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


ASPERULA. Squinancywort and Woodruffs. [Rubiaceae]

Three species of Asperula are recorded in Britain. These include the native Squinancywort (A. cynanchica) and introduced Woodruffs.

Three British miners are recorded on Asperula.

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

Squinancywort - Asperula cynanchica. Image: © Linda Pitkin
Asperula cynanchica

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

1a > Stem-miner: A narrow, whitish external stem mine. Pupation external (Spencer, 1976: 312).

On Galium in Britain and Galium and Asperula elsewhere. Widespread in Britain and much of Europe.

Aulagromyza buhri (de Meijere, 1938) [Diptera: Agromyzidae].

1b > Stem-miner: An inconspicuous external stem mine, frass in widely-spaced grains. Pupation in the mine (Spencer, 1972b: 27).

The mine begins as a corridor in a leaf, descends from there as a rind mine; there also the pupation.

On Galium in Britain, but not yet on Asperula, and Galium and Asperula elsewhere. Uncommon in Britain - Suffolk and Surrey.

Ophiomyia galii Hering, 1937 [Diptera: Agromyzidae].

1c > 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 Asperula, in Britain. On numerous genera and species of plant families including Asperula elsewhere. Widespread in Britain and continental Europe. Also recorded from the Channel Is.

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

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