Plant Parasites of Europe

leafminers, galls and fungi

Scaptomyza flava

Scaptomyza flava (Fallén, 1823)

on herbs

Scaptomyza flava: mine on Spinacia oleracea

Spinacia oleracea, England, Norfolk, Downham Market, 31.v.2020 © Rob Edmunds

Scaptomyza flava: mine on Spinacia oleracea

mine, lighted from behind

Scaptomyza flava: mine on Diplotaxis tenuifolia

Diplotaxis tenuifolia, Belgium, prov. Luxembourg, Harsin, 9.ix.2017 © Jean-Yves Baugnée

Scaptomyza flava mine

Brassica rapa, Amsterdam,

Scaptomyza flava mine

same mine lighted from behind (detail)

Scaptomyza flava mine

12.vii.1999; frass pattern

Scaptomyza flava mine

Pisum sativum, Castricum, 26.x.2006

Scaptomyza flava mine

mines cross and overlap, resulting in an erratic pattern when the mine is held against the light

Scaptomyza flava mines

Pisum sativum, Reusel, in a large plot of peas almost no leaf remained unaffected

Scaptomyza flava mine

In gardens the species is quite common on Tropaeolum majus; Berkel-Enschot, 26.vii.2011 © Paul van Wielink


Oviposition within the leaf tissue, at the lower surface (the female has an ovipositor). The first part of the mine is a long, sometimes very long, corridor, that mostly will be overrun by the later developments. Generally this corridor is directed, frequently guided by a thick vein, to the midrib. The next section of the mine is large, irregular blotch overlying the basal section of the midrib. Locally large chunks of midrib tissue are consumed. From this central blotch excursions are made into the leaf blade: generally upper-surface, less often lower-surface and locally full-depth. In plants with narrow leaves, like Diplotaxis, the mine may occupy the entire width of the leaf. Often several larvae together in a mine. Frass blackish green, powdery, in clouds, sometimes along the sides of the corridors, later more in the periphery of the mine and in the end of extensions of the blotch, sometimes seemingly absent. (Often the frass can only be seen after the mine has been opened). Pupation generally in the ground, rarely within he leaf, in a short mine without frass. Hendel (1928a) described the biology, larva and pupa.

host plants

narrowly polyphagous, strong preference for Brassiceae

Aethionema; Alliaria petiolata; Alyssum; Anastatica hierochuntia; Anthyllis vulneraria; Arabidopsis arenosa, thalaiana; Arabis alpina, glabra, hirsuta; Armoracia rusticana; Aubrieta deltoidea; Barbarea stricta, vulgaris; Berteroa incana; Biscutella; Brassica napus, nigra, oleraca, rapa; Braya; Bunias erucago, orientalis; Cakile maritima; Calepina irregularis; Camelina; Capsella bursa-pastoris, rubella; Cardamine amara, bulbifera, enneaphyllos, glanduligera, hirsuta, impatiens; Cardaria draba; Cleome dodecandra, spinosa; Cochlearia auriculata, officinalis; Conringia orientalis; Crambe cordifolia, koktebelica, maritima, tataria; Diplotaxis muralis, tenuifolia; Draba; Eruca; Erucaria; Erucastrum; Erysimum cheiranthoides, cheiri, sylvestre; Euclidium; Fibigia; Heliophila amplexicaule; Hesperis matronalis; Hirschfeldia incana; Hypochaeris radicata; Iberis amara, “imperialis”, odorata, pinnata, sempervirens; Isatis tinctoria; Lepidium cartilagineum, didymum; Lobularia maritima; ; Lunaria annua; Malcolmia africana; Matthiola incana; Medicago; Moricandia arvensis; Myagrum perfoliatum; Nasturtium officinale; Neslia;Noccaea brevistyla, perfoliata; Peltaria; Pisum sativum; Raphanus raphanistrum, sativus; Reseda alba, crystallina, lutea, muricata, odorata; Rorippa amphibia, palustris; Sinapis alba, arvensis; Sisymbrium altissimum, officinale, orientale, supinum; Teesdalia nudicaulis; Thlaspi arvense; Trigonella; Tropaeolum majus, peregrinum; Zilla spinosa.

Minor pest (Burger ao, 1985a; Máca, 1972a).


Larvae in May-June, August, and September (Hendel, 1828a; Hering, 1957a).


BE recorded (Gosseries, 1991a).

NE recorded (de Meijere, 1939a).

LUX to be expected (Fauna Europaea, 2008).

distribution within Europe

Entire Europe (Fauna Europaea, 2008).




Scaptomyza, Scaptomyzella flaveola Meigen, 1830; Scaptomyza apicalis Hardy,1849; Scaptomyzella flava.


Ahr (1966a), Amsel & Hering (1931a), Beiger (1960a, 1965a, 1970a), Beuk (2002b), Bland (1992b), Buhr (1933a, 1941b, 1964a), Burger ao (1985a), Drăghia (1970a), Edmunds (2013a), Gosseries (1991a), Günthart (1949a), Hackman (1955a), Hartig (1939a), Hendel (1928a), Hering (1927b, 1931/32f, 1936b, 1957a), Huber (1969a), Máca (1972a), Maček (1999a), de Meijere (1895a, 1939a), Michalska (1970a, 1976a), Nowakowski (1954a), Ostrauskas, Pakalniškis & Taluntytė (2003a), Robbins (1991a), Skala & Zavřel (1945a), Sønderup (1949a), Spooner & Bowdrey (2012a), Starý (1930a), Zoerner (1969a, 1970a, 1971b).

Last modified 25.viii.2021