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


GENISTA. Greenweeds, Petty Whin and Broom. [Fabaceae]

Eleven species of Genista are recorded in Britain. These include the native Hairy Greenweed (G. pilosa) and Petty Whin (G. anglica) and Dyer's Greenweed (G. tinctoria).

Nine British miners are recorded on Genista in Britain.

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

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

1a > Leaf-miner and leaf-spinner: The larvae feed between spun leaves and often mine them. The mine is illustrated in British leafminers.

On Genista in Britain. On Genista, Medicago and Trifoloium elsewhere. West and East Sussex and I. of Wight.

Syncopacma vinella (Bankes, 1898) [Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae].

1b > Leaf-miner and case-bearer: Very untidy, bivalved, lobe case of 7-8 mm. The mouth angle is 90°, causing the case to be perpendicular to the leaf.

On Cytisus and Genista in Britain and Cytisus, Genista, Spartium and Ulex elsewhere. Britain including West Kent and South Gloucester. Widespread in continental Europe.

Coleophora saturatella Stainton, 1850 [Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae]

1c > Leaf-miner and case-bearer: Larva in a huge (19 mm) shining black tubular silken case; mouth angle 60°. The end of the case is strongly rolled in (remnant of the youth case) and bears a small pallium. The final case is the largest of any coleophorid in the UK, being 19mm long. The anal end of this case incorporates the remains of the spiral first case and is hooded in a pallium.

On Genistain Britain and Chamaespartium, Genista and Vicia elsewhere. Southern England. Widespread in continental Europe.

Coleophora vibicella (Hübner, 1813) [Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae].

1d > Leaf-miner: The larva lives among spun leaves, mining them from this position by gnawing irregular, more or less oval holes in the epidermis and eating from there the leaf tissue. Obviously, the mines contain little or no frass. The leaves are spun together and mined. There is no frass in the mines and the larvae enter through holes they make. The leaves become yellowish in colour.

On Genista in Britain and elsewhere. Britain including East Norfolk (VC27), East Suffolk and East Sussex (NBN Gateway). Widespread in continental Europe

Syncopacma albipalpella (Herrich-Schäffer, 1855) [Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae].

1e > Leaf-miner: The larvae may mine the leaves and are found between spun leaves. The larva feeds between spun leaves, often mining them.

On Genista pilosa in Britain and elsewhere. Cornwall. Widespread in continental Europe.

Syncopacma suecicella (Wolff, 1958) [Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae].

1f > Leaf-miner: An initially linear leaf-mine, normally adjoining leaf-margin and running towards apex of leaf, then turning and widening into a blotch in the area of the mid-rib (Spencer, 1972b: 40, fig. 123; Spencer, 1976: 117, fig. 190).

Hooklike, upper-surface corridor. The corridor begins near the base of a leaflet, runs along the margin to the tip, then, quickly widening, redescends over the midrib towards the base of the leaflet. Frass in the corridor part in fine grains, further up in small clumps. Pupation outside the mine. Older mines turn black and then are somewhat easier to find.

A narrow corridor along the leaf edge, turning and making a blotch in the midrib area.

Puparium reddish-orange

On Cytisus, Genista, Lupinus, Spartium and Ulex in Britain and elsewhere. Common in gardens in Britain where Cytisus is frequently cultivated. Widespread in continental Europe.

Agromyza johannae Meijere, 1924 [Diptera: Agromyzidae].

1g > Leaf-miner: An initially linear mine, which later develops into a blotch (Spencer, 1972b: 37 (fig. 115), 41).

Upper-surface, hook-shaped corridor mine. The corridor begins close to the base of a leaflet, runs along the margin to the tip, then redescends along the midrib while widening quickly. Frass in the first part in fine grains, later in lumps.

On Genista and Spartium in Britain and elsewhere. Widespread in southern Britain and continental Europe.

Agromyza pulla Meigen, 1830 [Diptera: Agromyzidae].

1h > Leaf-miner: Upper-surface tentiform mine (according to Hering, 1957a, mostly lower-surface in Laburnum). The mine is strongly contracted, almost folding the leaflet to a pod and concealing the mine. Pupa in the mine in a flimsy cocoon. Frass in a corner of the mine.

On Genista in Britain and Chamaecytisus, Cytisus, Genista and Laburnum elsewhere. Britain including West Cornwall. Widespread in continental Europe.

Phyllonorycter staintoniella (Nicelli, 1853) [Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae].

1i > Leaf-miner: An irregular gallery filled with greenish frass, leading to a circular or oval blotch with blackish frass arranged in a spiral fashion. The very first part of the mine is a densely contorted corridor of about 2 mm long, that quickly turns brown. It is followed by a more or less straight corridor of c. 10 mm, entirely filled with greyish green frass. This suddenly widens into a round blotch that during its expansion overruns the earlier corridor and in the end may occupy half of a Laburnum leaflet. The frass, greenish at first, black later, is deposited in the bloth in roughly concentric arcs, glued to the upper epidermis. Pupation external, exit slit in upper epidermis.

On Cytisus, Genista, Laburnum, Lupinus and Piptanthus in Britain and Astragalus, Chamaecytisus, Genista, Laburnum, Laburnocytisus, Lupinus and Petteria elsewhere. Widespread in Britain and continental Euorpe. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland.

Leucoptera laburnella (Stainton, 1851) [Lepidoptera: Lyonetiidae].

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