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


ASPLENIUM. Spleenworts and Wall-rue. [Aspleniaceae]

Thirteen spcies of Asplenium are recorded in Britain. These include Black Spleenwort agg. (A. adiantum-nigrum), Sea Spleenwort (A. marinum), Lanceolate Spleenwort (A. obovatum), Irish Spleenwort (A. onopteris), Wall-rue (A. ruta-muraria), Forked Spleenwort (A. septentrionale), Maidenhair Spleenwort (A. trichomanes) and Green Spleenwort (A. viride). The BSBI provide a downloadable plant crib for Asplenium.

Phyllitis scolopendrium is treated as Asplenium scolopendrium (Rustyback) by Stace (2010).

Six British miners are recorded on Asplenium.

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

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

1a > Leaf-miner: The larva mines the lower surface of rachis, close to the lesf tip. The upper surface is left intact, resulting in growth disturbance that causes the leaf tip to strongly curl downwards. Larva generally solitary. Pupation within the roll.

The miner causes the pinna tip to curl downwards.

On Pteridium aquilinum, but not yet on Asplenium, in Britain and elsewhere and in addition Asplenium and Dryopteris eslewhere. Common and widely distributed in Britain. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland. Widespread in continental Europe. Also recorded East Palaearctic Region.

Chirosia grossicauda (Strobl, 1899) [Diptera: Anthomyiidae].

1b > Leaf-miner: Large full depth blotch, covering the entire distal part of a pinnula. The mine begins near the top, where an elliptic egg shell is attached to the underside of the rachis. Larva solitary. The mine contains much frass.

An upperside blotch at the tip of a pinna lobe.

On Pteridium and Dryopteris, but not yet on Asplenium, in Britain and continental Europe and additional other genera of ferns elsewhere. Widespread in Britain and continental Europe. Also recorded in East Palaearctic and Near East.

Chirosia histricina Rondani, 1866 [Diptera: Anthomyiidae].

1c > Leaf-miner: A short linear mine in single section of a frond. Pupation external.

On Pteridium aquilinum and Polypodium vulgare, but not yet on Asplenium, in Britain. Also Asplenium elsewhere. Widespread in Britain. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland. Widespread throughout Europe.

Phytoliriomyza hilarella (Zetterstedt, 1848) [Diptera: Agromyzidae].

1d > Leaf-miner: Larva forms a long greenish linear mine, frequently following a vein; mines can be up to 10 cm long. Pupation internal; anterior spiracles projecting through the leaf epidermis (Spencer, 1972b).

Corridor, with the frass in an almost uninterrupted line along one side. In small leaves the corridor often follows the margin, but when space is not limited, like in Hart's-tongue Fern, it curves smoothly, not infrequently running over the midrib for some distance. Pupation mostly within the mine; the anterior spiracles then penetrate the epidermis.

Forms a long narrow mine (up to 10cms). It is normally greenish and upper surface.

On Asplenium ruta-muraria, Ceterach, Phyllitis scolopendrium and Polypodium vulgare in Britain and in addition to these Asplenium scolopendrium and Asplenium septentrionale and Ceterach officinarum elsewhere. Widespread in Britain. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland. Widespread in much of Europe.

Chromatomyia scolopendri (Robineau-Desvoidy, 1851) [Diptera: Agromyzidae].

1e > Leaf-miner: Larvae usually feed on the underside of a fern frond under an untidy mass of sporangia, but on occasion enter the leaf to make an extensive irregular blotch mine. Usually the larva lives free under the leaf, under an inrregular mass of spun soredia and frass. The larva feeds on the sori, and larva betrays its presence as a sorus on an unusual place. Sometimes also elongate full depth blotches are made.

On Asplenium, Phyllitis, Polystichum and Dryopteris in Britain and Asplenium, Ceterach, Phyllitis, Polystichum and Dryopteris elsewhere. Widespread in southern England and Wales. Initially occurred mainly near coasts, but it is increasingly recorded inland. Outside of Britain and Northern Ireland, only recorded in Madeira.

Psychoides filicivora (Meyrick, 1937) [Lepidoptera: Tineidae].

1f > Leaf-miner: Full-depth corridor or blotch, often positioned along the leaf margin. In the first part much, brown-black, fine-grained frass, later parts of the mine almost free from frass. After hibernation the larva lives free in an untidy case of silk, covered with remants of sori.

On Asplenium, Ceterach, Phyllitis and Polystichum in Britain and Asplenium, Ceterach, Phyllitis, Pteridium and Dryopteris elsewhere. Widespread in Britain and continental Europe.

Psychoides verhuella Bruand, 1853 [Lepidoptera: Tineidae].

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