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Leaf Mine - Phyllocnistis vitegenella

Leaf Mine - Phyllocnistis vitegenella
Thompsontown, Juniata County, Pennsylvania, USA
September 8, 2020
On grape? I'm not quite sure.

Moved from Unidentified Leaf Mines.

Okay, seeing the leaf in person, its clear that it's P. vitegenella--a very superficial, "snail trail"-like mine. It's not always easy to see that in photos due to variable light conditions. The larva has now pupated in a little fold on the leaf margin, as is characteristic of this species (P. vitifoliella typically pupates away from the leaf margin.). I've never noticed a visible frass line in vitegenella before, so this is good to see--and I'm happy to have material of both species from a new location to include in the DNA analysis. Thanks again for sending the leaves!

Happy to help

Just wanted to let you know a DNA barcode was successfully obtained from this one, and the results are as expected. Thanks again!

Thanks for the update.

Yes, on grape. This mine is a little strange--it seems to be P. vitegenella, but there isn't normally a visible frass line in that species. The other option would be P. vitifoliella, which makes deeper mines with a much wider frass line. This is reminiscent of mines that otherwise have only been found in the southwestern US. I'm about to get some DNA analysis done on Vitaceae-feeding Phyllocnistis, and I'd love to include material from mines like this one if you're able to find more and collect them.

This specimen is right outside my front door, so it's certainly available. I haven't looked that closely to see if there are other similar mines nearby. How many would you need for a proper analysis?

Theoretically, one is enough... see how it compares with other, unambiguous vitegenella/vitifoliella and the southwestern ones. But it wouldn't hurt to have additional ones as backups if they're available.

I did a quick check...
...and shot you an email with the results.

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