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


ULEX. Gorses. [Fabaceae]

Three species of Ulex, all native, are recorded in Britain, Gorse (U. europaeus), Western Gorse (U. gallii) and Dwarf Gorse (U. minor). The BSBI provide a downloadable plant crib for Ulex.

Four British miners are recorded on Ulex.

The coleophorid moth, Coleophora albicosta, is recorded feeding in the seeds of Ulex in Britain.

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

Gorse - Ulex europaeusImage: © Brian Pitkin
Ulex europaeus

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

1a > Leaf-miner and case-bearer: Very untidy, bivalved, lobe case of 7-8 mm. The mouth angle is 90°, causing the case to be perpendicular to the leaf.

On Cytisus and Genista, but not yet on Ulex, in Britain and Cytisus, Genista, Spartium and Ulex elsewhere. Britain including West Kent and South Gloucester. Widespread in continental Europe.

Coleophora saturatella Stainton, 1850 [Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae].

1b > Leaf-miner: An initially linear leaf-mine, normally adjoining leaf-margin and running towards apex of leaf, then turning and widening into a blotch in the area of the mid-rib (Spencer, 1972b: 40, fig. 123; Spencer, 1976: 117, fig. 190).

Hooklike, upper-surface corridor. The corridor begins near the base of a leaflet, runs along the margin to the tip, then, quickly widening, redescends over the midrib towards the base of the leaflet. Frass in the corridor part in fine grains, further up in small clumps. Pupation outside the mine. Older mines turn black and then are somewhat easier to find.

A narrow corridor along the leaf edge, turning and making a blotch in the midrib area.

Puparium reddish-orange

On Cytisus, Genista, Lupinus, Spartium and Ulex in Britain and elsewhere. Common in gardens in Britain where Cytisus is frequently cultivated. Widespread in continental Europe.

Agromyza johannae Meijere, 1924 [Diptera: Agromyzidae].

1c > Leaf-miner: An initial linear mine, which later develops into a blotch.

On Genista and Spartium, but not yet on Ulex, in Britain and elsewhere. Widespread in southern Britain and continental Europe.

Agromyza pulla Meigen, 1830 [Diptera: Agromyzidae].

1d > Leaf-miner: A rarely found mine. The larva feeds in the epidermis and in this mine a clear area can be seen at the top of the mine, with frass deposited lower down.

On Ulex in Britain. Hosts unknown elsewhere. Widespread in southern England. Continental Europe including French mainland, Greek mainland, Italian mainland.

Phyllonorycter ulicicolella (Stainton, 1851) [ Lepidoptera: Gracillaridae].

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