British leafmines, leaf-mining fly larvae, leafmines on Aquilejia, leafmines on Columbine, Phytomyza aquilegiae, Phytomyza minuscula
Here’s one – actually, two – for the gardeners out there, if you grow Columbine (Aquilegia vulgaris, also known as Granny’s bonnets) in your flower beds (though you can also find this plant growing in the wild, where it’s an indicator of ancient woodland, or perhaps as a naturalised garden escapee).
This first leafmine has been created by a larva of the tiny fly, Phytomyza minuscula. As you can see, the mine takes the form of a wavering tunnel with the larva’s frass, in blobs and lines, easily visible.
And this second lot of mines, in the form of large blotches, have been created by a related fly species, Phytomyza aquilegiae. Often, these mines contain more than one larva – you may be able to spot the two larvae in the photo on the right above – and the purplish blotches in these mines are also typical.
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