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


ASPARAGUS. Asparagus. [Liliaceae]

Two species of Asparagus are recorded in Britain, the introduced Garden Asparagus (A. officinalis) and the native Wild Asparagus (A. prostratus).

Only one British miner is recorded on Asparagus.

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

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

1 > Stem-mine: Oviposition normally takes place near the base of the stem. Larva forming external stem-mine, feeding first upwards for as much as 30 cm, then turning and continuing downwards. A number of larvae may feed in a single stem and young plants may turn yellow and die. Pupation immediately beneath the epidermis (Spencer, 1976: 78).

Oviposition in the rind of the stem, just above the ground. A corridor from there runs upwards for about 30 cm, then reverts and descends to about ground level. Pupation in the mine, just below the epidermis. Usually several mines on one plant; the plant can effectively be ringed and be killed.

On Asparagus in Britain and elsewhere. Occuring wherever the host plant is regularly cultivated. Also widespread in Europe.

Ophiomyia simplex (Loew, 1869) [Diptera: Agromyzidae].

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