An extensive monograph of the European species, that devotes much attention to the larvae and puparia, was published by Nowakowski (1973a). The species live as miners on monocotyledons of the families Poaceae, Cyperaceae, Juncaceae and Iridaceae.
The key below to the subgenera of this large genus is an abbreviated and simplified version of a similar key in Nowakowski’s monograph. For each subgenus the species belonging to it are mentioned.
key to the subgenera (larvae)
The larvae of the subgenus Xenophytomyza (atronitens) are unknown.
1a prothorax ventrally with a bifid median protuberance, dorsally with a simple protuberance; mesothorax ventrally with a large median protuberance; frass as one or a few big lumps => 2
1b thorax without median protuberances; frass as numerous fine grains => 3
2a laterally, at the base of the rear spiraula, a black, finely spinulose wart; in the rare case that this is absent the rear spiraculum is strongly enlarged: Butomomyza angulata caricivora eucaricis melitta pseuderrans rohdendorfi scirpi scutellaris staryi vigneae
2b rear spiracula without such a wart, not excessively enlarged: Dizygomyza bimaculata caricicola carpatica chaixiana crassiseta elbergi eriophori fasciata handlirschi hirtae iraeos iridis lindrothi luctuosa luzulae morosa silvatica spinata suturalis
3a spinulation consists of acute, dark, spinules => 4
3b spinulation consists of blunt, little contrasting granules => 5
4b front spiracula almost sessile; mines on Poaceae: Phytagromyza flavocingulata
5b rear spiraculum with ≤ 6 papillae; usually mines in the blade: Poemyza alpina atra beigerae calamagrostidis calosoma imbuta incisa lateralis melicae muscina phalaridis phragmitidis pygmaea pygmella spencerae superciliosa unisetiorbita zoerneri zuskai