markwilson's picture

What's happening here?

Observed: 2nd November 2013 By: markwilsonmarkwilson is knowledgeable about Plantsmarkwilson’s earned reputation in Plantsmarkwilson’s earned reputation in Plantsmarkwilson’s earned reputation in Plantsmarkwilson’s earned reputation in Plantsmarkwilson’s earned reputation in Plants
What's happening here?
leaf miner
leaf miner
beech gall

Does anyone know what's happening here. These are beech leaves. Where there is a gall (Hartigiola?) on a leaf mine (Stigmella?)the leaf has retained its green colour. Does the insect cause this directly - is it the plant's response. Are senscence genes switched off? Can the green part of the leaf still photosynthesise? Some of the Cynips galls of oak also retain their green colour when the leaf has died. So many questions!

Species interactions

Species with which Beech (Fagus sylvatica) interacts


Ardea's picture

Mark, the leaf mines in the

Mark, the leaf mines in the second of your photos look like Stigmella hemargyrella.

cicuta58's picture


Perhaps the leaf-miners have severed the veins which drain the sugars etc back into the tree, so they have no way to get out and remain to keep the leaf area green.


Mydaea's picture

The leaf often stays green

The leaf often stays green under Hartigiola, with a mine or not.

markwilson's picture


I've just added another mine I think is Parornix fagivora that shows a retention of green

wildaboutnature's picture

Really interested to see this

Really interested to see this observation and comments - great minds must think alike! Have a look here at the pic and comment I posted on Twitter back in October. The retention of green around the mine was quite marked mmmmmmm........, research project in the making?!

Clare Flynn

markwilson's picture

keeping green

Thanks for all the comments - yes a possible undergrad project?
I'd like to know if photosynthesis continues as this would be of benefit to ithe causer
- anyone got a spare gas analyser - probably have to suppress fungal activity


RHoman's picture

Green islands

A good review of the mechanics/chemistry/call it waht you will behind green islands is here -

The point of the green island is to provide the causer with a food supply at a time of year when there are progressivly fewer green leaves available. For the leaf mine enthusiast they are a dead give away and save hours of searching through leaves on plants. In the next week or so green islands should become evident on oak leaves but naming the miners is still a big problem.

Robert Homan

markwilson's picture

green islands


Thanks very much for interesting reference


Mydaea's picture

Something similar happens

Something similar happens with Asphondylia sarothamni. The pod stays green around the gall while the rest blackens.