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


Chirosia albitarsis (Zetterstedt, 1845)
[Diptera: Anthomyiidae]

Aricia albitarsis Zetterstedt, 1845. Dipt. Scand. 4: 1610
Anthomyza albimana Zetterstedt, 1845. Dipt. Scand. 4: 1726
Chirosia villeneuvei Schnabl, 1911. Dt. ent. Z. 1911: 84.
Chirosia kuntzei Schnabl, 1911. Dt. ent. Z. 1911: 87.
Chirosia albitarsis (Zetterstedt, 1845).

Stem-miner: Oviposition normally on one of the lower secondary pinnulae. The larva enters a vein and from there descends as a borer in the rachis. Often several larvae together. Attacked leaves can be recognised because the leaf is stunted, often remaining partly unfolded. Pupation in the mine or in the ground (Bladmineerders van Europa). See Brown and McGavin (1982) for details of the biology.

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.

Larva with upper process of cephalopharyngeal skeleton bifid (Bladmineereders 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).

Comments: Ackland in Chandler (1978) did not indicate whether his host record was British or Foreign and is therefore included under 'Hosts in Britain' and 'Hosts elsewhere'.

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:


? Pteridium (stem)

      Ackland in Chandler, 1978: 227

Hosts elsewhere:


? Pteridium (stem)

      Ackland in Chandler, 1978: 227
Pteridium aquilinum Bracken Bracken - Pteridium aquilinum Hering, 1957
Pteridium aquilinum Bracken Bracken - Pteridium aquilinum Hennig, 1966-73
Pteridium aquilinum Bracken Bracken - Pteridium aquilinum Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - mines: May-June (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Widespread and not uncommon (Mike Ackland, pers. comm.) including Berkshire, Breconshire, Buckinghamshire, Cumberland, Dorset, East Kent, East Norfolk, Easterness, Elgin, Glamorgan, Herefordshire, Monmouthshire, North Lincolnshire, North Wiltshire, Nottinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Shropshire, South Devon, South Hampshire, South-west Yorkshire, Stafford, Surrey, West Cornwall, Wesy Gloucestershire, West Kent, West Norfolk West Ross and West Suffolk (NBN Atlas).

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including The Netherlands (Bladmineerders van Europa), Corsica, Crete, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, French mainland, Germany, Greek mainland, Italian mainland, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Romania, Russia - North, Sicily, Slovakia, Spanish mainland, Sweden and Yugoslavia (Michelsen in Fauna Europaea).

Also recorded in East Palaearctic, Near East, North Africa and Oriental Region (Michelsen in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Pteridium aquilinum

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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