Diptera Agromyzidae: India

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This is an extract from
Protozoa to Mammalia
State of the Art.
Zoological Survey of India, 1991.
By Professor Mohammad Shamim Jairajpuri
Director, Zoological Survey of India
and his team of devoted scientists.
The said book is an enlarged, updated version of
The State of Art Report: Zoology
Edited by Dr. T. N. Ananthakrishnan,
Director, Zoological Survey of India in 1980.

Note: This article is likely to have several spelling mistakes that occurred during scanning. If these errors are reported as messages to the Facebook page, Indpaedia.com your help will be gratefully acknowledged.


Diptera Agromyzidae


The members of the family Agromyzidae are popularly known as 'leaf-miners' and constitUte an interesting and agriculturally important group of minute to small rues. These rues cause extensive damage to agricultural and omametal plants during their larval stages. They tunnel through the tissues Qf leaf, root, stem, flower bud, fruit and developing seed, and leave behind characteristic patterns, the 'mines' These mines may be either linear, serpentine or the blotch type. On the completion of their larval life (feeding stage), they enter, the pupal stage. The pupation takes place either within the leaf-mine, or the final instar larva leaves the mine to pupate in the soil. On emergence, the adult rues mate and the female lay eggs on selected part of the plant. On hatching, the l~ae start feeding on the plant tissue and thus cause damage to the plants.

In India about 40% 'of the Cajanus indicus (Hindi Arhar) yield is lost annually due to attack of Melanagromyza obtusa. The common pulses like Phaseolus radiatus (Hindi: Moong) and P. mungo (Hindi: Urad) are attacked by Ophiomyia phaseoli. Chromatomyia hordeola is known to attack most of the ornamental plants and mustard Brassica campestris (Hinid : Sarson).

Historical Resume

The pioneering works on Agromyzidae were by Fallen (1810, 1823) and Lioy (1864) .. Hendel (1920-1936) has studied in detail the European Agromyz~dae and described numerous species and erected a number of genera. Malloch (1913-1927) studied the North American, Australian and Oriental Agromyzidae. In 'recent years i.e., from 1950 onwards our knowledge of Agromyzidae has been enriched by the works of Frick (1951-1959), Griffiths (1957-1967), Hering (1927-1958), Kato (1953-1961), Sasakawa (1954-1967) and Spencer (1957-1986).

The systematics of the Agromyzidae has made marked progress in the foreign countries, but in India, till 1960, only a few species were known. Spencer t1961) during the course of his study on Oriental Agromyzidae described about a dozen new species from India. In recent years Tandon (1963, 1965, 1966, 19.70 at b and 1972), Singh and Ipe (1967-1973), Singh and Garg (1970), Ipe (1971-1987), and Garg (1971) have made detailed and comprehensive studies on agromyzid fauna of India. Besides the taxonomic studies, the notable ecological and biological works on Agromyzidae from India are of Ahmed (1938), Ahmed and Gupta (1941), Sehgal and Trehan (1963), Sehgal (1966-1986), Tandon (1963, 1973), Beri (1971) and Singh and Ipe (1973).

The agromyzids are known to infest vegetation in almost all the major ecosystems from sea-level to alpine zones. Extensive surveys of the country were undertaken by Spencer, Tandon, Sehgal, Singh and lpe.

Current. Studies

The family Agromyzidae is known in India by over 137 species belonging to 17 genera and two subfamilies (Singh and Ipe, 1973). Active work on taxonomy, ecology and biology of Agromyzidae is being conducted at School of Entomology, St. John's College, Agra. Santokh Singh has recently completed a five years PIA80 project on the 'Bioecology of hymenopteran parasites of Agromyzidae (Diptera) peSt ~iesin India'

Expertise India

In Z.S.I

S. K. Tandon, ZSI, M-Block, New Alipur, Calcutta -700 053.


Santokh Singh, Ipe M. Ipe and P. K. Garg, of the School of Entomology, St. John's College, Agra (U.P.). S. K. Beri, Deptl of Zoology, D.B.S. College, Dehradun (U.P.). V. K. Sehgal, Depu. of Entomology, G. B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology. Pant Nagar, Dist. Nainital, (U.P.).


K. A. Spencer, 19, Redington Road, London, N.W. 3 (U.K.). George Steyskal, U. S. National Museum, Washington, D.C., (U.S.A.).. Kenneth, E. Frick, Irrigation Experiment Station, Prosser, Washington, D. C., (U.S.A.).

M. Sasakawa, Entomology laboratory, Faculty of Agriculture, Saikyo University, Kyoto. (Japan).

Selected References

Hering, E. M. 1951. The biology of leaf miners. Dr. W. Junk, N. V. -The Hague. Hendel, F. 1936. Agromyzidae; In : Linder, Flieg. Palaearkt. Reg., 59 : 1-570. Ipe M. Ipe, Beri, S. K. &Garg, P. K. 1971. Studies on Indian Agromyzidae (Diptera). Oriental Ins. Supple No.1. Sasakawa, M. 1963. Oriental Agromyzidae (Diptera) in Bishop Museum. Pacific Ins., 5 (1) : 23¬ 50. Singh, Santokh &Ipe M. lpe. 1973. The Agromyziclae from India. Mem. Sch. Ent. No.1: 1-286 + i-v, pIs i -clxxvi. Spencer, K. A. 1961. A synopsis of Oriental Agromyzidae (Diptera). Trans. R. ent. Soc. Lond., 113(4) : 55-100. Spencer, K. A. & Steyskal, G. C. 1986. Manual of the Agromyzidae (Diptera) of United States. U.S. Dep. Agric. Washington, Handbook No.638 : 478 pp. Tandon, S. K. 1970. Catalogue of Oriental Agromyzidae. Beitr. Ent. 20 : 439-462.

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