Who Has Been Doodling On This Leaf?

Warner Road (3), London, SE5

Nobody! Because the doodling is actually happening from the very inside of the leaf!

There is a tiny insect larva in there, munching its meandering way, boring a path through the cells of the leaf, leaving in its wake this translucent tunnel.

The dark spot at the end of the doodle – the eye – is actually the insect larva. Following the trail back to where it began, it gets noticeably thinner and thinner until it peters out entirely. This is where the larva first entered the leaf, as a much tinier being than it is now. Ever since, it has been chomping its way to its current size.

There are lots of insects whose larvae do this, and each one makes a different type of pattern. They are all called leafminers, for obvious reasons.

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  1. Steph says:

    Absolutely marvellous photograph. I love the way you’ve composed it, and the quality of the light.

    Your explanation about the leafminers is particularly interesting. In fact, it is uniquely observant and appreciative. I say uniquely because I don’t think anyone else would have commented upon the larva entering the leaf as a much tinier being, or leaving in its wake a translucent tunnel. This is leafminer poetry, no less.


    • anna says:

      :) Thanks Steph.

      It occurred to me whilst investigating leafminers, that my job as an Amazingness Reporter is to appreciate nature in all its amazing forms, and to share the amazing things that I find, without making any value judgments. For example, leafminers can be seen as a pest in certain situations, but this doesn’t make them any less amazing or worthy of an attempt at poetry!

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