Plant Parasites of Europe

leafminers, galls and fungi

Phytosciara macrotricha

Phytosciara macrotricha (Lengersdorf, 1926)

Diptera, Sciaridae

Phytosciara macrotricha: mine on Tussilago farfara

Tussilago farfara, Belgium, prov. Namur, Maizeret, © Jean-Yves Baugnée

Phytosciara macrotricha: mine on Tussilago farfara

same mine, lighted from behind

Phytosciara macrotricha: larva


Phytosciara macrotricha (?) on Vaccinium vitis-idaea

Vaccinium vitis-idaea, Boswachterij Schoonloo © Ben van As – see note below


mine full depth, initially a much branched corridor, irregular in width, in the end almost a blotch. De mine has openings by which part of the frass is ejected. The larvae frequently leave the mine to restart elesewhere. Contrary to Phytosciara halterata the larvae remain miners all their life.


broadly polyphagous on low herbs in shady situations

Arctium lappa, minus; Caltha palustris; Carduus crispus; Cirsium arvense, oleraceum, palustre, vulgare; Doronicum orientale; Eupatorium cannabinum; Jacobaea aquatica; Ficaria verna; Lamium album; Myosotis sylvatica; Petasites albus; Plantago lanceolata; Pulmonaria obscura, officinalis; Ranunculus acris, lanuginosus, repens; Rudbeckia; Senecio ovatus; Symphytum officinale; Tussilago farfara.


Larvae from the end of May till November (Buhr, 1956a; Hering, 1957a).


The observation by Jean-Yves is the first one for the Benelux.

distribution within Europe

From Denmark to the Alps; also Latvia and Russia (Fauna Europaea, 2009); moreover Poland and Slovenia (Beiger, 1960a; Maček, 1999a)..


Elongate, without feet, but with a recognisable head capsule.


Psilomegalosphys macrotricha.


the mines on Vaccinium (3 leaves) were vacated. It was evident that the larvae several times had left the mine (at the underside) and re-entered the leaf. No egg shells were seen, but at the hypophylous exit of one of the mines the flimsy remnants of an exuvium were visible. The mines contained much frass; this does not support the identification, neither does the fact that according to the literature the species is never found on Ericaceae or in general plants with a similar tough leaf texture.


Beiger (1960a, 1970a), Buhr (1933a, 1941b, 1956a, 1964a), Huber (1969a), Maček (1999a), Michalska (1970a, 1976a), Mohrig & Menzel (1994a), Skala & Zavřel (1945a), Sønderup (1949a).


Last modified 18.vii.2017