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


Phytomyza aconiti Hendel, 1920
[Diptera: Agromyzidae]

Phytomyza aconiti Hendel, 1920. Arch. Naturgesch. 84A(7) (1918): 159
Phytomyza aconiti Hendel, 1920; Hendel, 1934. Fliegen palaearkt. Reg. 6(2): 329
Phytomyza aconiti Hendel, 1920; Spencer, 1972b. Handbk ident. Br. Ins. 10(5g): 77, 118
Phytomyza aconiti Hendel, 1920; Spencer, 1976. Fauna ent. Scand. 5(1): 364-6, figs 633-5
Phytomyza aconiti Hendel, 1920; Spencer, 1990. Host specialization in the World Agromyzidae (Diptera) : 21, 26 (figs 58-9), 27, 50.

Leaf-miner: Larvae feeding communally, as many as six together, forming large blackish blotch (Spencer, 1972b: 77).

Large, greyish-brown, upper-surface blotch, mostly near the tip of a leaflet, without a preceding corridor. Primary feeding lines conspicuous. Several larvae share a mine. Pupation outside the mine. Exit slit in upper epidermis (Pakalniskis, 2004a) - see also Bladmineerders van Europa.

The mine is illustrated in 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.

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).

Dark brown, somewhat elongate (Spencer, 1972b: 77).

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Aconitum       Mines in BMNH
Aconitum       Robbins, 1991: 26
Aconitum       Spencer, 1972b: 118
Delphinium       Mines in BMNH
Delphinium       Robbins, 1991: 26
Delphinium       Spencer, 1972b: 118
Delphinium elatum Alpine Delphinium   Mines in BMNH

Hosts elsewhere:

Aconitum       Spencer, 1976: 366
Aconitum       Spencer, 1990: 21
Aconitum carmichaellii     Bladmineerders van Europa
Aconitum lycoctonum subsp. neapolitanum     Bladmineerders van Europa
Aconitum napellus Monkshood British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Aconitum variegatum     Bladmineerders van Europa
Consolida ajacis Larkspur British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Delphinium       Spencer, 1976: 366
Delphinium       Spencer, 1990: 21
Delphinium elatum     Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - mines: June-July.

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Widespread in gardens. London (Buckingham Palace Gardens), Surrey (Kew Gardens, Wisley RHS Gardens), Hampshire (Ringwood), Suffolk (Newmarket) (Spencer, 1972b: 77) and Warwickshire (Coventry) (Robbins, 1991: 26); Elgin, Glamorgan, Leicestershire and Surrey (NBN Atlas).

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe, including Denmark, Sweden (Spencer, 1976: 366), The Netherlands (Bladmineerders van Europa), Germany (Spencer, 1976: 566), Czech Republic, French mainland and Poland (Fauna Europaea).

Also recorded in the eastern U.S.A. and Canada (Quebec) (Spencer, 1976: 366).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Aconitum napellus, Consolida ajacis

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Chrysocharis crassiscapus (Thomson, 1878) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Chrysocharis viridis (Nees, 1934) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Halticoptera circulus (Walker, 1833) Pteromalidae: Miscogastrinae
Ichneumonoidea - Links to species no longer available  
Coloneura stylata Förster, 1862 Braconidae: Alysiinae
Dacnusa aquilegiae Marshall, 1896 Braconidae: Alysiinae
Dacnusa delphinii Griffiths, 1967 Braconidae: Alysiinae
Dacnusa fasciata Stelfox, 1954 Braconidae: Alysiinae
Colastes braconius Haliday, 1833 Braconidae: Exothecinae

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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