Phytomyza spinaciae


The larvae of the fly Phytomyza spinaciae form long narrow greenish mines in the leaves of various thistles, and also in the leaves of Knapweed and Perennial Cornflower. The puparium is white and forms at the end of the mine, underneath the leaf. The frass grains are large and scattered.

See the National Agromyzidae Recording Scheme webpage for this species for further details of puparium and adult insect.

Similar Species

The leafmine of this species is identical to that of Phytomyza autumnalis and can only be separated by the puparium features. The puparium of Phytomyza spinaciae is white whereas that of Phytomyza autumnalis is black.

ref.: Warrington, B.P. (2023).  Phytomyza spinaciae. Accessed at… on 13/12/2023)

Identification difficulty

Leafmine   Adult

Recording advice

Adult: Unless identified by a recognised expert, a photo is required and the specimen should be examined with a microscope. In the comments box, state the key or ID method used and describe the size and identifying characters.

Leafmine: The leafmine can only be safely recorded if the pupa is present. Please provide images of the mine and the pupa and add a note of the host plant.


Where the larval food plants occur.

When to see it

Click on the 'further details' link in the 'Description' section above.  Then click on the Phenology tab which will provide phenology details for both adult and larval stages.

Leafmines may be found from May to October.

UK Status

In Britain this species is classed as Nationally Scarce B

Warrington, B. P. 2022. A provisional review of the status of Agromyzidae in Great Britain & Northern Ireland

VC55 Status

Rarely recorded in Leicestershire and Rutland.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map

Species profile

Species group:
Records on NatureSpot:
First record:
08/06/2020 (Calow, Graham)
Last record:
08/06/2020 (Calow, Graham)

Total records by month

% of records within its species group

10km squares with records

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