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Photo#493458
Eastern hemlock miner? - Oligonychus ununguis

Eastern hemlock miner? - Oligonychus ununguis
Groton, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA
February 26, 2011
Are these markings on eastern hemlock needles caused by an insect?

Images of this individual: tag all
Eastern hemlock miner? - Oligonychus ununguis Eastern hemlock miner? - Oligonychus ununguis

Moved
Moved from ID Request.

Check for Mites
i. e. spider mites....

You might get a piece of paper, put it under the foliage, bang the foliage around, see if any of the specks move.

What's the background? Has this plant been inside (bonsi)? Have you done any spraying that would make finding mites difficult. If its mites and you sprayed, eggs may still hatch....

 
Spider mites
I couldn't remember whether I'd seen examples of spider mites on conifer needles, but that's a good thought. I would expect mites to be difficult to find in February.
Googling "hemlock mite" brings up this page--looks good to me... I see this damage all the time and hadn't figured out what was causing it.

 
This is part of a branch
of Eastern Hemlock from outside that I cut off a tree in the yard and brought inside to photograph. I already disposed of it, but this spring when it warms up I'll look to see if anything shows up on the tree.

I suspect so...
but they look like the work of something feeding externally with sucking mouthparts (a hemipteran) rather than a miner. Do you have a shot of the undersides of the needles?

 
Underside shot added
It shows some marking, but not as much as the top of the needles.

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