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


SESLERIA. Blue Moor-grass. [Poaceae]

Only one species of Sesleria, the native Blue Moor-grass (S. caerulae), is recorded in Britain.

Four British miners are recorded on Sesleria.

Nearly 100 British miners or possible miners are recorded on grasses in Britain.

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

It is recommended that adults of all miners on grasses be reared to be certain of their identity.

Sesleria tatrae. Image: © Brian Pitkin
Sesleria tatrae

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

1# > Leaf-miner: Details unknown.

Added to British checklist by Henshaw in Chandler, 1998. On Sesleria and Triticum elsewhere but not yet in Britain. Widespread in continental Europe

Chromatomyia opacella (Hendel, 1935) [Diptera: Agromyzidae].

1a > Leaf-miner: Tufted hair-grass and blue moor-grass are the main foodplants, the larvae forming gallery mines. Gradually widening corridor, running either upwards or down. All frass is deposited in the earliest part of the mine. Often 2-3 larvae in a mine; in grasses with broad leaves sometimes more than one mine in a leaf.

On Deschampsia and Sesleria in Britain and Carex, Brachypodium, Calamagrostis, Deschampsia, Elymus, Festuca, Melica, Milium, Phleum, Poa and Sesleria elsewhere. Occurs in woodland habitats in England, Wales and locally in Ireland. Also recorded in the Channel Is. and the Republic of Ireland. Widespread in continental Europe.

Elachista adscitella Stainton, 1851 [Lepidoptera: Elachistidae].

1b > Leaf-miner: Mine generally descending from the leaf tip. The mine may occupy the space between leaf margin and midrib, but may also occupy the entire width of the leaf. Most frass accumulated in the oldest part of the mine. Pupation external; the pupa is attached to the leaf without a cocoon. Larval head and prothoracic shield dark brown, ody yellowish white, with a pair of orange red latero-dorsal length lines; ventrally another such line, medially.

On Carex and Deschampsia, but not yet on Sesleria, in Britain plus Melica and Sesleria elsewhere. Britain and Northern Ireland. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland. Widespread in continental Europe.

Elachista cinereopunctella (Haworth, 1828) [Lepidoptera: Elachistidae].

1c > Leaf-miner: Narrow whitish mine, with frass in distinct black lumps. Pupation internal

On Arrhenatherum, Holcus, Milium and Phleum, but not yet on Sesleria, in Britain and additional grasses elsewhere. Recorded in Scotland and Widespread in continental Europe. Also recorded in Canada.

Chromatomyia fuscula (Zetterstedt, 1838) [Diptera: Agromyzidae].

ld > Leaf-miner: Long, narrow, whitish mine. Pupation internal (Spencer, 1976: 453); anterior spiracles projecting through the epidermis.

Whitish, upper-surface, rather narrow corridor with comparatively large frass grains that are laying further apart than their diameter. Pupation within the mine. The anterior spiracles of the orange-brown puparium penetrate the epidermis.

Chromatomyia nigra larva,  lateral
Chromatomyia nigra larva, lateral
Image: © Willem Ellis (Bladmineerders van Europa)
Orchestes fagi larva,  dorsal
Chromatomyia nigra
pupa, lateral
Image: © Willem Ellis (Bladmineerders van Europa)

On numerous genera of grasses, but not yet on Sesleria, in Britain. Widespread and common throughout British Isles and much of Europe. Also recorded in Canada, western U.S.A. and Japan.

Chromatomyia nigra (Meigen, 1830) [Diptera: Agromyzidae].

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