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


DACTYLORHIZA. Common-spotted Orchid and Marsh Orchids. [Orchidaceae]

Seven species of Dactylorhiza are recorded in Britain. All are native species and include Common-spotted orchid (D. fuchsii), Early Marsh-orchid (D. incarnata), Heath spotted-orchid (D. maculata), Lapland Marsh-orchid (D. traunsteineri lapponica), Narrow-leaved Marsh-orchid (D. traunsteineri traunsteineri), Northern Marsh Orchid (D. pupurella), Southern Marsh-orchid (D. praetermissa) and Western Marsh-orchid (D. majalis).

Dactylorhiza majalis is treated as Dactylorhiza kerryensis by Stace (2010).

The Lapland Marsh-orchid (D. lapponica) is protected under Schedule 8 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981.

The Narrow-leaved Marsh-orchid (D. traunsteineri) is protected in Northern Ireland under Schedule 8 of the Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order, 1985.

Four British miners are recorded on Dactylorhiza.

A key to the European miners recorded on Orchis including Dactylorhiza is provided in Bladmineerders van Europa.

Common spotted orchid - Dactylorhiza_fuchsii. Image: © Brian Pitkin
Common-spotted Orchid
Dactylorhiza fuschii

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

1a > The larva first tunnels in the rootstock and the stem. From there long, untidily delineated corridors are made into the leaves. Pupation in the underground parts of the plant.

Hosts in Britain unknown. Elsewhere on Dactylorhiza, Goodyera and Orchis. Widespread in Britain. Also recorded from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Widespread in continental Europe.

Delina nigrita (Fallén, 1819) [Diptera: Scathophagidae]

1b > Leaf-miner: The mine begins as a fine corridor, descends into the leaf sheath or stem, re-enters from there a few more times in the blade. Pupation in the tuber. Ofen the inflorescence of infested plants will wilt.

On Cephalanthera damasonium, Epipactis helleborine, Epipactis purpurata, Neottia and Orchis, but not yet on Dactylorhiza, in Britain. Elsewhere on Dactylorhiza, Epipactis, Himantoglossum and Orchis. Widespread in England and Wales. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland. Widespread in continental Europe.

Chyliza vittata Meigen, 1826 [Diptera: Psilidae].

1c > Leaf-miner: Large blotch with a group of some larvae. At the start of the mine a group of elliptic egg shells.

The larvae make individual mines which then merge to form an upper surface blotch. The larva leaves the mine to pupate.

On Listera, but not yet on Dactylorhiza, in Britain, but not common. On Cephalanthera, Cypripedium, Dactylorhiza, Epipactis, Gymnadenia, Ophrys and Orchis elsewhere. Widespread, but not common, in Britain. Widespread in continental Europe. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland and from the Nearctic region

Parallelomma vittatum (Hering, 1826) [Diptera: Scathophagidae].

1d > Leaf-miner: Rather narrow corridor, untidy and sometimes branched, starting from the base of the leaf, in particular the midrib. Sides of the corridor irregularly eaten out, not really parallel. Frass mostly present, and then in a central line. The larva is capable of leaving the mine and start a new one elsewhere. These later mines are much broader, and the frass is scattered irregularly..
Mine of Orthochaetes insignis on Prunella vulgaris
Mine of Orthochaetes insignis on Prunella vulgaris
Image: © Jean-Yves Baugnée (Bladmineerders van Europa)

Host plants unknown in Britain. On numerous genera and species in several plant families, including Aster, elsewhere. Recorded in southern England. Widespread in continental Europe.

Orthochaetes insignis (Aube, 1863) [Coleoptera: Curculionidae]

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