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


GALIUM. Bedstraws, Cleavers and Woodruff. [Rubiaceae]

Twenty-two species of Galium are recorded in Britain, These include the native Cleavers (G. aparine), Hedge Bedstraw (G. mollugo), Woodruff (G. odoratum) and Marsh-bedstraw (G. palustre). The BSBI provide a downloadable plant crib for Galium.

Five British miners are recorded on Galium.

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

The agromyzids Aulagromyza anteposita and Aulagromyza trivittata, and are recorded as an internal stem-borers on Galium in Britain.

Elsewhere the agromyzid Gymnophytomyza heteroneura is recorded feeding in the seeds of Galium.

Corn cleavers - Galium tricornatum. Image: © Brian Pitkin
Corn cleavers
Galium tricornatum

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

1a > Leaf / Stem miner: The mine starts in the leaf but the larva moves to the stem (Spencer, 1976: 316).

The mine starts in a leaf, that soon wilts (to find the mine, look for this detail). Next the larva continues as a miner of the skin of the stem.

Hosts in Britain unknown. On Galium elsewhere. Added to British Checklist by Deeming (1999). Widespread in continental Europe

Aulagromyza lucens (de Meijere, 1924) [Diptera: Agromyzidae].

1b > Leaf-miner: A narrow linear mine which may largely fill small leaves and produce a secondary blotch (Spencer, 1976: 257).

Long, upper-surface, gradually widening, corridor, in the end often forming a secondary blotch. The corridor regularly crosses itself. Frass in irregular grains or short strings. Pupation outside the mine; exit slit in the lower epidermis.

Forms a narrow upper surface linear mine which may then form a secondary.

On Galium in Britain and additional genera of Lamiaceae elsewhere. Widespread in Britain and continental Europe.

Galiomyza morio (Brischke, 1880) [Diptera: Agromyzidae].

1c > Stem-miner


2a > Stem-miner: A narrow, whitish external stem mine. Pupation external (Spencer, 1976: 312).

On Galium in Britain and Galium and Asperula elsewhere. Widespread in Britain and much of Europe.

Aulagromyza buhri (de Meijere, 1938) [Diptera: Agromyzidae].

2b > Stem-miner: The mine begins in a leaf, that soon withers (sign to look for, when trying to find this miner). The larva continues living as a miner in the skin of the stem. Pupation external (Spencer, 1976: 320).

On Galium in Britain and elsewhere. Widespread in Britain and western and central Europe.

Aulagromyza orphana (Hendel, 1920) [Diptera: Agromyzidae].

2c > Stem-miner: An inconspicuous external stem mine, frass in widely-spaced grains. Pupation in the mine (Spencer, 1972b: 27).

The mine begins as a corridor in a leaf, descends from there as a rind mine; there also the pupation.

On Galium in Britain and Galium and Asperula elsewhere. Uncommon in Britain - Suffolk and Surrey. Widespread in continental Europe

Ophiomyia galii Hering, 1937 [Diptera: Agromyzidae].

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