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Phytomyza spinaciae Hendel, 1928
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Food Plant: Carduus (Thistle) , Centaurea montana ( Perennial Cornflower), C. nigra ( Common Knapweed), Cirsium arvense (Creeping Thistle), C. dissectum ( Meadow Thistle), C. palustre ( Marsh Thistle), C. vulgare (Spear Thistle), Onopordum (Cotton Thistle)

Mine: Summer and Autumn

Notes: Forms a long narrow greenish mine. The puparium is white and forms at the end of the mine, underneath the leaf. The anterior spiracles protrude through the lower epidermis (as shown). A common and widespread miner. These mines are identical to those of P.autumnalis and can only be separated by larval and puparium features. The puparium of P.spinaciae is white whereas P.autumnalis is black - of course, P.spinaciae could be parasitised causing it to blacken. So recording P.autumnalis based on a black puparium isn’t safe, so it is best to rear. P.autumnalis mines occur in October and November, so there may be some overlap with P.spinaciae. Mine shown is on Cirsium arvense (Creeping Thistle).

Data: 19.x.2017, Downham Market, Norfolk, VC28

Image:© Rob Edmunds

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