Phytomyza nigra Meigen

This widespread and generally common leaf miner is a minor pest of barley, oats, rye and wheat; it is also associated with various grasses. Damage is usually insignificant and restricted to the loss of photosynthetic tissue.


Larvae feed within the leaves of various cereals and grasses to form long, narrow, whitish mines. Pupation occurs in the mine, with the anterior spiracles of the puparium protruding through the upper epidermis. There are several generations annually, and larvae occur from early spring to late autumn.


Adult mainly greyish to black; legs black with yellow knees; squamae yellowish-grey; wings 2.3-2.6 mm long, the costal vein extending to vein R4+5 (see Fig. 260b). Larva whitish-yellow; anterior spiracles each with up to 18 pores and borne on a relatively long, outwardly curved stalk (cf. Phytomyza fuscula, p. 193); posterior spiracles each with 10-13 pores and borne on a short stalk. Puparium yellowish-brown; anterior spiracles borne on a pair of prominent, diverging stalks.

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