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Phytomyza ilicis Curtis, 1846
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the mine is green intially

Food Plant: Ilex (Holly)

Mine: Univoltine - Summer to Spring

Pupa: The pupa forms inside the mine.

Notes: Initially in mid-rib then upper surface blotch. Only miner on Holly. Widespread throughout. The early mine is green (as shown). The oviposition scars can be seen on the midrib (underside of the leaf) for this species. Occasionally long thin mines (reminiscent of Lyonetia clerkella) are seen - Hering (1957) thought they were due to parasitism of the ilicis larva, but research by Ellis (2000) indicated that the cause was crushing of the larva by callus formation before it was able to form a blotch. Sometimes a larva will break free from this thin gallery and form a blotch (Ellis, pers. comm).

Please note the new recording grade, produced in response to the findings of Papp & Cerný (Papp L & Cerný M,(2020), Agromyzidae (Diptera) of Hungary. 4. Phytomyzinae III). They examined adult specimens of P.ilicis and discovered a second species. The May 2020 newsletter of the National Agromyzidae Recording Scheme gives full details. A photograph of both the mine and the anterior spiracles of the puparium now need to be recorded. It may also mean that the adult may be reared.

Warrington (2021) examined the adults given by Papp and Cerny and found that they were in fact P.ilicis. There are at present just two Holly leaf miners in Europe - P.ilicis and P.jucunda. P.ilicis is the only species found at present in the UK. Any atypical mines should be closely examined - in particular the anterior spiracles, which would help differentiate species; those of P.ilicis are short and closely spaced, with those of P.jucunda are longer and bifid.

Data: 15.iii.2006, Fleet, Hants, VC12

Image:© Rob Edmunds

Recording Grade: 4,5

Ellis,WN (2000) -Biological notes on the holly leaf miner, Phytomyza ilicis (Diptera: Agromyzidae). – Entomologische Berichten, Amsterdam 60: 165-170.
Hering, M (1957) - Bestimmungstabellen der Blattminen von Europa.
Lewis, T & Taylor, LR (1967)- Introduction to experimental ecology: i-xi. 1-401. Academic Press, London.
Miall, LC & Taylor LH (1907) - The Structure and life-history of the Holly Fly -Transactions of the entomological Society of London 1907(2): 259-283
Papp, L. and Cerný, M. (2020) - Agromyzidae (Diptera) of Hungary. Volume 4. Phytomyzinae III.
Robbins, J (1990) - A Provisional Atlas of The Leaf Miners of Warwickshire.
Rotheray, GE 2020) - Effects of tissue hardness on larval feeding in the holly leaf miner Phytomyza ilicis Curtis (Diptera:Agromyzidae), Dipterist's Digest 27 (2): 143-154
Spencer, K A (1976) - The Agromyzidae of Fennoscandia and Denmark.
Spencer, K.A (1972) - "Diptera: Agromyzidae" Handbooks for the Identification of British Insects, Royal Entomological Society of London.

Warrington, BP (2021) - Clarification on the status of Phytomyza ilicis Curtis (Diptera, agromyzidae), Dipterist's Digest 28 (1): 89-93
Warrington, BP (2021) - Recording the Holly leaf miner Phytomyza ilicis Curtis, 1846 - an Update, National Agromyzidae Recording scheme Newsltter, 15 1-2

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