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


MENTZELIA. White-stemmed Stickleaf and Golden Bartonia. [Loasaceae]

Two species of Mentzelia are recorded in Britain. Both are introduced and include White-stemmed Stickleaf (M. albicaulis) and Golden Bartonia (M. lindleyi).

Two British miners are recorded on Mentzelia.

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

1a > Leaf-miner: Mine generally follows the leaf margin, widening from the initial linear section into an irregular broad blotch; it is dark green when fresh but quickly turns blackish (Spencer, 1972b: 34 (fig. 90); Spencer, 1976: 138-9, fig. 246).

Full depth corridor that mostly starts near the leaf margin, and never begins with a series in close, intestine-like curves. Further on the corridor strongly widens, and usually remains close to the leaf margin. Often several larvae in a mine. Frass in lumps or short rods, never in long threads.

Puparium reddish brown

On Urtica, but not yet on Mentzelia, in Britain and Humulus and possibly Parietaria eslewhere. Widespread and common in Britain. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland. Widespread in continental Europe.

Agromyza reptans Fallén, 1823 [Diptera: Agromyzidae].

1b > Leaf-miner: A distinctive mine primarily above mid-rib, with irregular short lateral offshoots into leaf blade. Pupation external (Spencer, 1972: 51 (fig. 172), 55; Spencer, 1976: 270, 271 (fig. 486)).

Branched, whitish, upper-surface corridor; main axis overlying the midrib; side branches overlying the main lateral veins. (In Campanula and Phyteuma the mine is much less branched, sometimes nothing more than a corridor on top of the midrib). Frass in rather long strings. Usually the mines begins as a long and narrow, shallow, tortuous lower-surface corridor that ends upon the midrib but otherwise is not associated with the leaf venation. Often this initial corridor is filled with callus, and then even less conspicuous. Pupation outside the mine.

A linear mine on the upper surface, usually following the midrib and showing side branches along the veins. The frass is in strings.

Polyphagous. On more than 40 host genera in 15 families, but not yet on Mentzelia, in Britain. Widespread throughout Britain. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland. Widespread in continental Europe.

Liriomyza strigata (Meigen, 1830) [Diptera: Agromyzidae].

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