30 October 2008

Burdock leaf mining fly

Along the path by the transmission lines at about TQ 8047 2040, there is a plant of greater burdock (Arctium majus) with its leaves heavily mined by larvae of the agromyzid fly Phytomyza lappae.

20081027 BHW Phytomyza lappae 011

The plant is not common in Brede High Woods but the seeds in their sticky burrs no doubt get stuck to the pelts of dogs and human nether garments from time to time and drop off by footpaths.

It is rather wonderful that the tiny black fly that these larvae will turn into is able to locate the greater burdock plants so efficiently, though who knows how many die searching.

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