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


Chromatomyia gentianae (Hendel, 1920)
[Diptera: Agromyzidae]

Phytomyza gentianae Hendel, 1920. Arch. Naturgesch. 84A(7) (1918): 163
Chromatomyia gentianae (Hendel, 1920); Spencer, 1990. Host specialization in the World Agromyzidae (Diptera) : 180, 182 (figs 674-6), 183, 396, 397, 405.
Phytomyza gentianae Hendel, 1920; Winkler et al. 2009. Syst. ent. 34: 260-292.

Leaf-mine: The mine begins as a small upper-surface blotch, from which corridors radiate. Wile these become longer and more numerous a secondary blotch develops. Frass in pearl strings. Pupation within the mine (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Mine of Chromatomyia gentianae on Gentiana cruciata. Image: Willem Ellis (Source: Bladmineerders van Europa)
Mine of Chromatomyia gentianae on Gentiana cruciata
Image: © Willem Ellis (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.

Posterior spiracles with 8-9 bulbs. The larva is illustrated in Bladmineerders van Europa.

Chromatomyia gentianae larva,  lateral
Chromatomyia gentianae larva, lateral
Image: © Willem Ellis (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).

Comments: Spencer (1972b: 95) recorded Chromatomyia gentianae (as Phytomyza) on Blackstonia perfoliata and Centaurium erythrae (as minus). However, he later (Spencer, 1990: 396-7) recognised that specimens on Blackstonia perfoliata and specimens on Centaurium erythrae represented two different new species, which he described as Chromatomyia blackstoniae and Chromatomyia centaurii respectively.

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland: Currently unknown.

Hosts elsewhere:

Gentiana       Spencer, 1990: 183
Gentiana asclepiadea Willow Gentian   Bladmineerders van Europa
Gentiana cruciata Cross Gentian   Bladmineerders van Europa
Gentiana lutea     Bladmineerders van Europa
Gentiana pneumonanthe Marsh Gentian British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Gentiana punctata     Bladmineerders van Europa
Gentiana septemfida     Bladmineerders van Europa
Gentianella       Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - mines: July and August-September (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Currently unknown.

Distribution elsewhere: All confirmed records so far are from the mountains of central Europe (Spencer, 1990). Also recorded in The Netherlands (Bladmineerders van Europa), Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, French mainland, Germany, Italian mainland, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Spanish mainland, Switzerland and The Netherlands (Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Gentiana asclepiadea, Gentiana pneumonanthe

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Chrysocharis pubens Delucchi, 1954 Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Chrysocharis pubicornis (Zetterstedt, 1838) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Ichneumonoidea - Links to species no longer available  
Chorebus dagda (Nixon, 1943) Braconidae: Alysiinae

External links: Search the internet:

Biodiversity Heritage Library
Bladmineerders van Europa
British leafminers
Encyclopedia of Life
Fauna Europaea
NBN Atlas
NHM UK Checklist, includes centaurii and blackstoniae

Find using Google
Find using Google Scholar
Find images using Google

XHTML Validator Last updated 09-Jul-2019 Brian Pitkin Top of page