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


EPIPACTIS. Helleborines. [Orchidaceae]

Nine species and subspecies of Epipactis are recorded in Britain. These include the native Dark-red Helleborine (E. atrorubens), Broad-leaved Helleborine (E. helleborine), Narrow-lipped Helleborine (E. leptochila), Marsh Helleborine (E. palustris), Green-flowered Helleborine (E. phyllanthes), Violet Helleborine (E. purpurata) and Young's Helleborine (E. youngiana). The BSBI provide a downloadable plant crib for Epipactis.

Young's Helleborine (E. youngiana) is protected under Schedule 8 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981. Marsh Helleborine (E. palustris) and Green-flowered Helleborine (E. phyllanthes) are protected in Northern Ireland under Schedule 8 of the Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order, 1985.

Two British miners are recorded on Epipactis.

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

Broad-leaved Helleborine - Epipactis_helleborine. Image: © Brian Pitkin
Broad-leaved Helleborine
Epipactis helleborine

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

1a > 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 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].

1b > 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 Epipactis, in Britain, but not common. On Cephalanthera, Cypripedium, Dactylorhiza, Epipactis, Gymnadenia, Ophrys and Orchis elsewhere. Widespread in Britain and continental Europe. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland and from the Nearctic region

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

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