Apple leafminers

Phyllonorycter spp.

Adults are small, golden brown moths with white bands or spots that give them a silvery appearance when they fly in sunlight. In spring eggs are laid in young leaves during the period from the tight cluster bloom stage through petal fall. Larvae develop within the leaf tissue. The first three instars feed on sap within the leaves and are called sap-feeders. Sap-feeders have a white, flat, legless body with a brown, wedge-shaped head. They form snakelike mines in the leaf that are visible only on the lower surface of leaves. Fourth and fifth stage larvae are known as tissue-feeders because feeding is concentrated more on leaf tissue than on sap. Tissue feeders have both legs and prolegs and a round head. These older larvae tie the sides of the leaf together with silk to form tents.

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