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


Amauromyza chenopodivora Spencer, 1971
[Diptera: Agromyzidae]

Amauromyza (Cephalomyza) chenopodivora Spencer, 1971a. Entomologis't Gaz. 22: 160
Amauromyza (Cephalomyza) chenopodivora Spencer, 1971a; Spencer, 1972b. Handbk ident. Br. Ins. 10(5g): 45
Amauromyza (Cephalomyza) chenopodivora Spencer, 1971a; Spencer, 1976. Fauna ent. Scand. 5(1): 158-9, figs 285-90.
Amauromyza chenopodivora Spencer, 1971a; Spencer, 1990. Host specialization in the world Agromyzidae (Diptera) : 63, 64, 65 (fig. 231), 70.

Leaf- and stem-mine: Oviposition can take place in the leaf, where a short mine is formed. The young larva feeds towards the mid-rib and down into the stem. Alternatively a true mine can be formed in the stem before the larva burrows deeper into the pith. Pupation external (Spencer, 1976: 160).

The larva bores in the pith of the stem, and eats this out while descending as low as the root collar. But before that it makes a linear mine in the green rind of the stem. Occasionally oviposition takes place on a leaf, leading to a fine corridor (without frass) running towards the midrib, and from there to the stem. The place where the larva finally exits the stem for pupation is indicated by a red-ringed hole (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.

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. Posterior spiracles each with 3 elongate bulbs (Spencer, 1976: 160).

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Chenopodium       Robbins, 1991: 37
Chenopodium album Fat-hen British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Spencer, 1972b: 111

Hosts elsewhere:

Amaranthus       Bladmineerders van Europa
Chenopodium       Spencer, 1990: 63
Chenopodium album Fat-hen British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Spencer, 1976: 160
Chenopodium album Fat-hen British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - mines: September.

Time of year - adults: June.

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Recorded in Cambridgeshire (Cambridge) and Derbyshire (Worthington) (Spencer, 1972b: 45).

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Denmark, Finland, Sweden (Spencer, 1976: 160), The Netherlands (Bladmineerders van Europa), Germany (Spencer, 1976: 550), Belgium, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Sweden (Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Chenopodium album

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere: Currently unknown.

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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