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


Cerodontha spinata (Groschke, 1954)
[Diptera: Agromyzidae]

Phytobia (Dizygomyza) spinata Groschke, 1954. Dt. ent. Z. 1: 145
Cerodontha (Dizygomyza) spinata (Groschke, 1954); Spencer, 1990. Host specialization in the world Agromyzidae (Diptera) : 351, 352
Cerodontha spinata (Groschke, 1954); Gibbs, 2002. Dipterists Digest 9: 154.

Leaf-miner: Upper surface mine that finishes in the leaf sheath. Mine changes direction at least twice. Frass in one large lump. Pupation in the mine, usually in the leaf sheath (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.

The larva is described by Nowakowski (1973). The larval thorax has both ventrally and dorsally, sometimes paired, protuberances. In this species the paired projections of the pronotum in the puparial stage penetrate the wall of the puparium as two conspicuous spines (Bladmineerders van Europa).

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).

Posterior spiracles each with three, extended bulbs (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Carex sylvatica Wood-sedge British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Gibbs, 2002: 154

Hosts elsewhere:

Carex pilosa     Bladmineerders van Europa
Carex pilosa     Spencer, 1990: 352
Carex sylvatica Wood-sedge British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Carex sylvatica Wood-sedge British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Spencer, 1990: 352

Time of year - larvae: March-June (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Somerset (Folly Farm) (Gibbs, 2002: 154) and Gloucestershire (Gibbs, 2003b); North Somerset (NBN Atlas).

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Poland (Spencer, 1990: 352), Austria, Czech Republic and Germany (Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Carex sylvatica

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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