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Life in a Leaf: The Wonderful World of Leafminers

September 27, 2021 @ 7:00 pm 9:00 pm

Presented By: Charley Eiseman a freelance naturalist based in western Massachusetts.

Leafminers are insect larvae that spend at least part of their lives feeding between layers of leaves. In North America they include over 2000 species of moths, flies, beetles, and sawflies, belonging to over 50 different families. These insects are typically quite host-specific, and the form of the mine varies considerably depending on what insect produces it. As a result, it is often possible to identify the responsible insect using only the host plant and mine characteristics. After a decade of reviewing the relevant literature, traveling throughout the continent, and collecting and rearing thousands of leafminers, Charley has completed a guide to the North American species that includes keys to the mines found on each plant genus. This slideshow presentation will introduce the major groups of leafminers, drawing all of the examples from among the 200+ species he found in his yard last year.

Bio: Charley Eiseman is a freelance naturalist based in western Massachusetts. He has been conducting plant and wildlife surveys and natural resource inventories throughout New England for over 20 years, as well as teaching courses and workshops on interpreting animal tracks and signs (both vertebrate and invertebrate). He holds an MS in Botany (Field Naturalist) from the University of Vermont and a BS in Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation and Management from the University of Massachusetts. Charley is the author of Tracks & Sign of Insects and Other Invertebrates (Stackpole Books, 2010), Leafminers of North America (self-published e-book, 2019), and an insect-themed blog called “BugTracks.” He has also published around 50 scientific papers on insect natural history, including the description of over 75 new species. Check out his website here!


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