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an introduction to identifying leaf mining sawflies
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The following are brief notes to help in identifying the mines made by sawflies. They should be used in conjunction with the foodplant guide.

All leafmining sawflies prefer shady situations and make blotch mines in the leaves.

The following may help in the identification of a sawfly leaf miner, once the foodplant is determined and the mine and larva examined:

They have different ways of feeding:
Pseudodineurini feed with the dorsal side towards the upper side of the leaf and they are able to leave the leaf and make a new mine.
Fenusini and Heterarthrini feed with the venter towards the upper side of the leaf and they are not able to build a new mine.

They have different oviposition sites:
All Pseudodineurini oviposit into the edge of the leaf - therefore the mine starts at the edge of the leaf. Heterarthrini oviposit into a tip of the leaf, except Heterarthrus cuneifrons (which oviposits into base and central part of the leaf).
There are different groups in the Fenusini, according to oviposition:
Fenusella and Scolioneura species oviposit into the edge of the leaf, whereas Hinatara species oviposit into the tip of the leaf.
Fenella, Fenusa and Metallus species oviposit between the ribs of the leaf.

Mines of Metallus species start with a narrow tunnel before a blotch-mine is formed.

There are specific characteristics of the larvae, which enable identification (and more details can be seen from the photos on this site):
. more or less reduced thoracic legs (Profenusa especially has reduced legs)
. dark spots on venter of thoracical and abdominal segments
. dark ring around the anal legs
dark "ring" (moon shaped) around the abdominal legs (e.g Metallus species)
. dark spots at the lateral side of abdomen (eg Scolioneura species).

© Ewald Altenhofer

sponsored by Colin Plant Associates (UK) LLP/Consultant Entomologists