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


Philophylla caesio (Harris, 1780)
[Diptera: Tephritidae]

Musca caesio Harris, 1780. Expos. Eng. Ins.: 75
Musca lychnidis Fabricius, 1787. Mantissa insect. 2: 353
Philophylla caesio (Harris, 1780); White, 1988. Handbk ident. Br. Ins. 10(5a): 24, 38, 60, 70, 91(fig. 57), 95 (fig, 76), 128 (fig. 257)
Philophylla caesio (Harris, 1780); Chandler, 1998. Handbk ident. Br. Ins. 12:1-234.

Stem borer: The larvae bore in the stem; unclear if this induces any galling. (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).

Comments: Recorded as a miner in the petioles of Urtica sp. by Ferrar (1987), Beiger (1968) and White (1988), although there are unconfirmed records on Caprifoliaceae and Asteraceae, which seems an odd combination of hosts.

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

? Lonicera       Pitkin & Plant
? Lonicera periclymenum Honeysuckle British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. White, 1988: 60
? Sambucus       White, 1988: 60
? Sambucus nigra Elder   Pitkin & Plant
? Silene dioica Red Campion British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. White, 1988: 60
? Symphoricarpos albus Snowberry British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant

Hosts elsewhere:

? Centaurea       White, 1988: 60
Urtica sp.     Beiger, 1968
Urtica sp.     Ferrar, 1987
Urtica sp.     White, 1988: 70
Urtica dioica     Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - mines: ? July.

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: England, as far north as Yorkshire (White, 1988: 38), including the Channel Is. (Fauna Europaea); Anglesey, Berkshire, Breconshire, Buckinghamshire, Caernarvonshire, Cambridgeshire, Cardiganshire, Carmarthemshire, Derbyshire, Dorset, East Kent, East Norfolk, East Suffolk, Glamorgan, Herefordshire, Huntingdonshire, Isle of Man, Leicestershire, Mid Perthshire, Mid-west Yorkshire, Monmouthshire, North Hampshire, North Lincolnshire, North Somerset, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Pembrokeshire, Renfrewshire, Shropshire, South Hampshire, South Lancashire, South Wiltshire, South-east Yorkshire, South-west Yorkshire, Stafford, Surrey, Warwickshire, West Kent, West Lancashire, West Norfolk and Westmorland (NBN Atlas).

Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland (Merz and Korneyev, in Fauna Europaea).

Distribution elsewhere: Throughout Europe, except the north (White, 1988: 38) including Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finald, French mainland, Germany, Italian mainland, Lithuania, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Russia - Central and East, Slovakia, Spanish mainland, Spanish mainland, Sweden Switzerland, The Netherlands and Ukraine (Merz and Korneyev, in Fauna Europaea).

Also recorded in the Near East (Korneyev, in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Confirmed host species records unknown

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Ichneumonoidea - Links to species no longer available  
Opius pallipes Wesmael, 1835 Braconidae: Opiinae

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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