Oct 3, 2009

It's written on a leaf / Está escrito en una hoja

'Leaf miner' is a term used to describe the larvae of many different species of insect which live in and eat the leaf tissue of plants. The vast majority of leaf-mining insects are moths (Lepidoptera) and flies (Diptera), though some beetles and wasps also exhibit this behavior. Like Woodboring beetles, leaf miners are protected from many predators and plant defenses by feeding within the tissues of the leaves themselves, selectively eating only the layers that have the least amount of cellulose. The precise pattern formed by the feeding tunnel is very often diagnostic for which kind of insect is responsible, sometimes even to genus level. In fact, the mine often contains frass, or droppings, and the pattern of frass deposition, mine shape and host plant identity are useful to determine the species of leaf miner. A few mining insects utilize other parts of a plant, such as the surface of a fruit.
"Minador de hojas" es un término usado para describir las larvas de muchas especies diferentes de insectos que viven y se nutren del tejido foliar de las plantas. La vasta mayoría de dichos insectos son las polillas (Lepidóptera) y moscas (Díptera), a pesar de que algunas especies de escarabajos y avispas exhiben el mismo comportamiento. Tal como los escarabajos taladro, los minadores de hojas están protegidos de muchos depredadores y las propia defensas de las plantas al alimentarse en el interior de las hojas; seleccionando sólo aquellas partes que contienen el menor volumen de celulosa. El patrón preciso formado por el túnel alimenticio es muy a menudo el diagnóstico de la clase de insecto que lo contruye, incluso de su género. De hecho, la mina usualmente contiene heces o deposiciones y de la forma con la que éstas se van depositando, la estructura del cavado y la planta son indicadores útiles a la hora de identificar a la especie de la cual se trata. Algunos pocos insectos emplean también otras partes vegetales (superficie de frutas, etc).

3 comments:

Harpers Mommy and Daddy said...

So glad to have found your blog. I am a 2nd Grade teacher in Northern Illinois in the USA. Right now I am teaching them about Uruguay...looks like a beautiful country!

Alejandro Nader de León said...

It is, indeed. And you're more than welcome to pay us a visit and get to know the biodiversity of our wonderful wildlands. Thanks for your nice comment!

Luciano Cagnolo said...

The star-like mine looks very similar to those made by Calycomiza hyiptidis on Hyptis mutabilis here in Argentina.
Congratulations for the blog.