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The appearance of astrantia plants can be spoiled by the larvae of a fly that feeds within the leaves.
Common name Astrantia leaf minerScientific name Phytomyza astrantiaePlants affected AstrantiaMain cause Larvae of a leaf-mining fly tunnelling in the foliageTiming April-May and July-August
Astrantia leaf miner is a small fly which develops as larvae that feed within the foliage of astrantia plants.
The adult flies are 2mm long and greyish brown in colour. They feed by rasping the leaf surface, causing many small pale spots on the upper leaf surface.
More significant damage is caused by the creamy white larvae. They eat the internal tissues of the leaves and cause whitish brown discoloured blotches. The mines typically have a pale edge around the darker brownish centre.
There are two generations during the summer and by August each leaf can be affected by several mines.
Astrantia plants will survive and produce flowers, even when there is extensive leaf mining, so control measures are not essential.
Other than removing infested leaves or squashing the larvae within the mines there are no non-chemical control options.
Pesticides for gardeners (Adobe Acrobat pdf document outlining pesticides available to gardeners)
Astrantia leaf miner has two generations during the summer. The females deposit their eggs on the foliage during April and July. The eggs hatch into legless larvae that tunnel into the foliage where they eat the internal tissues. The mines are initially linear but later broaden to form a whitish brown blotch mine. When fully fed, the larvae pupate within the mines.
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