Plant Parasites of Europe

leafminers, galls and fungi

Phytomyza aquilegiae

Phytomyza aquilegiae Hardy, 1849


Aquilegia vulgaris, Amstelveen


Striking, large, somewhat inflated, upper-surface, often purple-brown blotch without a preceding corridor. The mine is unusual because locally also the spongy mesophyll is eaten away, making the mine locally full depth and giving it a mottled appearance (right picture below). The mine begins in the centre of the leaf, or the base of a leaf segment (Griffiths, 1956b). The very first part of the mine differs in colour and structure; probably it is made by the larvae before its first ecdysis. Frass in very fine grains scattered over the floor of the mine. Pupation outside the mine. Exit slit in upper epidermis (Pakalniškis, 2004a).


initial part of the mine, from above; to the right a part of the later mine, with the characteristic pattern of eaten away spongy parenchyma


When the mine is opened and the upper epidermis is folded back, the initial parts of the mine show a concentration of frass, around a perforation that descends to the lower epidermis – probably the oviposition site.

host plants

Ranunculaceae, narrowly oligophagous

Aquilegia atrata, flabellata, vulgaris, Thalictrum aquilegiifolium, flavum, lucidum, minus.


Larvae from June till October (Hering, 1957a) – but during the mild autumn of 2006 up to mid December! In gardens a common species.


BE recorded (De Bruyn & von Tschirnhaus, 1991a).

NE recorded (de Meijere, 1924a).

LUX not recorded (Fauna Europaea, 2008).

distribution within Europe

From Scandinavia and Finland to the Pyrenees, Alps and Slovakia, and from the UK to Lithuania and Poland; also Bulgaria (Fauna Europaea, 2008).


parasitoids, predators

Chrysocharis amyite


Ahr (1966a), Beiger (1955a, 1979a, 1989a), Beuk (2002a), Bland (2001a), De Bruyn & von Tschirnhaus (1991a), Buhr (1932a, 1941b, 1964a), Černý & Merz (2007a), Chałańska, Łabanowski & Soika (2006a), Drăghia (1967a, 1968a, 1972a), Dreger & Myssura (2005a), van Frankenhuyzen, Houtman & Kabos (1982a), Griffiths (1956b), Guglya (2021a), Hartig (1939a), Hering (1955b, 1957a), Huber (1969a), Kabos (1971a), Maček (1999a), de Meijere (1924a, 1926a, 1939a, 1941a), Michalska (1970a), Nowakowski (1954a), Ostrauskas, Pakalniškis & Taluntytė (2003a), Pakalniškis (1986a, 2004a), Robbins (1991a), Rydén (1926a), Skala (1941a, 1951a), Skala & Zavřel (1945a), Sønderup (1949a), Spencer (1072a, 1976a), Starke (1942a), Starý (1930a), Surányi (1942a), von Tschirnhaus (1999a), Utech (1962a).

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