Leaf-Mining Beetle

a buprestid beetle from Mt. Kenya, photo © by Michael Plagens

Mt. Kenya Forest Reserve, Kenya. June 2017. Length about 4 mm.

Most species of Metallic Wood-Boring Beetles develop as larvae that tunnel just inside the bark of woody twigs or branches. These very small (mostly < 5mm) species instead tunnel within the layers of a single leaf. The larvae are dorsally-ventrally compressed (flattened) which allows them to remain within the leaf between the upper and lower cortex layers. The adult beetles like the one shown here will eat small quantities of leaf while they go about mating and laying their eggs in appropriate host leaves.

Buprestidae (s.f. Tracheini) -- Metallic Wood-boring Beetle Family

More Information:

Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 24 May 2018.