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


Delina nigrita (Fallén, 1819)
[Diptera: Scathophagidae]

Cordylura nigrita Fallén 1819
Delina nigrita (Fallén 1819)

Root and stem feeder / Leaf-mine: The larva first tunnels in the rootstock and the stem. From there long, untidily delineated corridors are made into the leaves. Pupation in the underground parts of the plant (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 larvae lie on their sides within the mine and use their pick-like mouthparts to feed on plant tissue.

Described by de Meijere (1940b). Rear spiracula on a common black spot, each with about 20 bulbs; mandible with 2 teeth (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: Robbins (1990:130) records Delina nigrita on Orchidaceae, but the description he gives of the mine as an 'irregular corridor, mostly alonside the midrib and with fairly long-sided spurs' does not agree with the description given in Bladmineerders van Europa.

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland: Currently unknown.

Hosts elsewhere:

Dactylorhiza       Bladmineerders van Europa
Goodyera repens Creeping Lady's-tresses British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Orchis       Bladmineerders van Europa
Orchis anthropophorum    

Bladmineerders van Europa, as Aceras anthropophorum

Time of year - mines: Larvae in June-July (Hering, 1957a) (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Widespread in Britain including Anglesey, Cambridgeshire, East Norfolk, East Ross, Mid-west Yorkshire, North Ebudes, Pembrokeshire, South Lancashire, Warwickshire, West Lancashire, West Norfolk and West Suffolk (NBN Atlas).

Also recorded in the Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland (de Jong in Fauna Europaea).

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Austria, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Lithuania, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Russia (North), Slovakia, Spanish mainland, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands and the East Palaearctic (de Jong in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Goodyera repens

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

External links: Search the internet:
Biodiversity Heritage Library
Bladmineerders van Europa
British leafminers
Encyclopedia of Life
Fauna Europaea
NBN Atlas
NHM UK Checklist
Find using Google
Find using Google Scholar
Find images using Google

XHTML Validator Last updated 28-Mar-2018 Brian Pitkin Top of page