The dipterous family of Agromyzidae are commonly referred to leaf-miner flies, due to their larval feeding habits. The larvae feed within the leaves of plants, often making distinctive feeding patterns, which, combined with how the larvae deposits its frass (excrement), is often unique to a particular species. There are two types of mine usually formed, corridor or blotch-like.
The image below shows the corridor mine made by the larva of the Agromyzid, Agromyza alnivora, a species which feeds on a Alder.
There are some species, however, which form mines that may start as a corridor but then turn into a blotch as the larva grows, such as Liriomyza amoena. As the below image shows, the larvae initially created a long corridor which then turned into a blotch.
The adult flies are very small, varying bewteen 1mm and 6mm in length. The lifestyle of approximately 58 species of Agromyzidae is currently unknown and in some cases, where the lifestyle is known, the host plant may not be known.
The aim of this website is to provide a resource for anyone interested in recording Agromyzidae, by providing written descriptions and photographic examples of the many Agromyzidae recorded in the UK.
Unfortunately, due to the difficulty in determining a high percentage of species within the family, Agromyzidae are an under-recorded subject.
A National Recording Scheme for Agromyzidae has recently been launched (details can be found here) and any records received provide us with vital information such as population and distribution trends. By collating records of these fascinating insects, we hope to gain a much greater understanding of their larval and adult lifestyle.
To submit records to the scheme, please see the 'Recording' tab at the top of the page.