Upcoming Eagle Hill Field Seminar: Leaf and Stem Mining Insects

Title: Leaf and Stem Mining Insects
Instructor: Charley Eiseman
Dates: August 4–10, 2024

Description: Leaf and stem miners are insect larvae that feed within the tissues of plants for at least part of their development, forming externally visible feeding patterns (mines). In North America, they include well over 2000 species of moths, flies, beetles, and sawflies. They tend to be highly host-specific, feeding on one or a few closely related plant genera, and each miner leaves a species-specific pattern as it feeds. It is therefore generally possible to identify these insects by noting the host plant and studying the mine characteristics. This course will introduce students to the identification and biology of leaf and stem miners. On field trips, we will visit a variety of habitats to observe and collect mines from as many different plant species as possible. In the lab, we will use the hostplant-based keys in Leafminers of North America to identify what we have found. Slideshow presentations will give overviews of the many groups of leaf and stem mining insects and their natural history. We will also discuss how to rear leaf and stem miners to adults, with a brief introduction to the various types of parasitoid wasps that inevitably emerge in the process.


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