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 grossicauda Strobl, 1899
[Diptera: Anthomyiidae]

Chirosia grossicauda Strobl, 1899. Wien. ent. Ztg. 18: 222
Chirosia parvicornis auctt., not Zetterstedt, 1845 [Misidentification].

Leaf-miner: The larva mines the lower surface of rachis, close to the lesf tip. The upper surface is left intact, resulting in growth disturbance that causes the leaf tip to strongly curl downwards. Larva generally solitary. Pupation within the roll (Bladmineerders van Europa).

The miner causes the pinna tip to curl downwards (British leafminers).

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 de Meijere (1911) and illustrated in Bladmineerders van Europa. The larval mouthparts are illustrated in British leafminers.

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: Included in Redfern et al. (2002: 397, fig 645) in keys to galls. 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

      Ackland in Chandler, 1978: 227, as parvicornis
Pteridium aquilinum Bracken Bracken - Pteridium aquilinum British leafminers
Pteridium aquilinum Bracken Bracken - Pteridium aquilinum Robbins, 1991: 20

Hosts elsewhere:

Asplenium       Bladmineerders van Europa
Asplenium       Hennig, 1966-73
Asplenium       Hering, 1957

? Pteridium

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

Time of year - mines: August - October (British leafminers).

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Common and widely distributed including Warwickshire (Robbins, 1991), Berkshire, Breconshire, Buckinghamshire, Caernarvonshire, Dorset, East Cornwall, East Gloucestershire, East Kent, East Norfolk, East Ross, East Suffolk, East Sussex, Easterness, Elgin, Flintshire, Glamorgan, Herefordshire, Hertfordshire, Isle of Wight, Leicestershire, Main Argyll, Merionethshire, Mid Ebudes, Monmouthshire, Montgomershire, North Ebudes, North Essex, North Somerset, Nottinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Shropshire, South Devon, South Hampshire, South Lancashire, South Somerset, South-west Yorkshire, Stafford, Surrey, West Cornwall, West Gloucestershire, West Norfolk, West Ross, West Suffolk, West Sussex, West Sutherland and Westmorland (NBN Atlas).

Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland (Michelsen in Fauna Europaea).

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including The Netherlands (Bladmineerders van Europa) and Belgium (Gosseries and Ackland, 1991), Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, French mainland, Germany, Lithuanaia, Norwegian mainland, Russia - Central and North, Slovakia, Spanish mainland and Sweden (Michelsen in Fauna Europaea).

Also recorded East Palaearctic 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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