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


ANTENNARIA. Mountain Everlasting. [Asteraceae]

Only one species of Antennaria is recorded in Britain, Mountain Everlasting (A. dioica), and this is native.

Four British miners are recorded on Antennaria.

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

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

1a > Leaf and Stem-miner: An external stem mine on Gnaphalium sylvaticum (Spencer, 1972b: 27). In the latter a single larva moves from leaf to leaf, each leaf with 2-4 broad diverging tracks extending rarely more than two-thirds of the length of the leaf from the petiole into the leaf lamina; frass concentrated in the petiolar part of the mine. Pupation in mine (Spencer, 1972b: 27).

Mine in the leaf base of the lower leaves, often close to the midrib. From the leaf base corridors radiate into the leaf disk. Primary feeding lines in fresh mines well visible. Frass sparingly, granular. Puaparium in the mine, in the leaf base.

On Gnaphalium, but not yet on Antennaria, in Britain. Uncommon in Britain (Hereford and Perth). Also recorded from Germany and Lithuania.

Ophiomyia gnaphalii Hering, 1949 [Diptera: Agromyzidae].

1b > Leaf-miner: Oviposition near the leaf margin, in the distal half of the leaf. From here a narrow gallery of c. 15 mm runs to the leaf tip, then down again; then the gallery widens into a brown blotch that may occupy the entire width of the leaf. In the blotch the frass lies dispersed as black granules of variable sizes. Pupation external.

Only known from Scotland on Antennaria dioica.

Phytomyza heckfordi Bland, 2011 [Diptera: Agromyzidae].

1c > Leaf-miner: Oviposition at the base of one of the older leaves. From here several upper-surface galleries radiate towards the leaf margin; their bases fuse, creating as end result a palmate secondary blotch. The upper epidermis somewhat contracts, causing the leaf margins to curl upwards, somewhat conceiling the mine. Via the leaf basis the larva moves to another leaf; six leaves on average are mined out. The frass is concentrated as a black mass in the basal port of the mine. Pupation within the mine, generally near the base of the leaf, invariably in one of the smaller, youngest central leaves of the rosette.

Known from Scotland and Northern Ireland on Antennaria dioica.

Phytomyza antennaria Bland, 2011 [Diptera: Agromyzidae]

1d > Leaf-mine: The larva feeds in the stems and also makes blotch mines (as shown) as it passes from leaf to leaf. The leaves are lightly spun together as it progresses. The larvae make large blotches in the lower leaves. They regularly move from one leaf to another (often resting outside their mine) and in doing so create a loose spinnng around the leaves. Pupation outside the mine.

On Antennaria in Britain and elsewhere. Scotland and the Republic of Ireland. Widespread in continental Europe.

Scrobipalpa murinella (Duponchel, 1843) [Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae].

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