Abandoned fields overtaken by secondary succession aren’t uncommon here in southern Michigan. They’re often filled with a variety of asters that flower in late summer and early autumn, especially several species of goldenrod (Solidago spp., Asteraceae). These plants host a number of insects that live in and feed on them, including goldenrod leaf miners (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Microrhopala vittata).
These native beetles are abundant in this area and seem most common among the leaf bunch galls created by other insects. The galls provide dark hiding places where the beetles can feed in peace.
With their high population density, however, these insects can also be found elsewhere on the plants. It’s hard to walk among the goldenrod here and not notice them.