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 rufipes Meigen, 1830
[Diptera: Agromyzidae]

Cabbage leaf miner

Phytomyza rufipes Meigen, 1830. Syst. Beschr. 6: 192
Phytomza sulphuripes Meigen, 1830. Syst. Beschr. 6: 193
Phytomyza rufipes Meigen, 1830; Hendel, 1935. Fliegen palaearkt. Reg. 6(2): 471
Phytomyza ruficornis Zetterstedt, 1848. Dipt. Scand. 7: 2825
Phytomyza brassicae Hardy, 1853a. The Scottish Gardener 2(4): 118-120. [Synonymised by Bland, 2000: 11]
Phytomyza femoralis Brischke, 1871. Schr. naturf. Ges. Danzig (N.F.) 5(1-2): 240
Phytomyza bistrigata Strobl, 1906. Mems R. Soc. esp. Hist. nat. 3(1905): 384
Phytomyza rufipes Meigen, 1830; Spencer, 1972b. Handbk ident. Br. Ins. 10(5g): 10, 71, 75, 115
Phytomyza rufipes Meigen, 1830; Spencer, 1976. Fauna ent. Scand. 5(1): 489-90, figs 859-60
Phytomyza rufipes Meigen, 1830; Spencer, 1990. Host specialization in the World Agromyzidae (Diptera) : 85. 86, 88
Phytomyza rufipes Meigen, 1830; Bland, 2000. Dipterists Digest 7: 11.

Leaf / Stem-mine: Oviposition takes place in the leaf blade where a short mine is formed until the larva reaches the nearest vein which is then followed downwards, with the main feeding occurring in the mid-rib, petiole, or in young plants, also in the stem (Spencer, 1976: 490). Pupation either internal or external.

The mine begins somewhere in the leaf, generally at the lower surface, not far from the leaf margin. From there a corridor runs randomly, until it hits upon a vein. The corridor then follows this vein until it reaches the midrib. Then the larva starts to bore into the midrib, and may descend into the petiole or even the stem. Pupation may take place either within or 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.

Posterior spiracles of larva with 25-30 bulbs (Spencer, 1973a).

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).

Yellow (Spencer, 1973a).

Comments: A common pest of Brassica spp. in Europe (Spencer, 1990: 85-6).

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Brassica       Robbins, 1991: 30
Brassica       Spencer, 1972b: 115
Brassica napus Rape   Robbins, 1989: 26
Brassica oleracea Wild Cabbage British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al.

Robbins, 1989: 26

Hosts elsewhere:

Alliaria       Hering, 1957
Alliaria       Spencer, 1990: 85
Alliaria petiolata Garlic Mustard British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Armoracia rusticana Horse-Radish   Bladmineerders van Europa
Brassica       Hering, 1957
Brassica       Spencer, 1973a
Brassica       Spencer, 1976: 490
Brassica       Spencer, 1990: 85
Brassica napus Rape   Bladmineerders van Europa
Brassica oleracea Wild Cabbage British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Cerinthe       Hering, 1957
Conringia       Hering, 1957
Conringia       Spencer, 1990: 85
Diplotaxis       Bladmineerders van Europa
Diplotaxis       Hering, 1957
Diplotaxis       Spencer, 1990: 85
Moricandia       Hering, 1957
Moricandia       Spencer, 1990: 85
Peltaria       Hering, 1957
Peltaria       Spencer, 1990: 86
Raphanus       Bladmineerders van Europa
Raphanus       Hering, 1957
Raphanus       Spencer, 1990: 86
Rorippa       Hering, 1957
Rorippa       Bladmineerders van Europa
Sinapis       Hering, 1957
Sinapis       Spencer, 1990: 86
Sinapis arvensis Charlock British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Sisymbrium       Hering, 1957

Time of year - mines: May-June (Hering, 1957).

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Widespread in Britain including Warwickshire (Coventry and Corley) (Robbins, 1991: 30); Dunbartonshire (Bonhill) and E. Lothian (Spencer, 1972b: 75); Caernarvonshire, Cambridgeshire, Carmarthenshire, Durham, East Suffolk, Glamorgan, North Somerset, Nottinghamshire, Pembrokeshire, South-west Yorkshire and Surrey (NBN Atlas).

Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland: Co. Mayo (Westport) (Spencer, 1972b: 75).

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden (Spencer, 1976: 490), The Netherlands (Bladmineerders van Europa), Belgium (Scheirs, de Bruyn and Verdyck, 1993), Germany (Spencer, 1976: 578), Canary Is., Czech Republic, Estonia, European Turkey, French mainland, Iceland, Italian mainland, Lithuania, Madeira, Poland, Slovakia, Spanish mainland, Switzerland and Yugoslavia (Fauna Europaea).

Also recorded in Egypt, Canada and the U.S.A. (Spencer, 1976: 490).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Alliaria petiolata, Armoracia rusticana, Brassica napus, Brassica oleracea, Sinapis arvensis

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Miscogaster hortensis Walker, 1833 Pteromalidae: Miscogastrinae
Pachyneuron muscarum (Linnaeus, 1758) Pteromalidae: Pteromalinae
Sphegigaster pallicornis (Spinola, 1808) Pteromalidae: Pteromalinae
Stenomalina gracilis (Walker, 1934) Pteromalidae: Pteromalinae
Ichneumonoidea - Links to species no longer available  
Chorebus thusa (Nixon, 1937) Braconidae: Alysiinae
Dacnusa areolaris (Nees, 1811) Braconidae: Alysiinae
Dacnusa maculipes Thomson, 1895 Braconidae: Alysiinae
Dacnusa pubescens (Curtis, 1926) Braconidae: Alysiinae
Dacnusa stramineipes (Haliday, 1839) Braconidae: Alysiinae
Dacnusa temula (Haliday, 1839) 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
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