Plant Parasites of Europe

leafminers, galls and fungi

Phytomyza vitalbae

Phytomyza vitalbae Kaltenbach, 1872

Phytomyza vitalbae mine

Clematis vitalba, Amstelveen

Phytomyza vitalbae mine

lower surface

Phytomyza vitalbae: mine on Clematis vitalba

Clematis vitalba, Belgium, prov. Namur, Phillippeville, Romedenne © Stéphane Claerebout. Puzzling mine: it clearly started at left, and ended above the midrib, where the exit slit is well visible; but how does the gallery at right fit into that picture??


Oviposition in the leaf lower surface. After a short initial corridor of a few mm lengt the larva makes an upper-surface gallery that mostly begins with a dense knot in the leaf tip. Frass in ling pearl chains along the sides. In fresh material primary feeding lines are apparent. Pupation outside the mine; exit slit in the lower epidermis. The mine often causes the leaf to be malformed and wrinkled. Feeding punctures in the lower surface.

host plants

Ranunculaceae, monophagous

Clematis alpina, flammula, heracleifolia, recta, vitalba.


Mines from early May.


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

NE recorded (de Meijere, 1924a).

LUX recorded (Ellis: Kautenbach, Dudelange, Ahn).

distribution within Europe

Entire Europe, except the Balkan Peninsula (Fauna Europaea, 2008).



parasitoids, predators

Chrysocharis pubicornis; Closterocerus lyonetiae; Diglyphus isaea.


Hering (1957a) attaches much importance to the fact that the start of the mine is upper-surface. (He probably disregarded the first few mm just after oviposition.) However, several times I have found populations in which the first few cm actually were on the lower surface. In combination with the frass pattern these mines had a strong resemblance with those of Liriomyza bryoniae.

The species has been introduced in New Zealand in an attempt to control the, equally introduced, Traveller’s Joy.


Ahr (1966a), Askew, Blasco-Zumeta & Pujade-Villar (2001a), Beiger (1979a), Beuk (2002a), Bland (2001a), De Bruyn & von Tschirnhaus (1991a), Buhr (1932a, 1941b), Černý (2007a, 2011a), Černý & Merz (2005a, 2006a, 2007a), Černý & Vála (1999a, 2006a), Drăghia (1967a, 1968a, 19171a), van Frankenhuyzen & Houtman (1972a), van Frankenhuyzen Houtman & Kabos (1982a), Griffiths (1956b), Hartig (1939a), Hering (1924a, 1932g, 1936b, 1955b, 1957a, 1967a), Huber (1969a), Kabos (1971a), Maček (1999a), Matošević, Pernek, Dubravac & Barić (2009a), de Meijere (1924a, 1926a, 1939a), Mihajlović, Spasić, Petanović & Mihajlović (1998a), Nowakowski (1954a), Pârvu (2005a), Paynter ao (2006a), Popescu-Gorj & Drăghia (1966a), Robbins (1991a), Skala & Zavřel (1945a), Sønderup (1949a), Spencer (1972a, 1976a), Stammer (2016a), Starke (1942a), Starý (1930a), Süss & Moreschi (2003a), von Tschirnhaus (1999a), Ureche (2010a).

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