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


TYPHA. Bulrushes. [Typhaceae]

Three species of Typha are recorded in Britain. These include the native Lesser Bulrush (T. angustifolia) and Bulrush (T. latifolia). The BSBI provide a downloadable plant crib for Typha.

Three British miners are recorded on Typha.

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

Bulrush - Typha latifolia. Image: © Brian Pitkin
Typha latifolia

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

1a > Leaf-miner: Irregular mine, locally shallow, elsewhere much deeper, giving it a mottled appearance. In broadleaved plants the mine often begins as a blotch with stellate extensions, but sometimes as a very fine, shallow corridor. In grasses the mine often begins in the leaf sheath. The frass is very fine-grained, initially scattered, later in aggregates. The egg is deposited on the plant surface, and the empty egg shell remains visible. But the larvae are able to leave their mine and restart elsewhere, thus mines without an egg shell can be found as well. The larva also leaves the mine before pupation. Pupation takes place in a newly made, small, blotch mine without frass; this mine may be made in another plant (species).

Mine of Hydrellia griseola on Glyceria fluitans. Image: © Willem Ellis (Source: Bladmineerders en plantengallen van Europa)
Mine of Hydrellia griseola on Glyceria fluitans
Image: © Willem Ellis (Bladmineerders van Europa)

Polyphagpus. On ? Alisma, ? Damasonium, ? Sagittaria, ? Bellis, ? Rorippa, Tropaeolum, ? Lychnis, ? Stellaria, ? Carex, ? Cyperus, ? Scirpus, ? Hydrocharis, ? Stratiotes, ? Lamium, ? Lemna, ? Allium, Arrhenatherum, ? Polygonum, ? Potamogeton, ? Veronica, ? Typha in Britain.

On ? Alisma, ? Damasonium, ? Sagittaria, ? Bellis, ? Rorippa, Tropaeolum, Lychnis, ? Stellaria, Carex, ? Scirpus, Trifolium, ? Hydrocharis, Lamium, ? Lemna, Allium, Papaver, Agrostis, Alopecurus, Apera, Arrhenatherum, Avena, Avenula, Brachypodium, Briza, Bromus, Calamagrostis, Dactylis, Desmazeria, Digitaria, Echinochloa, Eleusine, Elymus, Festuca, Gaudinia, Glyceria, Holcus, Hordeum, Lagurus, Lolium, Panicum, Phalaris, Phleum, Phragmites, Poa, Secale, Setaria, Triticum, ? Polygonum, ? Potamogeton, Veronica, ? Typha and Verbena elsewhere. Widespread in England. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland. Widespread in the Palaearctic region. Also recorded from Nearctic and Australasian Regions.

Hydrellia griseola (Fallén, 1813) [Diptera: Ephydridae].

1b > Leaf-miner: The slender larva mines the leaves, stems and upper rootstock.

On Typha in Britain and elsewhere. Scarce and locally distributed in marshes, fens and other wet habitats in south and south-east England. Widespread in continental Europe.

Calamotropha paludella (Hübner, 1824) [Lepidoptera: Crambidae].

1c > Leaf miner / Stem-borer: Narrow gallery in a young leaf. After having mined for some time the larva becomes a borer in the stem or rhizome. The larvae feed inside the stems.

On Scirpus, Glyceria, Iris, Sparganium and Typha in Britain and Schoenoplectus, Glyceria, Iris and Sparganium elsewhere. Locally distributed from southern England northwards to southern Scotland. Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland. Widespread in continental Europe.

Orthotelia sparganella (Thunberg, 1788) [Lepidoptera: Glyphipterigidae].

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