January 09, 2023

500 observations! + Accepting leaf mines mailed to me

Hi everyone,

Happy new year! I'm excited to see that we have hit 500 observations, this is great.

Unfortunately, so many of these remain unidentified.. there just isn't enough known about leaf miners in Australia.

If you didn't know, I'm currently doing a PhD project focusing on a group of leaf mining moths, the Gracillariidae. I'm using ecological, morphological and molecular data to determine how many species there are in Australia. I'm actually nearing the end of my data collection period, but I wanted to highlight that I will accept any leaf mines with larvae/pupae in them for the next few months. After April I will probably not accept them, as it will be a bit late for my PhD project.

So if you are interested in directly contributing to knowledge of this group in Australia, you can physically mail me leaf mines for me to rear out. Postage can be reimbursed. Please contact me if you are interested in helping me, all new records are interesting. I have been looking at all the records on this project, and annotating them where I can. I can help you with identifying if your leaf mine is an active one from this season or an old one from a previous season. If I've been commenting on your posts, it's likely you have come across mines I'm interested in studying.

You can also read the following blog posts for additional information:

List of Target Host Plants
What is a leaf miner?

Posted on January 09, 2023 05:48 AM by antomology antomology | 0 comments | Leave a comment

August 04, 2022

A list of target host plants for Australian Leaf Miners

Hi everyone,

As part of my research into Australian leaf miners, I'm interested in getting fresh specimens and images of leaf mines. I am interested in getting larvae in particular, as I'll be able to use them for DNA sequencing to understand more about the ecology and life history of many leaf mining species.

I've read nearly all the available literature, and have just finished compiling a list of target host plants I'm interested in. These are plants which have had gracillariid leaf miners recorded on them, but we don't quite have the full picture for that leaf miner. I might want to rear out adults, I might be interested in the larvae, or I might just want to know if they have a broader range.

If you are familiar with your local plants, do have a look at the below list and see if you recognise any plants. I would be interested in getting samples mailed to me in Canberra, and can reimburse for postage.

Australian Leaf Miner Host Plant Target List

I've included as much information as have, including time of year and photos of the mines (where possible). many of these photos are from iNaturalist, and were even part of this project - so thank you to people who have uploaded!

Happy hunting,


Posted on August 04, 2022 04:09 AM by antomology antomology | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 21, 2022

Sharing a new project - Australian Galls!

I'm happy to see that we now have over 40 members in this project, very exciting! :) I see that many people haven't uploaded any leaf mine images. I encourage you to look for some - I plan on writing some posts on my blog about recognising leaf mines soon. Let me know if you have any barriers to uploading leaf mines, happy to help you out if I can.

Anyway, I just wanted to promote a project that has just started: Australian Galls

If you have been on the look out for leaf mines, you may have come across some mystery galls. Well now there's a home for them. Check out the project for more info.

Happy gall hunting. 😊

Posted on April 21, 2022 09:12 AM by antomology antomology | 3 comments | Leave a comment

December 12, 2021

55 Days of "Australian Leaf Miners"

It has been 55 days since I started this project, and there have been over 100 submissions from users in that time. This is so exciting!

I’m so happy to see the engagement from the iNat community. As you may or may not know, there are very few resources in Australia for understanding the leaf miners in Australia, and the contributions here are creating an invaluable resource.

Whilst activity from myself may seem low, rest assured there are people who are looking at all the submissions, and all your images are well appreciated.

For those who don't know, I am currently studying a sub-group of these leaf miners (the Gracillariidae, a moth family). I’m more than happy to receive active/pupating leaf mines at the Australian National Insect Collection. If you are happy to collect them for me from your property or somewhere where you have permission, do reach out. I am also looking at new uploads to see whether there are any leaf mines I am interested in having. I can reimburse you for your postage costs.

As this is a community project, do reach out if you have any suggestions for the project. For now I am gratefully treating this project as a resource for living leaf mine images.

I recently gave a number of talks on my project and leaf miners in general and my own project more specifically. I did make a brochure about leaf miners to give out at outreach events which I may post about some time next year.

Thanks everyone for contributing and happy holidays!

Posted on December 12, 2021 09:58 PM by antomology antomology | 0 comments | Leave a comment