Leafmines are the feeding signs of insect larva. Various insect larva feed within leaves, including moths, flies and sawflies. The insect species are often specific to a particular plant species so it is usually important to know which plant being used (always note the host plant species when you add a record for a leaf-mining species). Many of the leaf-mining insects are small and rarely seen as adults so being able to recognise the species from the leafmine is often the best way (and sometimes the only way) to record them. Fortunately there are good online resources to help with this.
When examining a leafmine, as well as noting the host plant species, the shape, entry position, frass debris and exit hole can all be important. It is also useful, and in some cases necessary, to examine the larvae inside the mine.
Leicestershire and Rutland Resources
See the presentation by Sue Timms to the Leicestershire Entomological Society in January 2020.
Other Useful Websites and Publications
If you know of other websites or books that you would recommend, do let us know: email@example.com
As with all records, any submissions you make to NatureSpot will be automatically forwarded to both local and national recording schemes.
The websites above include links to the national recording schemes which may be able to offer help with identification.