, 1781
Zeugophora subspinosa
(Fabricius, 1781).

Leaf-miner: All western European Zeugophora make large, blackish brown, upper-surface blotch. Oviposition at the leaf underside, in a small pit, that is covered by secretion. These oviposition marks remain visible as small, transparent points.
Zeugophora subspinosa
Mines of Zeugophora subspinosa
Image: John Lamin

Larva: The larvae of beetles have a head capsule and chewing mouthparts with opposable mandibles and lack abdominal legs (see examples).

The larvae of Zeugophora species are yellow and flattened. They live communal, and leave the mine through an upper-surface exit slit (see Bladmineerders van Europa).

Four Zeugophora species are known from Europe: flavicollis, scutellaris, subspinosa and turneri. (The Fauna Europaea (2007) mentions a fifth species, Z. frontalis, but there is wide consensus that this is but a colour form of scutellaris). The four remaining species make large, blackish-brown upper-surface blotches. The eggs are deposited at the leaf underside; they are inserted in a small pit, that is covered by secretion (Urban, 1922a). This oviposition site remains visible as a transparant spot in the mine, often near its border. The larva is yellow, flattened, and legless. They live in a small group in the mine, vacating the mine before pupation through an upper-surface exit slit. See Warchalowski (2003a) for a key to beetles of Z. flavicollis, scutellaris, subspinosa and turneri. Only shortly ago I discovered the key to the Zeugophora species of North America and Europe by Jong Eun Lee (1998a). Unfortunately, Jong Eun Lee has not taken Z. turneri into account. Quite confusing however is that he states that the mandibles of the other three European species have mandibles with 2 teeth, while both Steinhausen (1994a) and Urban (1922a) write that flavicollis has 3 mandibular teeth. Also an illustration of the larva of Z. scutellaris in Lawson (1991a) shows three, equal sized, teeth (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Pupa: The pupae of beetles have visible head appendages, wings and legs which lie in sheaths (see examples).

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

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Populus tremula Aspen British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant

Hosts elsewhere:

Populus       Bladmineerders van Europa
Populus alba White Poplar British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Populus americana     Bladmineerders van Europa
Populus cathayana     Bladmineerders van Europa
Populus deltoides Necklace Poplar   Bladmineerders van Europa
Populus nigra Black-poplar British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Populus tremula Aspen British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
? Salix       Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: June - September (Hering, 1957).

Time of year - adults: Unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Widespread in England including Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Cheshire, Cumberland, East Kent, East Norfolk, East Suffolk, East Sussex, Herefordshire, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Isle of Wight, Leicestershire, Mid-west Yorkshire, North Essex, North Hampshire, North Lincolnshire, North-east Yorkshire, North Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Shropshire, South Essex, South Hampshire, South Lancashire, South Lincolnshire, South-east Yorkshire, South-west Yorkshire, South Northumberland, Stafford, Surrey, Warwickshire, West Gloucestershire, West Kent, West Norfolk, West Suffolk and West Sussex (NBN Atlas).

Distribution elsewhere: Europe including French and Italian mainlands (Audisio in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Populus alba, Populus nigra, Populus tremula

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Ichneumonoidea - Links to species no longer available  
Meteorus brevicauda Thomson, 1895 Braconidae: Meteorinae

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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