Plant Parasites of Europe

leafminers, galls and fungi

Phytomyza obscura

Phytomyza obscura Hendel, 1920

on Clinopodium

Phytomyza obscura: vacated mines on Clinopodium menthifolium

Clinopodium menthifolium, France, dép. Haute-Marne, Auberive © Jean Béguinot: vacated mines


The mine, that may be upper- or lower-surface, generally starts with a tight spiral. Its loops are so tight that the leaf tissue dies off and turns red; nevertheless the corridor remains well visible. Later the corridor widens and finally a large secondary blotch develops around to the inital spiral. Frass at first in two rows of grains, later in pearl chains. Feeding lines very clear. Pupation now within, then outside the mine.


Lamiaceae, monophagous

Clinopodium menthifolium, nepeta subsp. glandulosum, vulgare.

In the literature a number of other plants are mentioned: Galeopsis pubescens, speciosa, tetrahit; Mentha; Nepeta; Origanum; Lycopus europaeus, and even Symphytum (Boraginaceae). According to the study by Nowakowski (1959a) none of these are plausible as hostplants.


Larvae between May and August (Hering, 1957a).


Not known from the Benelux countries (Fauna Europaea, 2008).

distribution within Europe

From the UK to Italy and Bulgaria, and from Lithuania to the Iberian Peninsula (Fauna Europaea, 2008).


Described by de Meijere (1926a); rear spiraculum with about 13-15 papillae in three quarters of a circle.

Phytomyza oscura: spiracula

anterior and posterior spiracula (from Nowakowski, 1962b)


Shining dark brown (Hering, 1924a); it often sticks to the leaf underside.


Phytomyza hedickei Hering, 1927.


Beiger (1955a, 1960a, 1965a, 1970a, 1975a, 1979a), Buhr (1932a, 1941b), Černý (2011a), Černý & Merz (2006a), Černý & Vála (1999a), Drăghia (1968a), Dreger & Myssura (2005a), Guglya (2021a), Hering (1921b, 1924a,b, 1927b, 1931a, 1936b, 1957a, 1967a), Huber (1969a), Kvičala (1938a), Maček (1999a), Manning (1956a), de Meijere (1926a), Michna (1975a), Nowakowski (1959a, 1962b), Pakalniškis (2000a), Robbins (1991a), Skala (1951a), Skala & Zavřel (1945a), Sønderup (1949a), Spencer (1965a, 1972a), Starý (1930a), Stolnicu (2007a), Zoerner (1969a).

Last modified 7.x.2021