Plant-Insect Interaction: Leaf mining larva on an American elm

Feeding tunnel in an American elm leaf (Ulmus americana, Ulmaceae), created by an unknown leaf miner. Photographed 05/27/2011 near Blissfield Michigan.

While out along the River Raisin I came across an American elm leaf (Ulmus americana, Ulmaceae) showing characteristic leaf miner wounds.  Leaf mining insects have larvae that feed within leaves, eating the soft tissues while remaining relatively safe from predators.

Feeding tunnel in an American elm leaf (Ulmus americana, Ulmaceae), created by an unknown leaf miner. Photographed 05/27/2011 near Blissfield Michigan.

I carefully pulled the mine apart to find the culprit:

Unknown leaf miner on an American elm leaf (Ulmus americana, Ulmaceae). Photographed 05/27/2011 near Blissfield Michigan.

I suspect this is the larva of a fly (order Diptera).  The damage pattern and host plant seem to suggest this could be an elm agromyzid leaf miner (Agromyza aristata, Agromyzidae).

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About Jeremy Sell

Science and nature nerd.
This entry was posted in Botany, Ecology, Entomology, Organism Interactions and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Plant-Insect Interaction: Leaf mining larva on an American elm

  1. Andrey M. says:

    Comment by “Unknown leaf miner on an American elm leaf (Ulmus americana, Ulmaceae). Photographed 05/27/2011 near Blissfield Michigan”

    This is the larva of the parasite Minotrtastichus frontalis (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae). This species is parasite on the larvae and pupae of miners

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  2. Andrey M. says:

    Minotetrastichus frontalis

    Like

  3. Jeremy Sell says:

    Thanks for the input. Do you know of a source for more information? I wasn’t able to find much.

    Like

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