Overview

Brief Summary

Taxonomy

Morphology
The mining larva is typical of other flies - it is a legless maggot without a head capsule. The mouthparts comprise a uniquely Diptera cephalo-pharyngeal skeleton.The larval and pupal anterior spiracles are elongated and unbranched at the tip.The posterior spiracles have numerous spiracular bulbs not organized in a circle or semicircle.

Look-alikes
The species is similar to the exclusively Nearctic American holly leaf miner, Phytomyza ilicicola, the adult of which is larger and with the mesonotum less densely covered with fine hairs.
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Introduction

As its common name implies, Phytomyza ilicis is a miner in the leaves of holly (Ilex aquifolium).The maggot-like, legless larvae feed between the upper and lower surface of the leaves and form characteristic blotch mines, usually only 1 per leaf. The mining activities of the larvae cause some aesthetic damage to the host plant and can weaken young plants in nurseries.The adult holly leaf miner is a small black fly belonging to the family Agromyzidae. It is the only species of leaf-miner recorded on holly in Britain.
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Comprehensive Description

Biology

There is a single generation per year.In May or June the adult female fly lays its eggs singly in the underside of the petiole or midrib of a young leaf, leaving a clear scar. During the following months, the larva tunnels in the midrib in the direction of the leaf tip.In December or January the larva enters the leaf blade, where the first moult takes place. The larva then makes a large blotch in the leaf-blade. Most frass is deposited in the centre of the blotch, and the epidermis often turns wine red.The larvae spend the winter months feeding within the leaf and then pupate in spring within the mine with the anterior spiracles of the pupa penetrating the epidermis of the leaf. Adults emerge in spring through a semi-circular slit cut in the epidermis.Mines with circular exit holes usually indicate that the larva had been parasitised.Known parasitoids include the chalicidoid wasps:Find out more about these species by searching the Universal Chalcidoidea Database.

Life cycle
This video illustrates the biology of a related species of agromyzid fly, the South American leaf miner Liriomyza huidobrensis, cleaning, feeding, and egg laying. It also shows the life history from egg to adult fly.Liriomyza huidobrensis life-cycle video - YouTube The South American leaf miner is a highly polyphagous pest of ornamental and vegetable crops and is occasionally intercepted at UK points of entry.
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Distribution

Distribution habitat

The holly leaf miner is an Holarctic species. It is widespread throughout Great Britain and Ireland and has been recorded in over 50 counties.View the National Biodiversity Network (NBN) grid map for Phytomyza ilicis.View the NBN grid map for Ilex aquifolium.It is also common and widespread in Europe, including:
  • Denmark
  • Norway
  • Sweden
  • The Netherlands
  • Luxembourg
  • Belgium
  • Germany
  • Italian mainland
  • Sicily
  • Switzerland
It has been introduced into western Canada and the north-west USA.

Habitat
The fly is common in woodlands, hedgerows, parks and gardens in Europe and North AmericaThe adult fly is not easily observed because of its small size. The characteristic mines however, are very obvious and can be sought wherever holly - which is mainly cultivated as an ornamental tree - is found.
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Ecology

Associations

In Great Britain and/or Ireland:
Animal / associate
epiphyllous, few pycnidium of Ascochyta coelomycetous anamorph of Ascochyta ilicis is associated with mine of larva of Phytomyza ilicis

Animal / parasitoid / endoparasitoid
larva of Chrysocharis gemma is endoparasitoid of larva of Phytomyza ilicis

Animal / parasitoid / endoparasitoid
larva of Chrysocharis syma is endoparasitoid of pupa of Phytomyza ilicis

Animal / parasitoid / endoparasitoid
larva of Closterocerus trifasciatus is endoparasitoid of pupa of Phytomyza ilicis

Animal / parasitoid / endoparasitoid
larva of Cyrtogaster vulgaris is endoparasitoid of pupa of Phytomyza ilicis

Animal / parasitoid / endoparasitoid
larva of Eutelus is endoparasitoid of pupa of Phytomyza ilicis

Animal / parasitoid / endoparasitoid
larva (1st instar) of Opius ilicis is endoparasitoid of larva of Phytomyza ilicis

Plant / resting place / within
puparium of Phytomyza ilicis may be found in leaf-mine of Ilex aquifolium
Other: sole host/prey

Animal / parasitoid / endoparasitoid
larva of Pleurotropis amyntes is endoparasitoid of pupa of Phytomyza ilicis

Animal / parasitoid / endoparasitoid
larva of Sphegigaster flavicornis is endoparasitoid of pupa of Phytomyza ilicis

Animal / parasitoid / endoparasitoid
larva of Tetracampe is endoparasitoid of pupa of Phytomyza ilicis

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Phytomyza ilicis typically makes blotch mines on Holly. Linear mines on Holly have been attributed to parasitism and to Phytomyza ilicola, a North American species that makes linear mines.

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Phytomyza ilicis

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 2 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.  Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.  See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

GGAACTTTATATTTTATATTTGGAGCTTGATCAGGAATAGTAGGAACTTCTTTA---AGTATTTTAATTCGAGCTGAATTAGGACACCCTGGAGCCTTAATCGGTGAT---GATCAAATTTATAATGTAATTGTTACAGCTCATGCATTTATTATAATTTTTTTTATAGTTATACCTATTATAATTGGAGGATTTGGAAATTGACTAGTACCCCTAATA---CTAGGAGCCCCAGATATAGCATTTCCTCGAATAAATAATATAAGATTTTGACTTTTACCACCTGCTTTAACCTTACTTTTATTAAGCAGTATAGTAGAAAATGGAGCTGGGACAGGTTGAACGGTTTACCCCCCACTATCATCAATTATTGCTCATGGAGGAGCTTCAGTAGATTTA---GCTATTTTTTCTTTACATTTAGCTGGAATTTCTTCAATTTTAGGAGCTGTTAATTTTATTACAACAATTATTAATATACGATCTTCTGGAATTTCTTTTGATCGAATACCTTTATTTGTTTGATCAGTTTTAATTACAGCAGTATTATTACTTTTATCCCTTCCAGTATTAGCTGGA---GCTATTACTATATTATTAACAGACCGAAATTTTAATACTTCTTTTTTTGACCCTGCAGGAGGAGGAGACCCAATTTTATATCAACATTTATTTTGATTTTTTGGGCATCCAGAAGTTTATATTTTAATTTTACCCGGGTTTGGTATAATTTCACACATTATTAGTCAAGAATCTGGAAAAAAA---GAAACTTTTGGTTCTTTAGGAATAATTTATGCTATATTAACAATTGGATTATTAGGGTTTATTGTTTGAGCTCATCATATATTTACTGTTGGTATAGATGTTGACACTCGAGCTTATTTTACTTCAGCAACAATAATTATTGCTGTACCTACAGGAATTAAAATTTTTAGTTGATTA---GCAACT
-- end --

Download FASTA File
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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Phytomyza ilicis

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 2
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Wikipedia

Holly leaf miner

Phytomyza ilicis, the holly leaf miner, is a fly whose larvae burrow into leaves of the holly tree (Ilex aquifolium) leaving characteristic pale trails or leaf mines. The holly leaf miner has frequently been used in ecological studies as a system to study food webs since examination of the leaves can reveal whether the leaf miner has successfully emerged, been killed by a parasitic wasp, or been predated by blue tits.[2][3]

Life cycle[edit]

Female Agromyzidae insert an egg in the leaf tissue using an ovipositor. In the case of Ph. ilicis this poses a problem, because the leaf of the hostplant is unusually tough. Only during the annual flush in April, May, when new leaves unfold, oviposition is possible. Oviposition is in the underside of the petiole, or the basal part of the midrib. Oviposition induces the formation of a characteristic oviposition scar, enabling an estimate of the number of eggs that has been deposited. The emerging larva tunnels within the midrib, in the direction of the leaf tip. Only around January it enters the leaf blade, and starts making a recognisable leaf mine.[4] Up to three mines may occur on a leaf - often much less than the number of oviposition scars, suggesting that intra-leaf competition has taken place.[5] The adult emerges in late May–June and leaves a >1 mm emergence hole (exit holes made by parasitoids are much smaller).

Distribution[edit]

The holly leaf miner is found throughout the holarctic on its host Ilex aquifolium. It is common and widespread in Europe and has been introduced into western Canada and north west USA.[6]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Curtis, John (July 4, 1846). Gardeners Chronicle: 444. 
  2. ^ Metcalfe, J. A.; Marcal, J.; Gaston, K. (2000). "The holly leaf miner as a study organism". Journal of Biological Education 34 (2): 90–94. 
  3. ^ Owen, D. F. (1975). The efficiency of blue tits Parus caeruleus preying on larvae of Phytomyza ilicis. - Ibis 117: 515 - 516.
  4. ^ Miall, L. C.; Taylor T. H. (1907). The structure and life-history of the holly-fly. Transactions of the entomological Society of London 1907(2): 259-283.
  5. ^ Ellis, W. N. (2000). Biological notes on the holly leaf miner, Phytomyza ilicis (Diptera: Agromyzidae). Entomologische Berichten, Amsterdam 60: 165-170.
  6. ^ Spencer, K. A. (1976). "The Agromyzidae (Diptera) of Fennoscandia and Denmark". Fauna Entomologica Scandinaviaca 5 (2): 305–606. 
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