Cambium miner Phytobia sp., copyright Rami P.

Belongs within: Schizophora.
Contains: Agromyza, Melanagromyza, Phytomyza, Cerodontha, Liriomyza.

The Agromyzidae are a group of mostly small or minute flies, the larvae of which form mines or galls in plants. Females have a well-sclerotised ovipositor that is used to insert eggs into plant tissue. As a result of damage from oviposition and larval feeding, some species are economically significant pests, particularly those such as the vegetable leaf miner Liriomyza sativae that may attack a wide range of hosts. The majority of species, however, restrict themselves to a single host species or closely related host species only (Boucher 2010). The fossil record of the family is limited; however, feeding channels in wood similar to those formed by the modern genus Phytobia are known from the Upper Miocene (Spencer 1987).

Agromyzids are divided between the subfamilies Agromyzinae, in which the subcostal vein fuses with vein R1 before reaching the costa, and Phytomyzinae, in which the two veins usually reach the costa independently (some Phytobia species have the subcostal vein as in Agromyzinae). The subfamilies are also distinguished by the larval cephalopharyngeal skeleton having two upper arms in Agromyzinae but only one in Phytomyzinae (Boucher 2010).

Characters (from Boucher 2010): Minute to medium-sized flies (wing length 0.9–6.5 mm, usually 2–3 mm). Often yellow and/or black, brown or gray, few have some metallic greenish, bluish or coppery coloration. Head with first flagellomere small, round, or sometimes enlarged, elongate, or with anterodorsal projection or spine and with well-developed dorsobasal arista. Fronto-orbital and ocellar bristles trong; postocellar bristles divergent; fronto-orbital setulae in one or more rows, usually reclinate but sometimes proclinate, upright or absent; vibrissa well developed, some males with vibrissal fasciculus. Scutum with two to five dorsocentral bristles present but many genera in Phytomyzinae with three postsutural and one presutural dorsocentral bristles; acrostichals present (in up to ten rows) or absent. Costal break present near end of R1, humeral break absent; Sc incomplete distally or reaching C as linear fold, independently of R1, or Sc complete and fusing with R1 before reaching costa; CuA2 and A1 present, forming small cell cup; A1 not reaching wing margin. Abdomen tapered, composed of six visible segments. Females with abdominal segment 7 modified in large conical nonretractile oviscape.

    |  i. s.: Ceratomyza lateralis K01
    |         Selachops G10
    |         Aulagromyza B10
    |           |--A. nitida B10
    |           `--A. orbitalis B10
    |         Xeniomyza S87
    |         Penetagromyza S87
    |         Gymnophytomyza S87
    |         Pseudoliriomyza cordiae O98
    |--Agromyzinae B10
    |    |--Agromyza B10
    |    |--Tropicomyia Spencer 1973 S87
    |    |--Hexomyza S87
    |    |--Melanagromyza B10
    |    |--Ophiomyia B10
    |    |    |--O. aberrans S87
    |    |    |--O. centrosematis O98
    |    |    |--O. labiatarum S87
    |    |    |--O. lantanae B10
    |    |    |--O. maura B10
    |    |    |--O. phaseoli B10
    |    |    `--O. solanicola B88
    |    `--Japanagromyza B10
    |         |--J. jamaicensis B10
    |         |--J. maculata [=Geratomyza maculata] B10
    |         |--J. nebulifera B10
    |         |--J. orbitalis B10
    |         |--J. phaseoli B10
    |         |--J. polygoni B10
    |         `--J. spadix [=Geratomyza spadix] B10
    `--Phytomyzinae B10
         |--Phytomyza B10
         |--Haplopeodes B10
         |--Galiomyza B10
         |--Cerodontha B10
         |--Liriomyza B10
         |--Metopomyza S87
         |--Napomyza lateralis S87
         |--Paraphytomyza S87
         |    |--P. nitida S87
         |    `--P. orbitalis S87
         |--Pseudonapomyza B10
         |    |--P. asiatica B10
         |    |--P. cingulata B88
         |    `--P. lacteipennis B10
         |--Nemorimyza B10
         |    |--N. maculosa B10
         |    |--N. posticata B10
         |    `--N. ranchograndensis B10
         |--Amauromyza B10 [incl. Campanulomyza S87, Melanophytobia S87]
         |    |--A. abnormalis B10
         |    |--A. boliviensis B10
         |    |--A. (Trilobomyza) flavifrons S87
         |    |--A. karli S87
         |    `--A. (Catalpomyza) pleuralis S87
         |--Calycomyza B10
         |    |--C. devia B10
         |    |--C. illustris B10
         |    |--C. menthae S87
         |    |--C. meridiana B10
         |    `--C. obscura B10
         |--Phytoliriomyza B10 [incl. Lemurimyza S87, Nesomyza S87, Pteridomyza S87]
         |    |--P. conjunctimontis B10
         |    |--P. costaricensis B10
         |    |--P. cyathea Spencer 1976 M03
         |    |--P. hilarella S87
         |    |--P. leechi B10
         |    `--P. pacifica S87
         `--Phytobia B10
              |--P. coylesi S87
              |--P. guatemalensis B10
              |--P. kallima B10
              |--P. mentula B10
              |--P. pipinna B10
              |--P. rabelloi B10
              `--P. unica B10

*Type species of generic name indicated


[B88] Bouček, Z. 1988. Australasian Chalcidoidea (Hymenoptera): A biosystematic revision of genera of fourteen families, with a reclassification of species. CAB International: Wallingford (UK).

[B10] Boucher, S. 2010. Agromyzidae (leaf-mining flies). In: Brown, B. V., A. Borkent, J. M. Cumming, D. M. Wood, N. E. Woodley & M. A. Zumbado (eds) Manual of Central American Diptera vol. 2 pp. 1057–1071. NRC Research Press: Ottawa.

[G10] Gaimari, S. D. 2010. Odiniidae (odiniid flies). In: Brown, B. V., A. Borkent, J. M. Cumming, D. M. Wood, N. E. Woodley & M. A. Zumbado (eds) Manual of Central American Diptera vol. 2 pp. 1049–1055. NRC Research Press: Ottawa.

[K01] Kertész, K. 1901. Legyek [Dipteren]. In: Horváth, G. (ed.) Zichy Jenő Gróf Harmadik Ázsiai Utazása [Dritte Asiatische Forschungsreise des Grafen Eugen Zichy] vol. 2. Zichy Jenő Gróf Harmadik Ázsiai Utazásának Állattani Eredményei [Zoologische Ergebnisse der Dritten Asiatischen Forschungsreise des Grafen Eugen Zichy] pp. 179–201. Victor Hornyánszky: Budapest, and Karl W. Hierseman: Leipzig.

[M03] Martin, N. 2003. Changes in abundance of the silver fern leaf miner. Weta 25: 31–32.

[O98] Oosterbroek, P. 1998. The Families of Diptera of the Malay Archipelago. Brill: Leiden.

[S87] Spencer, K. A. 1987. Agromyzidae. In: McAlpine, J. F. (ed.) Manual of Nearctic Diptera vol. 2 pp. 869–879. Research Branch, Agriculture Canada.

Last updated: 2 July 2021.

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