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


SAMBUCUS. Elders. [Caprifoliaceae]

Four species of Sambucus are recorded in Britain. These include the native Elder (S. nigra) and Dwarf Elder (S. ebulus) and the introduced Red-berried Elder (S. racemosa) and American Elder (S. canadensis).

Only one British miner is recorded on Sambucus in Britain.

Elsewhere the tephritid Philophylla caesio is recorded as a miner in the petioles of Urtica sp. by Ferrar (1987), Beiger (1968) and White (1988), although there are unconfirmed records on Caprifoliaceae and Asteraceae, which seems an odd combination of hosts.

Although previously recorded as a miner in stems of Sambucus, Botanophila fugax is a common saprophagous species, the larvae normally feeding in the soil (Griffiths, pers. comm.).

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

Elder - Sambucus nigra. Image: © Brian Pitkin
Sambucus nigra

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

1 > Leaf-miner: Larva initially forming an irregular linear mine, which later develops into a conspicuous blotch; frass conspicuous.

Initially an upper-surface, narrow corridor of about 3 cm, that abruptly widens into an ill-coloured secondary blotch, which generally incorporates more or less of the corridor. Secondary feeding lines usually conspicuous. Pupation outside the mine; exit slit in the lower epidermis.

Forms an iregular upper surface blotch with conspicuous black frass (British leafminers

On Sambucus in Britain and elsewhere. Widespread in Britain. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland. Widespread in continental Europe.

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

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