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


PERSICARIA. Bistorts, Knotweeds, Persicarias and Water-peppers. [Polygonaceae]

Twenty-four species of Persicaria are recorded in Britain. These include the native Alpine Bistort (P. vivipara), Amphibious Bistort (P. amphibia), Common Bistort (P. bistorta), Pale Persicaria (P. lapathifolia), Redshank (P. maculosa), Small Water-pepper (P. minor), Tasteless Water-pepper (P. mitis) and Water-pepper (P. hydropiper). The BSBI provide a downloadable plant crib for Persicaria, riparian species.

Three British miners are recorded on Persicaria.

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

Amphibious Bistort - Persicaria amphibia. © Linda Pitkin
Amphibious Bistort
Persicaria amphibia

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

1a > Leaf-miner: Large upper side blotch or blister mine, which can start with a short corridor. In small leaves the mine can be full depth in places. Often several larvae in a mine; frass irregularly scattered in large lumps. Pupation external.

On Fallopia, Persicaria, Polygonum, Rumex and possibly Begonia (record ambiguous) in Britain and in addition Begonia [Begoniaceae] and other genera of Polygonaceae elsewhere. Widespread in Britain. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland. Widespread in continental Europe. Also recorded in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Syria, Israel, Korea, China and Japan.

Pegomya bicolor (Wiedemann, 1817) [Diptera: Anthomyiidae].

1b > Leaf-miner: Linear mine, becoming a blotch. Two or more larvae feeding together. Frass in lines.

Pegomya laticornis puparium
Pegomya solennis puparium
Image: © Willem Ellis (Bladmineerders van Europa)

On ? Oxyria, ? Polygonum and Rumex, but not yet Persicaria, in Britain plus Emex and Persicaria elsewhere. Widespread in Britain. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland. Widespread in continental Europe.

Pegomya solennis (Meigen, 1826) [Diptera: Anthomyiidae].

1c > Leaf miner: Blotch mine. Broad corridor, widening into a large transparant blotch with 1 or several, proportionally very large larvae that quickly completely mine out a leaf, then move to another leaf. At the start of the first mine at the leaf underside 1 or more oval egg shells. Pupation outside the mine

On Convolvulus and Fallopia, but not yet Persicaria, in Britain and Fallopia and possibly Persicaria elsewhere. Uncommon in England - Warwick, Oxford, Hants and West Kent. Widespread in continental Europe.

Pegomya setaria (Meigen, 1826) [Diptera: Anthomyiidae].

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