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


FICARIA. Lesser Celandine. [Ranunculaceae]

Ranunculus ficaria is treated as Ficaria verna (Lesser Celandine) by Stace (2010).

Three British miners are recorded on Ficaria.

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

Lesser Celandine - Ranunculus ficaria. Image: © Brian Pitkin
Lesser Celandine
Ficaria verna (= Ranunculus ficaria)

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

1 > Leaf-miner: A conspicuous white linear mine with frass in closely adjoining grains. Pupation external. Puparium greyish or brown

Phytomyza ranunculi puparium
Phytomyza ranunculi puparium
Image: © Willem Ellis (Bladmineerders van Europa)

On Ranunculus acris, Ranunculus bulbosus, Ficaria verna (= Ranunculus ficaria), Ranunculus flammula, Ranunculus lingua, Ranunculus repens and Ranunculus sardous in Britain and additional Ranunculus species elsewhere. Common and widespread throughout England and Scotland in Britain. Widespread throughout Europe, ange extending to the Kirghiz Republic of the [former] U.S.S.R. Also recorded in Canada, Chile and Japan.

Phytomyza ranunculi (Schrank, 1803) [Diptera: Agromyzidae].

1b > Leaf-miner: Long, upper-surface corridor with the frass in relatively large, widely dispersed fragments. Pupation outside the mine; exit slit in lower epidermis.

Phytomyza ranunculivora puparium
Phytomyza ranunculivora puparium
Image: © Willem Ellis (Bladmineerders van Europa)

On Ranunculus acris and Ranunculus repens, but not yet on Ficaria, in Britain and additional Ranunculus species and Ficaria verna (= Ranunculus ficaria) elsewhere. Widespread in Britain and continental Europe.

Phytomyza ranunculivora Hering, 1932 [Diptera: Agromyzidae].

1b > Leaf-miner: Full depth, initially a much branched corridor, irregular in width, in the end almost a blotch. The mine has openings by which part of the frass is ejected. The larvae frequently leave the mine to restart elsewhere. Older larva live free and cause window feeding, often erasing their old mines. In Coltsfoot also pseudo-mines are made, when the larva eats away the lower epidermis with the leaf tissue, but spares the dense hair cover.

On Ficaria verna (= Ranunculus ficaria), in Britain and numerous genera and species in several families elsewhere. Distribution in Britain unknown. Widespread in continental Europe.

Phytosciara halterata Lengersdorf, 1926 [Diptera: Sciaridae].

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