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Minor miner (microlepidopteran moth)

 
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NikonUser



Joined: 04 Sep 2008
Posts: 2577
Location: southern New Brunswick, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 11:56 am    Post subject: Minor miner (microlepidopteran moth) Reply with quote


Ever wondered who or what makes the squiggly tunnels within plant leaves?
Many are made by the caterpillars of moths of the family Gracillariidae. Most of these tiny moths, this one 5mm long and a Caloptilia sp., have a characteristic resting posture as shown.
Crop from the full-sized image (insert).
D2Xs + PN11 ext. tube + AF 200mm Micro Nikkor + 5T close-up lens; 1/250s @ f32 on camera (Exif data shows f43), single SB800 flash with diffuser; 1 exposure.

EDIT: title changed


Last edited by NikonUser on Mon Oct 13, 2008 12:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
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P_T



Joined: 19 Jul 2008
Posts: 461
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hahahah!! Laughing

This moth is a hoot!! Look at the shape, it's like a fish.

That said, I'm really interested in the eye. It looks similar to the prawn-like insect that I found. Is that eye common to a specific family/genus/species of insects?
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Cyclops



Joined: 05 Aug 2006
Posts: 2968
Location: North East of England

PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very cool creature. I wonder if this is the one found in holly leaves.
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 20286
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

P_T wrote:
That said, I'm really interested in the eye.

What about the eye?

If you're referring to the black spot that looks like a pupil, it's a common optical effect caused by looking pretty much straight down into the light-absorbing sensors of some ommatidia, while looking sideways into the not-so-absorbing sides of others. In essence, whichever ommatidia are looking in your direction, you see as dark.

This optical effect causes the black spot to follow you as you move around. Another person looking at the same bug at the same time will see a black spot too, and theirs will move to follow them, at the same time that yours is moving to follow you.

Looking at the beast in a stereo microscope, each of the viewer's eyes sees its own black spot, and the corresponding positions are usually such that the spot appears to be buried deep inside the eye, perhaps clear on the other side. It's quite strange to see! See this post for an example and some more discussion.

--Rik
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NikonUser



Joined: 04 Sep 2008
Posts: 2577
Location: southern New Brunswick, Canada

PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2008 3:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cyclops wrote:
I wonder if this is the one found in holly leaves.

Several species in the UK, don't know if any mine holly. You could check the site UK Moths which gives info on the species.
Another group of leaf miners, perhaps even more common than these moths, is the fly family Agromyzidae. Aptly named "Leaf Miner Fly Family". The adults of these flies get to be as small as 1mm. Again it's the larva, maggot, that does the tunneling.
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Cyclops



Joined: 05 Aug 2006
Posts: 2968
Location: North East of England

PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2008 3:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

UK moths eh,might have to check that site out!
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