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


Metopomyza xanthaspis (Loew, 1858)
[Diptera: Agromyzidae]

Agromyza xanthaspis Loew, 1858. Wien. ent. Mschr. 2: 79
Agromyza xanthaspis Loew, 1858; Hendel, 1932. Fliegen palaearkt. Reg. 6(2): 264
Metopomyza xanthaspis (Loew, 1858); Spencer, 1972. Handbk Ident. Br. Insects X 5(g): 60, 122
Metopomyza xanthaspis (Loew, 1858); Spencer, 1976. Fauna ent. Scand. 5(1): 290, fig. 523.
Metopomyza xanthaspis (Loew, 1858); Spencer, 1990. Host specialization in the World Agromyzidae (Diptera) : 347, 348 (fig. 1312), 351.

Leaf-miner: Mine initially lower surface running towards the apex, later continuing down towards the leaf base on the upper surface (developing into a broad blotch, with frass scattered irregularly). Pupation external (Spencer, 1972b: 60).

The mine begins as a very narrow lower-surface corridor running in the direction of the leaf tip. Close to the tip the mine becomes upper-surface and redescends towards the leaf base, widening meanwihle, until all space between the midrib and a leaf margin is occupied. In the later parts of the mine frass in relatively coarse irregular grains. Pupation outside the mine (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.

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).

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Carex       Spencer, 1972b: 122

Hosts elsewhere:

Carex       Spencer, 1976: 291
Carex       Spencer, 1990: 351
Carex       Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - mines: Currently unknown.

Time of year - adults: June.

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Widespread in Britain including Suffolk (Barton Mills), Inverness (Cairgorms, Riach, Devil's Ditch) (Spencer, 1972b: 60); Glamorgan and South-west Yorkshire (NBN Atlas).

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in western Europe including Denmark, Finland, Sweden (Spencer, 1976: 291), The Netherlands (Bladmineerders van Europa), Belgium (Scheirs, de Bruyn and von Tschirnhaus, 1995), Germany (Spencer, 1976: 562), Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, French mainland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Spanish mainland and Switzerland (Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Host species unknown

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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