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Aphid effect

Aphid effect
State Capitol Grounds, Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa, USA
May 27, 2009
Some of the leaves on this ornamental serviceberry tree (Amelanchier arborea) were discolored and longitudinally rolled at one or both edges. I unrolled a few, but found no adult insect or caterpillar inside. Some were fairly "clean" with only small brown spots, others were "dirty" with white (webbing?) and black (frass?) materials. Leavings of a leaf-rolling insect of some kind?

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Rolled serviceberry leaves
There doesn't appear to be any sign of feeding by chewing mouthparts, so a caterpillar is unlikely. I often see Amelanchier leaves that are crumpled by woolly aphids feeding within--not longitudinally rolled, but I generally see them on more thin-leaved species, so that could explain the difference. The discoloration on these leaves is suggestive of aphid feeding, and the white material could be their "wool" (secreted wax). The black material is mysterious... maybe dead, moldy aphids? It almost looks as if there are two legs projecting over your thumb from one of them...

Sharp eyes...again!
Your aphid explanation sounds really good. That sure does look like a pair of tiny legs on the tip of my thumb in that last photo! And the white substance is definitely better described as wax rather than webbing. Sharp eyes, Charley!

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