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Identifying Mines:

Miners tend to be restricted to a certain range of host plants and so the identification of a miner is facilitated by correctly identifying these plants.

The shape of the mines (gallery or blotch) and the patterns of the droppings (frass), besides characteristics of the larvae and pupae, can be diagnostic.
Lepidoptera tend to make full depth galleries or blotches with single lines of frass, whereas Diptera larvae are maggots and the mines are either lower or upper-surface (or a mixture of both). They characteristically make twin trails of frass.

Hymenoptera mines are blotches and have characteristically more copious and darker frass, when compared to dipterous mines. Hymenoptera larvae have visible legs.

Several species, including Coleoptera, make cut-outs in the leaf and the form of these can aid identification.


sponsored by Colin Plant Associates (UK) LLP/Consultant Entomologists