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


DRYOPTERIS. Buckler ferns. [Dryopteridaceae]

Ten species of Dryopteris, are recorded in Britain. These include the native Broad Buckler-fern (D. dilatata), Crested Buckler-fern (D. cristata), Hay-scented Buckler-fern (D. aemula), Male-fern agg., (D. filix-mas), Mountain Male-fern (D. oreades), Narrow Buckler-fern (D. carthusiana), Northern Buckler-fern (D. expansa), Rigid Buckler-fern (D. submontana), Scaly Buckler-fern (D. remota) and Scaly Male-fern (D. affinis). The BSBI provide a downloadable plant crib for the identification of the male fern complex.

Four British miners are recorded on Dryopteris.

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

Scaly Male-fern (Golden-scaled Male Fern) - Dryopteris affinis. Image: © Linda Pitkin
Scaly Male-fern (Golden-scaled Male Fern)
Dryopteris affinis

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

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 Dryopteris, 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 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: 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].

1d > 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, but not yet on Dryopteris, 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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