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


MYOSURUS. Mousetail. [Ranunculaceae]

Only one species of Myosurus is recorded in Britain, the native Mousetail (M. minimus).

Two British miners are recorded on Myosurus.

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

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

1a > Leaf-miner: Larva forms a conspicuous white linear mine with frass in closely adjoining grains. Pupation external (Spencer, 1972b:70 (figs 229-230A), 75; Spencer, 1976: 481, 483 (figs. 846, 848A)).

Rather long, somewaht untidy, upper-surface corridor. Frass in many small grains that are close together of form pearl chains. Pupation outside the mine.

The frass, in the long upper-surface white corridor, look like strings of pearls. P.ranunculivora makes similar long linear mines but in this species the frass grains are separate.

The mine is also illustrated in the Encyclopedia of Life.

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

On Ranunculus acris, Ranunculus bulbosus, Ranunculus ficaria, Ranunculus flammula, Ranunculus lingua, Ranunculus repens and Ranunculus sardous, but not yet on Mysorus, in Britain and additional Ranunculus and Mysourus 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: In the first instar the larva mines the leaves, forming short, irregular, blotch-like mines, but in later instars it lives externally, feeding in spun leaves and often twisting those of tender shoots. Larval head light-brown or yellowish brown, edged with black postero-laterally, ocellar area blackish; prothoracic plate black edged with whitish anteriorly; abdomen dull dark green; pinacula distinct, black, sometimes brownish but with black bases to setae; anal plate large, black (Bradley et al., 1973). Small, full depth mine without a definite shape; little frass. Some silk is deposited in the mine. The larva soon leaves the mine and continues feeding among spun leaves.

Polyphagous. On numerous genera and species of plant families, but not yet on Mysorus, in Britain. On numerous genera and species of plant families including Myosurus elsewhere. Widespread in Britain and continental Europe. Also recorded from the Channel Is.

Cnephasia incertana (Treitschke, 1835) [Lepidoptera: Tortricidae].

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