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 wahlgreni Rydén, 1944
[Diptera: Agromyzidae]

Phytomyza wahlgreni Rydén, 1944. Opusc. ent. 9: 49
Phytomyza taraxacocoecis Hering, 1949d. Notul. ent. 29: 29. [Synonymised by Spencer, 1976: 527]
Phytomyza taraxacocoecis Hering, 1949d; Spencer, 1972b. Handbk ident. Br. Ins. 10(5g): 71, 85 (fig. 283), 87, 88, 115
Phytomyza wahlgreni Rydén, 1944; Spencer, 1976. Fauna ent. Scand. 5(1): 527-8, figs 921-2.
Phytomyza wahlgreni Rydén, 1944; Spencer, 1990. Host specialization in the World Agromyzidae (Diptera) : 259, 267, 268 (figs 1011-2).

Leaf-miner/ Galler: Larva feeding in the mid-rib or flower stalk where a gall-like swelling is produced (see also Redfern et al., 2002: 453, fig. 914). Pupation at base of leaf, near exit hole prepared by larva prior to pupation (see also Redfern et al., 2002: 453, figs 915).

The larva lives in a corridor of just a few cm long within the midrib. The leaf is stunted and the midrib is strongy swollen, gall-like. In the end the mine turns red. Pupation within the mine, near a previously made exit in the upper surface of 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:

Taraxacum officinale Dandelion British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Spencer, 1972b; 115

Hosts elsewhere:

Taraxacum       Spencer, 1976: 527
Taraxacum       Spencer, 1990: 259
Taraxacum officinale Dandelion British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - mines: Currently unknown.

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Widespread, at least in south. London (Hampstead), Hertfordshire (New Barnet), Hampshire (New Forest), Dorset (Studland), Suffolk (Newmarket) (Spencer, 1972b: 87, as taraxacocoecis); Breconshire,. Cambridgeshire, East Cornwall, Monmouthshire, Montgomeryshire, South-west Yorkshire, West Glocestershire and Westmorland (NBN Atlas).

Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland (Fauna Europaea).

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe from Swiss Alps to Faroe Is., including Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden (Spencer, 1976: 527), Germany (Spencer, 1976: 582), Belarus, Czech Republic, Estonia, French mainland, Italian mainland, Lithuania and Poland (Fauna Europaea).

Also recorded from the East Palaearctic and Nearctic Region (Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Taraxacum officinale

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Ichneumonoidea - Links to species no longer available  
Chorebus merion (Nixon, 1945) Braconidae: Alysiinae
Dacnusa pubescens (Curtis, 1926) 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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