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


ASTRANTIA. Astrantia and Masterworts. [Apiaceae]

One species and two or three subspecies of Astrantia are recorded in Britain. These include Astrantia (A. major).

Two or three British miners are recorded on Astrantia.

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

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

1a > Leaf-miner: A conspicuous, whitish linear mine. Pupation external (Spencer, 1976: 506, 507 (fig. 886)).

Long, upper-surface, frequently branched, little widening corridor; sides somehwat irregular. Often several mines in a leaf. Frass in grains that are placed close together, rarely forming short pearl chains. Pupation outside the mine, exit slit in lower epidermis. Sometime the puparium sticks to the leaf. Feeding punctures in lower epidermis (as Phytomyza pastinacae / spondylii).

Larva forms a conspicuous, whitish linear mine. Larva leaves the mine through the lower surface and falls from the leaf on pupation.

Orchestes fagi larva,  dorsal
Phytomyza pastinacae / spondyli puparium
Image: © Willem Ellis (Bladmineerders van Europa)

Most records require confirmation, since the two names have been treated as synonyms and distinct species. On ? Astrantia, ? Heracleum and ? Pastinaca in Britain and Heracleum, Levisticum and Pastinaca elsewhere. Widespread and common throughout the British Isles. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland. Widespread in continental Europe.

Phytomyza spondylii Robineau-Desvoidy, 1851 [Diptera: Agromyzidae]
Phytomyza pastinacae Hendel, 1923 [Diptera: Agromyzidae].

1b > Leaf-miner: Irregular corridor; the sides are so irregular that it becomes a secondary blotch locally. Pupation outside the mine.

Forms a gallery/blotch mine which is brown in colour, with a pale yellow margin.The mines variy in morphology, forming a gallery come blotch, brown in colour with a pale yellow margin. The overall shape of the mine reflects the form of the leaves; thus, the first generation in May/June on lower wide leaves tend to be broad in extent, whereas the late generation in July/August on the narrow flowering stem leaves tend to be more gallery-like.

Host records on Astrantia in Britain and elsewhere. Widespread and common throughout the British Isles and recorded from Germany and Poland in continental Europe. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland, Canada and the U.S.A.

Phytomyza astrantiae Hendel, 1924 [Diptera: Agromyzidae].

XHTML Validator Last updated 01-Jul-2019  Brian Pitkin Top of page