Sunday, 19 October 2008

Leaf miners emerge

I didn't think they would make it through pupation, considering I had so rudely uprooted their homes, but the plastic bag is full of dried up Sonchus and active little flies. (And they really are little — less than 2mm body length.) I worked through the Lucid key and confirmed the original identification. More or less. Unfortunately, the two introduced species of Chromatomyia are indistinguishable from one another on external features, so I'll have to be satisfied with an either/or ID.

Lest you think that putting a name to these minute beasts was a matter of great ability I should let you know that it was done using two attributes — the pupation site (within the mine) and colour of the third antennal segment (black). Given the host plant, identification was pretty straightforward. Entomological skillz: I do not haz dem.

Position of third antennal segments (arrow)

Okay. That's one fly down and only another gazillion to go. I was better off with the bivalves.

(That's not an ex-fly, by the way. I stuck it in the fridge to slow it down, but that didn't have an effect, so I put it in the freezer. That worked. For a few minutes. Then the fly was moving around as if nothing had happened.)


Mosura said...

Success! Well done and very interesting too.

Snail said...

I liberated them all too. I don't think my neighbours will be very pleased.

At some point, I'm going to have to do the rounds of all my blogging chums to get tips on how to get good macro shots.

Expect me sometime in 2009 with notebook in hand.