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


ALCHEMILLA. Lady's-mantles. [Rosaceae]

Fifteen species of Alchemilla are recorded in Britain. Twelve of these are native species including Silver Lady's-mantle (A. conjuncta), Smooth Lady's-mantle (A. glabra) and Garden Lady's-mantle (A. mollis). The BSBI provide a downloadable plant crib for Alchemilla.

Three British miners are recorded on Alchemilla.

A key to the European miners recorded on Alchemilla is provided in Bladmineerders van Europa.

Hollyhock - Alcea rosea. Image: © Brian Pitkin
Garden Lady's-mantle
Alchemilla mollis

Key for the identification of the known mines of British
insects (Diptera and non-Diptera) recorded on Alchemilla

1a > Leaf-miner: Initially a linear mine which later develops into a conspicuous blotch; frass in two rows in linear section, scattered irregularly in the blotch (Spencer, 1976: 134-5, fig. 237, as potentillae).

Corridor, gradually and considerably widening towards the end. Frass in two rows in the corridor part, further up dispersed irregularly. Pupation outside the mine.

A short broad upper surface corridor leading to a long blotch between veins.

On Agrimonia, Alchemilla, Filipendula, Fragaria, Geum, Potentilla, Rubus and Sanguisorba,in Britain. On additional Rosaceae, including Alchemilla, elsewhere. Common and widespread throughout Britain. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland, Europe, Japan, U.S.A. and Canada.

Agromyza idaeiana (Hardy, 1853) [Diptera: Agromyzidae].

1b > Leaf-miner: In the first instar the larva mines the leaves, forming short, irregular, blotch-like mines, but in later instars it lives externally, feeding in spun leaves and often twisting those of tender shoots. Larval head light-brown or yellowish brown, edged with black postero-laterally, ocellar area blackish; prothoracic plate black edged with whitish anteriorly; abdomen dull dark green; pinacula distinct, black, sometimes brownish but with black bases to setae; anal plate large, black (Bradley et al., 1973).

Small, full depth mine without a definite shape; little frass. Some silk is deposited in the mine. The larva soon leaves the mine and continues feeding among spun leaves.

Polyphagous. On numerous genera and species of plant families, but not yet on Alchemilla, in Britain. On numerous genera and species of plant families including Alchemilla elsewhere. Widespread in Britain and continental Europe. Also recorded from the Channel Is.

Cnephasia incertana (Treitschke, 1835) [Lepidoptera: Tortricidae].

1c > Leaf-miner: Small (less than 1 cm), full depth blotch, transparent when fresh, starting at the leaf margin, usually near the leaf tip; frass in scattered grains. The larva makes an elliptic double sided excision to form a case. Subsequently, it continues feeding within the case.

On Agrimonia, Alchemilla, Filipendula, Fragaria, Geum and Rubus in Britain. On Achillea, Agrimonia, Alchemilla, Filipendula, Fragaria, Geum, Potentilla, Rubus and Spiraea elsewhere. Distributed throughout much of Britain. Widespread in continental Europe.

Incurvaria praetella (Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775) [Lepidoptera: Incurvariidae].

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